As a colored pencil junkie, a hack or two can make all the difference in the process and the final piece. Whether its time saving, money saving, or just a make-life easier hack, here are 5 you’ll love.
1. Handling Debris
Wax-based pencils tend to be quite soft, which means theres a significant amount of pencil that doesn’t end up sticking to the paper. You’ve probably notice the little clumps pencil that fly around your colored pencil drawings. It’s important to get rid of this debris before it sticks to other parts of the paper. DO NOT use your fingers to remove it, your fingers apply too much pressure and will make the debris stick to the paper (and it will stick to your fingers, which is a mess).
So, instead: use a brush. You can use any brush really, just make sure the hairs are soft and not too short. Use a light hand a swiping motion to remove the debris from the paper.
2. Extending The Life of The Pencil
When your pencils come to that last inch or two of life, trying to draw with them can be a pain. A great option is to buy some pencil extenders, but they aren’t universal, so they may not fit the pencil you’re using.
A quick hack is to take the tiny pencil and another long pencil of the same brand and tape the two unsharpened ends together. Wrap the tape around a few times to make sure it’s secure. Voila! A free pencil extender.
3. The wrong color in the pencil
You may have experienced this before, but sometimes during production pencils can catch a spec of color that doesn’t belong in that pencil. Sometimes it’s not only a spec, it can go down a section of the pencil. This is extremely annoying, as just one dot can show up quite significantly in the drawing. To avoid this:
Go to the other end of the pencil, sharpen it and work from there instead. This is a much better solution that cutting off the faulty section with a knife, as it keeps the pencil long and useable. Once the pencil is used to the defected point, simply stop using it. Crisis averted!
4. An Extra Debris Precaution
Even if you’re extra careful about brushing away pencil debris, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have it stick to the blank parts of the paper, especially if you go all the way to the burnishing stage. Luckily, there’s an extra precaution you can take.
Section extra pieces of paper over the blank parts of your drawing, leaving only the part you are going to draw on exposed. Use some artist tape to tape the papers down around the drawing area. Make sure not to use a tape that will rip the paper. The tape is very important, because with just paper, the debris can makes its way under the paper and get stuck there (which is worse than having no paper on top!) Use any kind of cheap paper, don’t waste the good stuff. The blank areas are protected from debris, and your piece will look neater and more professional.
5. Keeping Your Pencils Sharp
Constantly having to sharpen your pencils? This is especially a problem if you have a heavy hand. Holding your pencil vertically on the tip makes them go blunt faster. Here’s a quick hack:
Draw with your pencils at an angle. Hold them by the middle or ends, avoid grasping them near the tip. As you draw at this angle, keep rotating the pencil with every few strokes. What rotating does is it uses the core equally on all sides, almost as if you’re sharpening the core as you draw. With a lighter hand, at an angle, while continuously rotating, you’ll sharpen the pencils a lot less.
There you have it, 5 hacks to use on your next colored pencil drawing. Have a handy hack you swear by? Any of these hacks help? Leave it in the comments below!