Blending Colored Pencils with Odorless Mineral Spirits | LaVonne | Skillshare

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Blending Colored Pencils with Odorless Mineral Spirits

teacher avatar LaVonne, Artist, Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Layer 1

    • 4. Layer 2

    • 5. Layer 3

    • 6. Final Layer

    • 7. Assignment

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About This Class

Would you like to level up your colored pencil skills?

In this class, I will teach you how to blend colored pencils with odorless mineral spirits.


Fabriano Artistico 140 lb Hot Pressed Watercolot Paper

Prismacolor Primier Colored Pencils 



This technique creates a very beautiful blending effect with colored pencils.

Meet Your Teacher

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Artist, Illustrator


Hello, I'm LaVonne. I have been drawing since I was very young. I love creating things -  drawing, painting, sculpting - as long as I am creating something, I feel content.

I have worked as a Graphic Designer as well as an Art Director at an advertising agency. I look forward to sharing my knowledge on Skillshare!

Some of my favorite mediums to work with are ink pen, colored pencils, pastel pencils and Procreate app on my iPad.

Follow me on Instagram  or Facebook to see my latest artistic endeavors.

See full profile

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1. Introduction : in this class, I will teach you a blending technique for colored pencils. This technique will use odorless mineral spirits. Using odorless mineral spirits is a great way to blend your colored pencil drawings. It adds a painterly look to your artwork and adds depth and dimension. The odorless mineral spirits. Bring out the richness of the colors in your project. If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for your premium membership and start learning today. 2. Materials : in this class, I will be using Fabbiano Artist ago. £140 hot pressed watercolor paper. This is an excellent paper to use because it allows for many layers of colored pencil Theo colored pencils. I will be using our Prisma color premier colored pencils for the odorless mineral spirits. I will be using a brand called Gam Saul. You will also need a brush optionally. You can also use a cloth to dab off any excess mineral spirits from your breath. So gather your materials and let's get started. 3. Layer 1: today, I'm going to show you how to blend color pencil with odorless mineral spirits. I have already started this drawing and you could see what our end result is going to be. But I'm going to demonstrate for you to show you how to get this effect. The first thing that we do is use our color pencils. Um, color pencils. You work from light to dark. So I am going to lay down a layer of the lightest color that I will be using the blue. And I just use small light pressure. Circular motion. You don't want to use really, really heavy pressure. We just want to put down thin layers at a time. The paper that I'm using is Fabbiano Artistic oh, water colored paper £140. And it actually allows you to use a lot of layers of color pencil, and it also blends very, very nicely with the odorless mineral spirits. Now, the very most important thing when blending with mineral spirits, is to make sure that you have a lot of color pencil on the paper before you start blending . If you don't have a lot of layers or if you don't have much pencil on there. There's really nothing for it to blend, and it's not going to give you the effect that you're looking for, so we're going to start layering. Like I said, we're going to go the lightest color first, put down a thin layer. Don't use really heavy pressure. If you use heavy pressure too soon, it will ruin the tooth of the paper and you won't have any green, and you won't be able to get very many layers. So just using a light hand circular motion, put the lightest color down first. Then I'm going to move to my next lighter color, which is actually pretty dark. But it's okay. We're going to use very light pressure. We're not gonna go too dark too soon. So using your reference photo, find the shadows or where the next darkest color is going to go and just very lightly start adding that to the layer. - You can see we're not using a heavy pressure. We're not filling up that tooth too early. You want a very light pressure, but we want to get some color pencils on the paper so that we could start blending Okay, so now I'm going to use a darker color. And down here is where the shadow is going to be. So I I'm going to add that darker blue to this area at the bottom again. Light pressure. You don't need to use heavy pressure at this point. We're just getting some color down onto the paper so that the mineral spirits will have something to blend. Very light pressure. You can even go over the light areas because when we blend it, it will will get lighter, but very, very light pressure. And it'll add this blue color to the original color that we put down first, but very gentle hand. Now I'm going to go back with the lightest blue color. Very lightly. Go over the lighter areas. We just keep layering color on the paper very lightly. Go over the darker areas as well. Okay, now we're going to do our first bland with the mineral spirits, so I'm going to use my brash. This'd isn't, um, a super soft brush, but it's it's not super stiff either. It's kind of in between you can you can see that. And then what I do is I transfer my mineral spirits into a little glass jar. You can use it straight out of the drawer if you want, but I suggest you transferring it to a glass jar. You just dip your brush into the mineral spirits, and I dab it on the edge to get some of the excess on. And if you feel like that's still too much, you can. You can use the cloth dab a little bit of the excess off of that. So now what we're going to do, I'm going to start down here in my darker colors, and we're just going to circular