After I posted this card:
I had a few friends on twitter (and in the comments) say they weren't confident using Prismacolor Pencils when colouring.
They were unsure how to do the blending, didn't think they could do it. But honestly, its SO easy.
I am FAR from the world's most proficient colourer (colourist?!) but with a little practise, you can get results just like mine in the card above--and even better than that.
I've made a video "tutorial" on how to do it :)
So a few tips that I have found work for me:
- Use the 72 pack--if you can afford it, they are an investment, but the pencils in the larger set are MUCH waxier and creamier. This makes for flawless blending with much less effort. (There are also MANY more colours to choose from in the larger set :))
- When sharpening your pencils, our natural instinct is to hold the pencil in our dominant/writing hand and the sharpener in the other. If you swap hands (so that the pencil is in your less dominant hand), you'll break the leads MUCH less frequently, because you're putting less pressure on the pencil as you turn it in the sharpener. It also tends to stop you over-sharpening (which can also lead to broken/fallen out leads), and a ridiculously pointy/sharp pencil tip, will show up on your page very dark, I prefer my pencils sharp, but with a very slightly rounded tip (You'll see this in the video)
- This is going to sound odd, but trust me: Find how your hand colours the most comfortably (which position your hand is in). For me, I colour best when moving the pencil left and right (on a slight angle), so I move the cardstock/paper (whatever I'm colouring) around, so that my hand stays in the same place. If I try to keep the image still but move my hand around the paper, my colouring ends up awful and choppy. Find what works for you.
- Don't hold the pencil too tight/firmly. 1) your hands wont cramp up after you've been colouring for ages, and 2) you'll have a much more natural 'movement' in your colouring, which will look better.
- Hold the pencil a little way up from the end. If you grip the pencil very close to the actual point/lead then your colouring will only be able to fill a tiny area, and you'll have to keep moving your hand around, this tends to make it look less smooth (plus it's tiring!) Holding the pencil further up the 'shaft' of the pencil will also allow you to get into those little fiddly spaces more comfortably.
- Colour each little section of your images (eg. if it's a person, their hair, their shirt, their pants etc etc, if its a flower, each petal) in the same direction for the entire space. If you're moving your pencil left-right (and back and forth), then colour the entire petal/shirt in that 'direction'. If you colour parts of it in left-right movements, then switch to up-down (like a small child would do), you'll find blending is difficult and the image wont look smooth--it will look like a patchwork quilt!
- try not to hunch over your work. Sit close enough that you can see the image (of course!) but if you can sit back a little, so that you can see the WHOLE image (not just the tiny space you're working on), you'll get a better overall effect.
- work in small sections--it's less overwhelming! If colouring a whole page of flowers (like on my card), I work one petal at a time, then I look at the whole flower (singularly) to see if it all suits. Then I move onto the next flower, petal by petal. If I look at the entire piece I have to colour, I get overwhelmed and I tend to rush--never a good idea :)
- If you're REALLY against the image looking pencil-coloured (or hand-coloured), you can purchase 'blending' solutions (eg Gamsol) and use them after you've coloured everything. Using a blending stump (a pencil made out of tightly wound paper) and Gamsol, takes away all the stroke marks that come from colouring with pencil. ***however, Personally I LIKE my images to look like I've coloured them myself, and using the technique I showed in the video (going back over the entire area with your palest colour) will give you a VERY blended look anyway.
If anyone has any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments!