Illustration with Colored Pencils

Supplies: Colored pencil set, #2 pencil, sharpener, eraser, clipboard with paper to fit it (6"x9"or9"x12", 80 lb. white sulfite).
Note: Detailed illustration with colored pencil can be adapted to most any curriculum - science, mapping, story and report illustrations. Colored pencils are tidy and good for travel.
  1. With clipboard and colored pencil kit in hand, take a walk with the students to find an outdoor location of interest. Rural landscapes, urban streets, school buildings, vehicles, people, or plant life can all make interesting pictures.
  2. Make a light sketch with pencil or colored pencil to organize the composition. Notice that trees or buildings in the distance appear smaller than those close to the viewer.
  3. Varied techniques can be used with colored pencils:
    1. An even colored field can be achieved by using the side of the colored pencil with overlapping strokes.
    2. To gain a combination color, use the side of the pencil and with light pressure, overlap different colors.
    3. Try the tip of the pencil and press hard for dark colors.
    4. Make a texture by pressing hard with one color of pencil, then going over it lightly with a different color, using the side of the pencil. Note that the textured color stands out.
    5. Gradual shading from dark to light can be achieved by changing the pressure on the pencil. On a sphere or curved shape colors get darker as they recede from the viewer.
    6. Lines close to one another that are all in one direction have a different effect than pencil lines that go in multiple directions.
  4. Fill the entire page with illustration as if taking a layered journey in what you are viewing. Leave very little white space on the picture. Experiment with contrasts of dark and light areas. Add in shadows. Notice the sky.
  5. Mount the finished illustration on matte board.


    ©   Deborah Padrick   2001