motions. Very gently. Rub that into the color that we just put down and you can see it's blending that in there, and it almost looks and feels like paint at this point. But it's not like paint. It's not paint. You're not gonna be able to, like blend. Blend this all the way up to there's very small areas very gently, a little bit at a time, and we're actually going to be doing this several times, So it's a matter of layering color pencils, blending, layering, more color pencil blending, and you can see that It's not really doing much of anything anymore, so that means we get more mineral spirits onto our brush there. Now you can see it's blending and up in this area you could see that I don't have the darker colors. It's just the lighter color, and you don't really see too much going on there just yet. But the more layers that we had in the more blending that we do, you will be able to see that it It's definitely blending in doing something thing. And then any time that you feel and see that it's not really doing anything, let's add more to breath. Squeeze it out on the side, very gently. Blend that together. Now this is what the first layer looks like. It doesn't look that great, and you might be thinking, What's going on? I don't like this. Well, it takes time, and it's a matter of adding color. Two layer blending, adding more color blending. It's a process. It's it's not gonna happen on the very first pass you build onto it so we let that dry. It doesn't take very long to dry it all, maybe a minute or so, and you can. You can kind of feel it. You don't want Teoh. Start adding more color pencil too soon. You do want to let that air out a little bit, but like I said, it's It's not like oil paints where you have to wait three days or anything like that. It's It's a matter of minutes. So will pause care, and we'll start them working on the next leg. 4. Layer 2: Okay, now that we've given that a minute or so to dry in the meantime, I sharpened some of my pencils here. I must say, I do love this fabric. Castell pencil sharpener, especially for the poly. I'm sorry. Not the polychrome us. The prisma color pencils. Other sharpeners tend Teoh break the lead. I haven't had a big problem with this fabric. Castell sharpener. So, um, that's something to consider if you're using Prisma color pencils, it is a wonderful sharpener. So again, we're going to start with the light color. It's not as light as what I started out with its It's a little bit darker, but it's still light. We're going to use very soft pressure. Circular motion on. We're gonna add more color to this next layer. You'll notice that the paper feels a little smoother now. After you have blended with the mineral spirits. It doesn't feel as rough as it did at the very beginning. When there were, there was nothing on it because you're you're starting to add the pencils to the tooth of the paper, so you'll notice that it starts to feel smoother and smoother and so you can adjust your pressure accordingly. If you need to press a little bit harder, you can, but just just don't go in weight too hard. It will ruined the tooth of the paper, and you won't be able to add any more layers to. It kind of ended up with a mass at that point. So just patient light handed, adding, blending, rinse and repeat. Just kidding. There's no rinsing involved. Okay, Next darker car. Gentle. But you can already see that it's starting, starting to be more dark and the shadows air starting to be more parent. I actually wasn't a fan of this method at the beginning, but I discovered that once you start using different paper and different combinations, I mean different pencils with different paper. You'll see that it acts differently, depending on the papers that you're using and the pencils that you're using. If using polychrome owes its going to be a little bit different than the prisma color. If you're using the Bristol smooth paper, it's going to react differently than then this paper that I'm using and I have found for me personally for this project that I'm working on now, the artistic Oh Fabbiano, £140 watercolor paper with the prisma colored pencils was a winner with the GAM saw mineral spirits. It really lended itself well now for the darker color still using gentle pressure way. Want to get some color down? But way don't want toe just that you know my force it in there. We want to do this in layers. Okay, now that we have so more color down, let's do mineral spirits again for this layer. Same process. Load up your brush, squeeze it out. Very small. Circular motions blend that layer in. Zoom in. Maybe because you'll be able to see this pretty well. You could see the roughness of the paper blend with mineral spirits. You'll see how that that pushes that down into the paper and blends in college. It's very nice, and when you see and feel that it's it's not. It's blending as much as it wasn't beginnings. Load up your brush, squeeze it out. Keep working. Now there's will drag color because they don't want to get really for bit. Look, you can see that it will drag that con. You have an area that you want to keep light, do you keep in mind? Um, if it's beside a dark color, not not to drag it unless you want to. But if you want to keep that lighter color, don't don't trying the darker color into it way right. So you see No, we're building up and we're going to let that dry for a few minutes and I'll be right back . 