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Old 12-22-2016, 10:37 PM
CamoArt CamoArt is offline
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Smile Layering colored pencils

I have a question that has not been answered. I was curious on how you layer colored pencils. For example if i were layering 3 colors such as peach beige and brown would i put down peach- beige- brown-peach -beige -brown and repeat or do I do just one layer of each such as peach-beige -brown and thats it?I cant tell what people do in videos because they are always sped up. Any help would be much appreciated



Sincerely, CamoArt
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Old 12-23-2016, 01:15 AM
amorozova amorozova is offline
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Re: Layering colored pencils

CamoArt,
I was given an advice here to put layers with a light hand. So, I will put first a light layer of peach-beige-brown and then will strengthen with one of the colours that is more essential in drawing.
Hope I've put it understandable
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:54 AM
tiago.dagostini tiago.dagostini is offline
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Re: Layering colored pencils

Quote:
Originally Posted by CamoArt
I have a question that has not been answered. I was curious on how you layer colored pencils. For example if i were layering 3 colors such as peach beige and brown would i put down peach- beige- brown-peach -beige -brown and repeat or do I do just one layer of each such as peach-beige -brown and thats it?I cant tell what people do in videos because they are always sped up. Any help would be much appreciated



Sincerely, CamoArt


Both and even more. Each way you do it will have a different result. You need to have patience and learn your pencils. You will know what colors work better with other colors and on what order.
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Old 12-23-2016, 08:03 AM
Pingpongfan Pingpongfan is offline
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Re: Layering colored pencils

If you look at threads by Karen ESP, you will read that she uses lots and lots of layers. She lists all the pencils she uses in her WIPs. Her most recent WIP is Green Turtle which is not yet complete. Basically you have to keep on layering lightly until you have the desired saturation. As to what colours to layer, you will have to read lots of books and posts and do experiments until you start to instinctively know which colours to use.
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Old 12-23-2016, 11:09 AM
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Re: Layering colored pencils

Quote:
Originally Posted by CamoArt
I cant tell what people do in videos because they are always sped up.
I find this sooooo annoying and immediately exit any video that speeds up. What's the point of doing a tutorial video if it shows things at high speed? I always prefer to see how things are done at normal pace. That way no important details get lost and I can learn something. The viewer of the video can always fast-forward or skip-ahead if needed, so I really don't see the point of showing art tutorials at high speed.
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Old 12-23-2016, 01:39 PM
PermieW PermieW is offline
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Re: Layering colored pencils

I was watching a skin tones video. It was specifically showing how to achieve the tones but she does show her layering technique. The first part of the video (where she shows how she approaches it, is slower) and it's not sped up until she's repeated it several times already. I thought it was cool. I liked the technique but she does say that it isn't the only way to do it, just hers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHAxxcVeuQI&app=desktop
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Old 12-24-2016, 10:38 AM
marksmomagain marksmomagain is offline
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Re: Layering colored pencils

Practice layering techniques on different paper samples also.

I keep lots of little aceo and index card size papers and boards as references of my techniques, color mixtures, etc.
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:44 AM
CamoArt CamoArt is offline
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Re: Layering colored pencils

Thank you for all of your responses and any other suggestions are still welcome!
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Old 12-25-2016, 07:31 PM
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Re: Layering colored pencils

Layering is a tricky undertaking and very much depends on the brand of the medium you use, substrate, subject matter, style, and working habits. Each pencil medium, wax, watercolor, and so many other brands react differently (chemically) with the same brand and even so much more when mixing with other brands. Because of the pigment materials, binders, fillers, heavy metals, and cheaper ingredients there can be some very different and unexpected color changes. The density of color depends on the above, pressure of the medium used, and the smoothness or roughness of the substrate. All of these agents can have a dramatic effect on chroma, hue, and saturation. To include your working habits, sharpness of the drawing tool and many more minor activities can change the outcome of the layer.

