Basic Colored Pencils for Architecture Rendering
by Arch Ian Jay Bantilan
Colored Pencil Brands.
One of the popular mediums in rendering is the colored pencils. It’s direct link to the graphite “pencil” is the reason for its popularity. Once you become acquainted with the pencil, it isn’t hard to learn Colored Pencil.
The next decision is selecting the brand for colored pencil. I have visited local stores and I believe that the same brands still reign today.
Here are some brands for colored pencil:
But before selecting your colored pencil, something has happened to the world. We were given more and more choices. And now we have different kinds of colored pencils. In discussing this, I am referring to the Derwent Brand.
Using Derwent, there are probably 3 Basic Color Pencil Styles:
Artists Colored Pencils are slightly waxy texture is ideal for multiple layering and blending to produce an infinite spectrum of subtly different hues and tints.
Studio Color Pencils are also common. It has good texture and blendability of colour pencils. It allows for a more precise drawing style.
Pastel Pencils have a soft, powdery texture which produces a velvety smooth finish, ideal for mixing and blending. It is the cross section of pencils and oil pastels.
Water Color Pencils have a hybrid of being used as a normal colored pencil but can be used with water to spread their color over the paper surface.
The advantage of colored pencils is that it is easy to handle because you simple work with it like a pencil. You can now focus your challenge in combining the right color combination to get the right hue that you want.
Some Shading Techniques in Colored Pencil Rendering
You can have different strokes on your pencil. You can use the side of your lead or the pointed tip. For Watercolor pencils you can also apply water.
Above you can see how a Watercolor Pencil looks when you brush across a colored pencil lead just like watercolor, acrylic or ink wash. Using the side of your lead or the side of stick lead, sweep color lightly across the area that you want colored. Smooth, overlapping bands, circles, and diagonals can all be used.
Draw small, overlapping circles to fill in the forms on your paper.
Use small, light circular strokes to smoothly lay down color, keep pencil sharp for best results.
Lay down short strokes in a vertical and then cross with horizontal strokes. Successive layers build up color and smoothness.
Make long or short diagonal, horizontal or vertical strokes. Keep all the strokes going in the same direction.
Using either a sharp or dull pencil, tap the lead on the surface rapidly to leave a small amount of color in a dot. If you hold the pencil at a bit of an angle it makes a short line. If many different colors are dotted into an area it can cause the eye to mix the colors, without them actually being mixed. Usually gives a “soft” look to the picture.
Small short strokes are laid in softly and rapidly, close to each other but not necessarily overlapping. Other colors are laid in between the strokes until all is smoothly filled in.
Strokes and Techniques using Colored Pencil
1. Flat tone
The simplest and most common method of putting down color. This puts down an even layer of color in a single tone. The “map” or “comic book” look.
2. Three color technique
This uses three colors to mix any other color you need. Pick any shade of the three primary colors and use a light hand. Fantastic effects can be achieved.
3. Large palette
Okay, I love my large palette. I have 100 Bruynzeels and then I added Prismacolors and Polychromos in the shades that Bruynzeel didn’t have. All told, I have about 130-140 different colors. Of those, I actually use about 40-50 regularly. With a large palette you can pick the colors that are closest to what you need, rather than trying to make the color with successive layers, which cuts down on wear and tear of the tooth of the paper. You will most likely use many layers, anyway, so that color won’t be the same as what came out of the lead.
4. Complimentary shading
Instead of adding blacks or grays to the shadows, you can make deeper, richer shadows by adding complimentary colors to the shadows instead. If you have a red apple, for example, use dark green and dark purple to make the shadows.
5. Infused color
This means, after you have laid down your basic colors, you put in strokes of other colors in those areas to add interest and reflected color. For example, on a red apple up may put strokes of yellow, green, purple, pink, blue, etc. Not a lot, just a little for a touch of color.
Pure black does have its place, but it tends to be very “flat” when used alone. A richer black can be achieved by mixing Indigo Blue, Tuscan Red and Dark Green in numerous layers. Then add bits of reflected color into the mix. Even using one or two of these colors under black will give it a richer look. Also experiment with other colors that can make black. For instance, the above is a cool black, for a warm black try, Olive, Dark Purple and Sepia.
Neutrals are made when two complimentary colors are mixed. Such as yellow and purple, red and green, blue and orange, etc. These make nice browns and grays, rich and not waxy.
Watersoluable pencils will change color somewhat when wet and again, slightly when dry. The colors are transparent and fill in all the little holes.
Examples of Techniques for Blending Color
There are several methods of burnishing, which I will go into below. Burnishing destroys the tooth of the paper but it leaves a very well blended, photo-like finish.
With a colorless blending pencil
After laying down a few layers of color (or one or two..it varies) use the colorless blending pencil with a heavy hand to push the colors into the valleys. Apply another layer of color, repeat. Eventually, your color will just start floating on the surface. Then you either stop or you scratch some off and go again.
Lay down either your horizontal or vertical strokes in one color, lay down the contrasted strokes in a second color, continue layering until desired color is achieved.
Lay down a light layer of your first color. Add light layer of various colors to certain areas until the color you are looking for is achieved.
Lay down a set of strokes, leaving a little space between or beside. Take a second color and lay it down in the cracks or next to the first, with a few strokes overlapping the first color. Your eye will blend the two colors to make a new color. (If you stand far enough away from it)
Lay down two or more colors in any technique, then spritz or brush with water. You can also dip the pencil directly into a small amount of water and draw on wet or dry paper, mixing the colors just like watercolor. You can also dip an old toothbrush in water and run it across a watersoluable pencil to splatter color on the paper.
Using a Colored Ground
Using a colored ground can really help to unify a picture and/or can complete much of the background for you. Pick a color that you want to show up throughout the whole picture or that is complimentary to the major tones. Such as a warm gray or beige for flesh tones, or a cool blue for underwater.
Colored pencil is compatible with many other media, like ink, watercolor, acrylic, airbrush and pencil. Also you can use colored pencil over colored pencil. What do I mean? You can put down a layer of color, use water over it. Let it dry, do an area in color and use solvent on it. Then use dry colored pencil over the whole area to put in details. You can also use any water color techniques you know, such as using salt, sponging, etc. with water soluable pencils.