Brands: Prismacolor, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Derwent Inktense
Inks: pigment, dye, hybrid
Cardstock: smooth (Bristol, Neenah)
The next medium I’m going to go over is probably one of the most popular amongst crafters: colored pencils. Before I ever even knew what alcohol markers were, colored pencils were my go to coloring utensil. In the crafty world, it seems brands like Prismacolor and Polychromos are the most popular. Prismacolor colored pencils are made up of a soft wax core that provide a smooth application of color that also allows for easy blending. Polychromos are made up of slightly harder, lightfast oil based pigment, also resulting in fantastic blending.
Card stock is useful when using colored pencils in order to achieve a good result. Because layering is the best way to achieve a good blend, a smooth cardstock like Neenah Classic Crest or Bristol Smooth, allows for chalky smooth application of color.
Still, with any colored pencil on cardstock, results can seem a bit grainy due to the nature of the pigment on the tooth of the cardstock. If you prefer a smoother look, it is important to work in light layers and keep your pencils sharp. But another option is to go over your coloring with gamsol and a blending stump. Gamsol is an odorless mineral spirit that is useful in melting the pigments and removing some of the “static” look.
Alternatives for gamsol include baby oil, rubbing alcohol, Vaseline, Prismacolor blending marker/pencil, Zest-It, and a Copic colorless blender.
Using colored pencils in combination with other coloring mediums is also a great way to add details to your colored images. Adding colored pencil to your alcohol marker and watercolored images can create awesome textures and vibrant highlights.