For over two years now, I’ve been coloring. It started as a soothing activity, and quickly became a full-fledged hobby. I really enjoy experimenting with different brands and varieties of colored pencils, pens, and markers. I’ve learned a lot about color perception and coloring techniques in the past two years.
Now is a wonderful time to get started coloring. Media prices have dropped significantly in the two years since I began, and the hobby is relaxing as ever. Here are a few artists I enjoy and the colored pencils I like to work with:
- Johanna Basford is probably the most widely know and overall popular coloring book artist out there. Her detailed and crisp nature scenes are a pleasure to color.
- Millie Marotta is another well known coloring book artist. She illustrates animals made up of smaller shapes, which can instigate interesting experiments in gradients.
- Another wonderful artist is Scandanavian Hanna Karlzon. Her drawings are nature based, bejeweled scenes. A terrific choice if you like bright and clear colors.
- Marco Raffine colored pencils, 72 pack are great for the beginner colorist. While they don’t color as smoothly and easily as higher-end pencils, they still lay down color nicely and blend fairly well. As they are oil based, gamsol is terrific to use as a blending agent, but a white pencil or blender pencil will do the job.
- The Prismacolor colored pencils, set of 150 is fabulous for the more serious beginner or intermediate coloring artists. A dream to blend these wax based hues, with or without the blender pencils. Favored by many colorists.
With Derwent ColourSoft pencils, set of 72, you can experience the quality of the legendary brand. One of the easiest to blend pencils I’ve encountered.
- Faber Castell Polychromos, set of 120 are a favorite of colorista extraordinare, Peta Hewitt, and me. While Peta prefers to blend using the oil-based pencils themselves (at which she is adept), I love using gamsol for my blending. Simply stunning results, either way.
- For the intermediate to advanced colorist who hasn’t found the perfect pencil yet, I recommend Caran D’Ache Luminance series. They’re known as the Mercedes of colored pencils, and the price tag can be shocking when you consider the complete range is 76 pencils. These pencils blend smoothly and have superior light-fastness.
As for specialty colored pencils, I have two recommendations:
- Koh-I-Noor Tri-Tone colored pencils have three varigated colors in a single pencil, making it easy to add depth and variety to your coloring. For an example, see the photo on the left.
- Add a little shine and pizzazz to your picture with Derwent Metallic pencils, set of 12. These also work like watercolor pencils, if you’re interested in that effect.
In upcoming blog posts, I plan to discuss colored pencil techniques, review markers and gel pens and suggest the best things to color with those. For now, you can explore my idea list on Amazon, Color Me Creative.