View Full Version : What's the ONE piece of advice . . .

01-10-2008, 03:06 PM
. . . you would give to other colored pencil artists based upon what you've learned?

For me, it would definitely be, push the darks. Darks are your friend, and I never pushed them enough when I was starting out. It was a huge jump forward for me when I befriend my black and dark umber pencils.

01-10-2008, 03:32 PM
Don't give up....keep trying to push yourself and don't be afraid to try something new--if you get stuck there are plenty of people here that can help support you.

01-10-2008, 03:43 PM
The paper won't bite you.

Sometimes a blank white sheet of paper can be intimidating. But just work on it, the paper won't hurt you, and if you really mess up, just get an new paper.

01-10-2008, 03:49 PM
Keep the pencil point sharp...

01-10-2008, 03:52 PM
Get into the feel of the pencil. There's a certain sensory satisfaction about using a pencil. Relish it!

01-10-2008, 03:56 PM
I would say don't be afraid of the colors.. we have 120 for a reason. Use them to creat new colors...layer, layer, layer... lift, lift, lift.

I love my pencils.

01-10-2008, 05:14 PM
Then - when ye got all the above down - Don't Be Afraid To Use Yer Imagination.....

01-10-2008, 06:05 PM
It's okay to use an eraser. And the sides of your pencil. And a flat "point" pencil.

Okay, that's 3.

01-10-2008, 06:23 PM
Build up your colour in layers instead of trying to cover in one or two sweeps and always sharpen your pencil very frequently.... one tip is to roll the pencil in your fingers as you stroke, it will help maintain a sharp point longer...

01-10-2008, 07:24 PM
The best advice for someone *new* to cp would be (imo): Read the Colored Pencil Library from start to finish - you won't get a more in-depth, rewarding (and entertaining) cp course anywhere else.


01-10-2008, 08:19 PM
My advice from experience is work slow, theres no rush becuase it isn't going anywhere, then you will find better results.

01-10-2008, 08:49 PM
For me it's this...if you are reading this and have been lurking for more than...lets say a couple of weeks, get out your pencils and start a thread. Take the plunge, participate and get your work into the eyes of those that can help you start to grow as an artist. Keep an open mind and accept C&C for what it is, a chance to learn. See ya in the Forums! :wave:

01-10-2008, 09:13 PM
It's great to admire the works of others, but don't be afraid to develop your own personal style.

01-10-2008, 09:21 PM
All good points so far!
While spontaneity has it's place, planning ahead is a valuable lesson (one I'm still learning). Planning ahead doesn't have to inhibit creativity. They do work hand in hand.

01-11-2008, 05:25 AM
.....You've come to the right place!


01-11-2008, 07:44 AM
For me it would be: Don't over-think eveything that you're doing.

cp can be a time-consuming medium and I believe because of that we tend/ have the opportunity to nit-pick every...little...thing. That's when mistakes start happening. It's good to think about what you're doing but it can also be useful to let it come naturally and have fun, that's what art's all about! :D


01-11-2008, 08:34 AM
Learn to see the colours in your piece. Don't try to replicate exactly what is in front of you.

01-11-2008, 09:23 AM
Remember that this is only advice! Feel free to ignore it if it doesn't fit your way of working or your vision. What matters is that you, the artist, is happy with the results.


01-11-2008, 10:37 AM
There's not one way to work. Experiment with different papers or supports and find the one that works the way you do instead of trying to work like someone else. :)

01-11-2008, 01:02 PM
Use color, push the darks, layer, layer, layer and post your works in progress for critique and suggestions. Well that is four things--but it is one sentence! ;)

01-11-2008, 01:02 PM
Don't ever think you're too good in your craft to stopping learning. Trust me. I learned that THE HARD WAY.

Also...read Wetcanvas. :lol:

01-11-2008, 02:39 PM
Great advice from everyone but I'm sure there's more! C'mon people . . . :D

01-11-2008, 04:21 PM
Squint to cut back on all the visual clutter at least in the beginning. This will give you your values and your edges.

01-11-2008, 04:25 PM
Squint to cut back on all the visual clutter at least in the beginning. This will give you your values and your edges.

& wrinkles... believe me!

01-11-2008, 05:12 PM
Ooooh, I could think of a lot of things...but....my advice is:

You won't get any better until you put the pencil to the paper and do the work. You can read all you want, buy all the books you want... but that isn't going to make you improve until you put it into practice.:thumbsup:

01-11-2008, 05:21 PM
Hmm..not one for giving much advice (as many of you know...lol) and I can't say there's one thing and only one thing... everything is important.

Although I will "ditto" what Cindy just wrote: do something, anything and practice, practice, practice! "Enjoy" what you do, learn from your mistakes and marvel in your successes <--- Can't get there, until you start.


