Monday, July 7, 2014

Prismacolor pencils swatch

I love drawing, and as much as I love drawing I love coloring with color pencils. Before I always colored with Faber Castell pencils. These color pencils are just great. Seriously. I made a lot of drawings with them and I always thought that I would never change the brand. Well, that was until I discover the gamsol technique and they don’t work as well as I expected. I had several Prismacolor pencils and those blended easier and better than the Faber Castell ones. Since I am doing most of my coloring using this technique and on stamped images, I decided to change to Prismacolor. What I discovered using this pencils is that I will use them a lot, but I would never change my Faber Castell color pencils if I am going to make a realistic painting. They are really soft. 

Using Prismacolor pencils is great but, since I have the tin of 132 colors, I needed a system to organize the colors. I don’t know why, but some of the pencils seem to be one color and then you paint and it is a very different color. So I printed a Prismacolor pencil chart and I colored each one of them and then blend it to get the color that I would get if I use it. 

The chart is very useful, but I found that it was a little complicated some time. First, if I was looking for a color, I needed to go by number or by name and the chart is not sort neither by number or alphabetical order. So what I did was create a couple of charts to help me better to find the pencils. I don’t know why, but when I did the sort in alphabetical order, my cream pencil is at the top of the chart. I realized when it was already printed so…it will stay there forever. I am not in the mood of wasting paper. 

Second, although coloring each color in the chart is helpful, I needed a better way to find my colors. I searched and I found and example of swatch for copics that Alicia Redshaw has in her blog. I don’t have copics but this system is perfect for any colored pencils anyway. So I started one day making the swatch and I finished the next day. It is a lot of work, but definitely worth it. I had to cut the paper, make the holes, paint every pencil in every piece of paper, blend it, add the number, the color name…but it is one of the things I have used the most since I made it. 

It doesn’t only help me to decide the colors I am going to use in my coloring, but it helps me to find the right color to go with a patterned paper. If you have the time, you love your color pencils and you use them often, you need to do something like this. You won’t regret it. 

So what am I going to do next? I will probably look for some beautiful color combinations and use the color swatch to find the right pencils, and design new cards with them.  I organized my pencils by number but the box where they are is not very convenient when you are coloring often if they are organized this way, so I will probably make something to storage them better at any point. 


  1. That is such a great idea to have the colors in swatches instead of using a chart. The chart helps keep track of your inventory but the swatch would certainly make it easier to choose a color combo to work with. Did you blend them all with mineral spirit? That's a lot of work! I think I'll just blend half the swatch. :-) Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thanks Candida! It took me a long time, a couple of days at least to blend everything. The good thing is that you can do it little by little :)


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