I will include links to these products at the end of this post
One of the best tools a colourist of any experience can have is a blending pencil.
There are different brands of these, but all are the same thing. A woodcased pencil containing colourless binder.
The binder is what varies from brand to brand – the Prismacolor blender contains colourless wax binder, the Derwent blender also contains a colourless wax binder (although not as soft) and the Lyra Splender Blender contains colourless oil based blender.
The purpose of blender pencils is to join the pigments of colour together, and the colourless binder means that the colour will be unchanged.
The same effect can be achieved with a white pencil, but this will lighten/dull the colour to varying degrees depending on the brand and pressure used.
I’ve used a Prismacolor Blender since my early days of colouring, with my cheapest pencils. That’s what I love about these – wax based blenders will work on all wax based pencils no matter the brand, and oil based blenders will work on all oil based pencils no matter the brand.
It’s an inexpensive, easy way to brighten and blend your colouring!
Blender pencils are very easy to use.
Colour as you normally would, and begin blending when you have added all the colour you want to a section, or you can complete the whole image before you blend if you want!
- Make sure it’s sharpened, colour as you usually would and then start blending!
- I find it easiest to go from light to dark, so the dark colours aren’t being dragged into the lighter colours.
- Move the pencil in circular motions for an even coverage, as you would with a normal pencil.
- When you have finished with a shade, colour or section, just scribble the pencil on a scrap piece of paper to ‘clean’ it!
Easy as pie!
I’ve included some before and after pictures of the three brands below – Prismacolor Blender, Derwent Blender and Lyra Splender Blender.
Each image has only one layer of pencil – the white spaces would be lessened with more layers.
This blender is my go-to as I find it easiest to use and it has the best results. As you can see in the example, it dos change the colour slightly, so make sure to test the colours before blending.
Using Prismacolor Cerulean Blue and Non – Photo Blue
This is a blender I find difficult to use. Others have had better results though. I find the pencil leaves slight grey marks on otherwise perfect paper, and needs more pressure for less results. This is my experience however, you may have an entirely different one!
Using Derwent Coloursoft Blue and Iced Blue.
Lyra Splender Blender
Lyra is the only manufacturer to produce an oil-based blender. Oil-based pencils tend to have better coverage than wax-based pencils. The Lyra Splender Blender has little effect on lighter colours, but does brighten darker colours up.
Using Lyra Rembrandt Polycolour Prussian Blue and Light Blue
I hope you find this article useful!
Prismacolor 72 Set on Amazon US (There are several sizes, ranging from 12 pencils to 150, but I found the 72 a great starter set!)
Derwent Coloursoft 36 set on Amazon US – Derwents answer to Prismacolor soft core. I will be reviewing these at a later date!
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