01-11-2008, 10:52 PM
My advice would be to NOT linger too long on any one area. Don't over-THINK an area, just go ahead and lay the color down. Don't be afraid to make mistakes--if you don't make mistakes, you'll never figure out what to do correctly.

What I find in my older students is that they tend to second-guess themselves. This can eat away at you. IT'S ONLY COLOR! LET LOOSE!!!!

01-11-2008, 11:30 PM
& wrinkles... believe me!

:lol: ... and maybe a headache if you do it long enough.

01-12-2008, 11:15 AM
Experiment mixing colors and use complements for shading. :D Wanda

01-12-2008, 11:22 AM
Do a couple of very small pictures and push them untill they are a muddied mess! This way you'll learn a bit faster what works and what does not. :)

01-12-2008, 04:28 PM
don't be afraid to take a risk and do something what makes you uncomfortable: abstracts, large size etc
don't be afraid of pushing contrasts, darks and brights.
don't be afraid to make mistakes.

01-13-2008, 07:45 AM
I agree with Janie Gildow, who says “All the technique in the world won’t make up for bad composition.” When planning a complex piece that will consume many hours, take all the time you need up front to develop an interesting and workable design. Pay special attention to how the colors and configuration of foreground and background elements will work together.

01-13-2008, 06:57 PM
I think for me the best advice I can give is to plan, plan, plan, it will save you lots of trouble as you move through the painting with colored pencil. Also, don't be afraid to take chances, spur of the moment changes make our work interesting, and last but not least, don't be afraid to break the rules. Sometimes doing what isn't done, produces the greatest paintings....!!!! Happy painting everyone.

01-14-2008, 09:25 AM
Sign in to Wetcanvas!!! For me I had to learn to listen, then draw what I see.....not what my brain tells me I should see. Rick

01-14-2008, 09:39 AM
This was a great idea for a thread, Maggie. Thanks for starting it!

Would this make a good sticky, or addition to the library?

01-14-2008, 10:54 AM
Get up and walk away from your drawing every once in a while. Coming back to it with fresh eyes helps you see it new again...or look at it in a mirror, you will see some things a bit differently which may help solve a problem...

Mary Woodul
01-14-2008, 11:38 AM
Don't worry about ruining a piece it is part of the learning process.

01-14-2008, 09:16 PM
Hi Mary :wave: - could / should we put this in the library?

01-15-2008, 04:08 AM
one more thing.

values... they are the most important in the composition. They are vital! Not color.
Values refer to light and dark in every drawing and painting, the whole range of tones from light to dark and back.
Strong value, soft value, dark value, light value etc. Anyone of these need to have some kind of dominant roll in the drawing. There needs to be at least one dominant value to make the image interesting.

i tend to forget this, because of the lovely colors which are availible to me. And it is so easy to get lost in color.

so i realized this.
-if the values are correct even with the 'wrong' colors the painting still stands.
-if the values are 'not correct' no matter what perfect, matching colors you have chosen, the painting always will miss something.

Mary Woodul
01-15-2008, 08:02 AM
Hi mahla! Judy and I take care of different things in the CP forum and it has been Judy that has been in charge of the CP Library and I am sure she will add it at it's appropriate time.:)

Arizona Loki
01-15-2008, 08:13 AM
Wow! What a wealth of information and encouragement in this thread. Now I know why I was compelled to log in today :) . My advice for newbies is if you've got the itch, scratch it! Something inside you has pushed you far enough to find this forum for a reason. Still the voice in your head and just start in on your drawing...then post it and grow as an artist! :thumbsup:

01-15-2008, 07:18 PM
The most important lesson I learned was to push the darks. When I think I'm done, push a little darker. You need a full range of values.


01-18-2008, 05:53 AM
Consider all your work as practice and have fun doing it. That way you are not too dissapointed when it didnt work out you wanted it to and you are really happy when it looks great. (Guess this advice doesnt apply if you have to do a commission piece)


01-19-2008, 05:21 AM
in order of importance
1. join the cp forum in wetcanvs
2. Quality materials are a MUST. you don't want to attribute the lack of quality in your final product for user error when the problem is really material flaws.
3.if you find yourself becoming unhappy with the progress of apiece that you formerly were pleased with, WALK AWAY, put it out of sight for at least a whole day before reevaluating your progress. you will be surprised how much a piece will change when its all alone by itself for a while.

there's three that i believe attribute to my ongoing love of this medium. If it had to be only one though i guess it would have to be the first one though because the second two are here amongst the rest of wonderful info!

01-19-2008, 09:51 AM
Number #2 - quality materials is a must! I started with Crayola pencils and suffered unnecessarily with bad habits for months.