5. Layer 3: I think it's safe now to continue, are layering. I'm going to use the light blue, and again you'll notice that the paper is even more smooth than it was the last time. That's okay. That just means we're building up color. So you might need to use a little more pressure than you did on the last player to add that color into their. Now, you can see that the lighter color pencil is also blending the colors together. And that's what you want. - You can see the colors just keep getting richer and darker, the more you add the layers and blend. It makes very nice technique still using gentle pressure. But you could see that it doesn't take much now. T adds color to these layers, takes very, very light pressure, and that color goes down very smoothly and darkest, darkest color. This is the indigo you want to really try to avoid using black, Even though the shadow in your reference voters might look black, it's probably not this Indigo Blue is a very nice color to get a very, very dark shadow without using black. Even if we weren't doing blueberries, even if we were you know, doing something else. Uh, this this indigo blue is a very nice color to use for shadows. You'll find that if you use black for your shadows, you can end up look looking very, very flat your overall drawing when you add other colors to it. Very, very dark colors other than black, it tends to add depth. That's just something to keep in mind, and you can see the paper is not taking is much of the pencil. Is it used to When we first like when we first started? Because we're filling in that green, you have to be careful when you wipe away because that that will smudge on your paper. So take a finger and very gently lift that offer. There you could use a clean brush toe, wipe it away. But just just be aware that if you smear it like that toe, wipe it away. It can leave streaks, so that's not always desirable. Probably never desirable. Okay, let's blend. You can see I used multiple colors in this shadow area, and you might not have been able to tell. But once you start blending with the mineral spirits, you could see the differences in those colors that were there. So, for example, if I were to add a red or any other color into that shadow, once you blend it, it really like, brings that out. And it wouldn't have been a parent if we had to use the mineral spirits right in here, I noticed, Really brings out the rich news in that color you can follow instead of circular motions. If you know this shape, you know you can follow that that shape, like that small area you can. Like I said, you don't want to bring the dark into the light so you just use the small circular motions to keep that dark in place. I just saw that I flipped my. It's starting to come along very nicely, starting to plan very, very nicely on. You don't need very much of the mineral spirits. Like I said, if you it's not like water with paints, you don't want to just dip that in there and then take it straight to your paper. You don't want it to be wet. You just need a hint. That's why I squeeze it out on the sides. Or use the Kloss to dab it. It's not like water with watercolor or acrylic. It's very subtle, A little bit goes a long way. And even though it is odorless, if you can crack a window or have a fan, that's always not a bad idea. But it's not 100% necessary. It really doesn't smell it all. And if you do transfer it to a smaller container, you might want to mark the side of the container. What it ISS because it looks like water and it really doesn't have a smell. So if you have containers of water on your art table, you might want to mark them so that you know which one is which you wouldn't want to be putting water on your color pencil work. You wouldn't want to be putting these with watercolors, not thes. You wouldn't want to be putting the mineral spirits on your watercolor either. So marking I'm isn't a bad idea. Okay, that's not bad. Down. Let's that dry a few minutes and 6. Final Layer: all right, that's dry. Let's continue with the next layer. And like the other layers, you'll notice each layer that we put on. It gets smoother and smoother because we're really filling up that paper with the colored pencil. So probably do one more layer. And that might be enough for the effect that I'm looking for. So again, you'll notice you might have to use a little more pressure than you were using earlier. And you can see the light colored pencil blending it blends in with the other colors. - I'm actually going to go over the darker colors very lightly, a little bit with this light colored. See this Now you'll notice. Look, look how rich and nice we can get those shadows. Color just starts to go on really smooth. Really nice, very lithe. It's a little harder because I know shadow area in my reference Voter is almost black. - Look how nice and rich that shadow is becoming, but this paper is getting pretty smooth now, so I don't know how many more layers I'll be able to add to this shadow. I don't think I'll have to do that. Looks pretty. Looks pretty good, right now, this area here is the darkest. But again you'll see how the wax starts to push away, and you want to get that off their dab it with your finger to take a okay . That's maybe way might not have to use more mineral spirits. We might be able to blend it with this lighter color working. All right, I think that should do it. So now you know how to blend color pencil with odorless mineral spirits. I hope this is something that you will use another technique that you'll be able to try with your color pencils. And, you know, looking at your work, you can tell the difference between the one we just did. And here's when I did previously, but you could see where I could probably add add more color and blend one more time on this blueberry here so that it starts looking like these other ones that have been blended a little more like we did on this one. So you can see you can see the difference between this one and this one. The amount of blending Okay. Thank you for watching. I hope this is something that you will be able to utilize and stay tuned for the project 7. Assignment : your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to blend colored pencils with odorless mineral spirits. You can either do a whole art piece or just to a practice sheet with various shapes or something like that. Just try the technique and let me know what you think. Don't forget to upload your assignment to the project section of this class. I would love to see your work. Thank you for watching and have fun.