As you can see experience is often the best teacher and sometimes a necessity.
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:30 AM
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Re: Layering colored pencils

You are getting lots of great advice here! Light layers, and play with your pencils and various surfaces. So many factors play into how colored pencils behave. Get some advice, and then experiment to see what works for you, your style of working, and the effect you are wanting to achieve.
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Old 12-26-2016, 11:51 AM
clydeine clydeine is offline
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Re: Layering colored pencils

I have put as many as 14 layers on bristol board smooth...very light layers and burnished lightly in between. Layers give you depth of color.. Depending on the subject I normally put three layers. Medium, light and dark of the same color for depth. I have so many pencils it's hard not to find the exact color I want but layering to change a color to another color like in watercolor is dueable..but why would you do it unless you dont have that specific color. The more pencils,, less layers you have and problems trying to achieve a color you dont have. An Icarus board, which melts the wax based pencils allows you to put as many colors on as you wish and mixes kind of like paint would. Anyway.. it takes time and practice to figure out layers when to do them when not to .. just like in watercolor.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:38 PM
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Re: Layering colored pencils

As everyone has said, it's all about trial and error & practice on lots of little test patches. I know when you start its hard to understand that there isn't a formula like mixing water colours or acrylics but with coloured pencils it isn't that simple.
I'm doing a drawing with masses of tropical green foliage ( a 1st for me) and I have used many greens along with payne's grey, purple, indigo as well as browns to tone down those unrealistic greens that Faber Castell makes. Prismacolor does have a far better range of colours but I don't like there quality now theyre made in the new place. Quality has dropped drastically!
I have found that what is working for me on this piece is to start with a very light layer of earth green 172 then very light layer earth green yellowish 168 and then vary it from there. So you see we all have to just try and test with each new drawing we do.
When I started I went to the library and took out as many books on coloured pencil as possible regardless of the topic just to find out colour mixes and I still go back to them HOWEVER my problem was they mainly worked with Prismacolor and those pencils work differently to my favoured polys and caran dache, hence I had to work it out for myself.
Sorry we all sound so unhelpful but there really isn't a simple answer just lots of confusion till you start getting the courage to try things
just give it a go and post what you're doing and if you want suggestions then ask as we will help if we can.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:35 AM
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Re: Layering colored pencils

I'm pretty much repeating what everyone else already said but you just have to start lightly and patiently. If you rush the first few layers and lay down the color too hard or unevenly the rest of the layers won't look that good either.

It's also a matter of understanding the semi-transparency of colored pencils. I often use purple to lay down cools shadows or red to lay down warm shadows etc. It won't flare up your earlier colors as the colors are not opaque.

I also use lighter colors a lot in the later stages to adjust things to my liking. I like to use Caran D'Ache Luminance white to smoothen things out as it lightens the colors and gives me some room for more adjustments. This also prevents the colors from becoming too saturated. I prefer a more delicate look to my works rather than using the colors of the rainbow.

The type of paper you use also makes a huge difference. So it's just trial and error here.

It's also worth the extra time to take note of the pencils you use and in which order you lay them down. I usually pick up the pencils I use and then lay them on the table or sideways in my Polychromos pencil case so I don't have to search for them every time. If I'm working over several different days then I might even write down the color names and sometimes even the order of using them.

I use watercolor as an underpainting these days so I don't use that many layers of colored pencil but I do also color coloring book pages which are obviously 100% colored pencil. Here is an example of color work for Lena Furberg's Måla Hästar book. I didn't want the picture to become all blue and yellow so I kept layering a lot of the more natural Luminance shades like Silver Grey and Steel grey on the background and snow and shades like Brown Ochre 10% and Burnt Ochre 10% on the horse. The deepest shadows on the horses were actually done with Sepia 50% which looks almost violet. I went over everything with Silver Grey as a final stage to wrap everything together. So really, there is no set order for using light vs. dark colors. You're just going have to experiment with it.

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Old 01-02-2017, 03:27 AM
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Ellis Ammons Ellis Ammons is offline
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Re: Layering colored pencils

Not sure if you got any solid answers.. As a general rule of thumb. From my xp it's best to start with the pencil that is closest to the value, hue and chroma you are going for. Then you tweak it a bit with this pencil or that.

Colored pencils are not like mixing paint. You only have so much room to build color due to paper having a tooth that will get filled up. And when you fill that tooth - that's it.. you can't do anymore without some advanced methods. Which is another discussion.

Oh and it's waay easyer to go darker than it is lighter.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:51 PM
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Re: Layering colored pencils

Thanks for posting this thread! Layering is a subject that mystified me. Now I understand what it is all about.
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