Taking a Stab at a Colored Drawing

Use good paper. The best is 140-lb. hot-press watercolor paper, and 90 lb. is fine for sketches. If you foresee adding water to the water-soluble pencil sketch, however, the heavier paper will work better.

You will find that you can very naturally grab a handful of colored pencils and start in on a simple arrangement.

That fistful of colors is important. Keep switching colors.

Look at each object and see the range of colors you can use, or the layers you can build up to get a tone and a color. It takes time, but it's fun to see the color happen along with the drawing.

Try Your Hand

To learn about color, make yourself lots of small tonal charts for the colors you have. Try for gradations of tone in an individual color to see what it does, and mixed colors in a variety of tones. Be sure to label the charts so you know how you made a color that you like.

If you want to learn more about any of the colored media, take a class. They're fun and you can learn a lot about color and techniques for handling the various media. You'll be glad you did.

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