Sunday, October 8, 2017

Favorite Colored Pencils Combos - DT Nancy

Hello friends! It's Nancy with the DT back with you to talk colored pencils. As a new feature of the Craftin' Desert Divas blog, each week the design team will tackle a topic to answer questions, share tips and tricks, or share our favorites. This week we are sharing our favorite Copic marker combos. But Nancy, you said we are talking colored pencils today. That's right. Because I do not use Copic markers at this time. My coloring medium is exclusively colored pencils.

So I thought today we would discuss not only my go to color combos, but similarities and differences of two different brands of pencils. Most people don't know that typically if you see a layout from me, the images have been colored using good old inexpensive Crayola colored pencils. What?! That's right. The brand that many of us grew up with is the brand I use most often. Why? Well, I travel with my pencils every day. Each morning I pack them up and take them to work with me. And when time allows, I color my images. When you carry your supplies with you, it's a great idea to have a "travel set" of supplies that are good for on the go. Also, if you lose or break these you don't want to have to worry about spending a lot of money to replace them.

These are my most used color combinations.  I love the pack of 50 Crayola Pencils. This set gives the widest variety of colors, and gives you shades within each color to blend with.  Now you may have heard that Crayolas just won't blend. This is not entirely true. Crayola pencils are wax based and as far as a wax based colored pencil goes, they have the most wax. That is the main reason they are so inexpensive. The amount of wax in the pencil is what makes if difficult to blend. I have found that if you color in opposite directions or use a blending pencil, you will be able to blend these pencils. For the blending pencil in both examples I will be using the Prismacolor Colorless Blender. There are other blending mediums available.

Today we are using images from  Frightfully Sweet. My go to color combination for skin tones is Tan and Peach. I use Tan around the outside edges of the face and fill in with Peach. This is one of the colors that I do not use a blender with because the colors get muddy.

For the broom, I used Harvest Gold (my all-time favorite Crayola Pencil), Light Brown, and Brown. Occasionally, if I need an even darker brown color, I use Light Brown, Brown, and Dark Brown.

Any time I am looking for a deeper purple I use Lilac, Orchid, and Violet. Now probably the biggest draw back to these pencils is that Lilac and Orchid have more of a pink/red base, and Violet has a blue base. This leads to some blending challenges. I usually start with a light layer of Lilac, then start to fill in some of the shadows with Orchid. Then I cover the Orchid with Violet. I then use the blending pencil to break down the wax, and push the color pigments together. I then go back with more Orchid to even out the color.

Next are the greens. I use this color almost exclusively for greens. It's Lime Green, Yellow Green, and Green. I follow the same steps as with the purples. Color until finished.

Now on to our next brand of pencils. Probably one the best known pencils for art is the Prismacolor Premier brand. These are a wax based pencil that has much less wax than Crayola. They have a wide range of colors, including skin tones and greys. These pencils will run you aprroximately 3x times the price of the Crayolas for the same size set. Now, some of the benefits to these pencils is that since they have less wax, they blend easier with or without a colorless blending pencil. They also have lead the is glued all the way through the pencil. That way you don't have as many issues with huge pieces of lead falling out when you sharpen them. I am using color combinations that are the most similar to the Crayola combinations in this example.

My favorite skin combo (at this time), is Deco Orange 1010 and Light Peach 927. Now, I have had my set of Prismacolor pencils for a long time, and it appears that Deco Orange is no longer part of their color lineup. Peach 939, works just as well. I don't use the blender on faces here either, for the same reason as above.

For the browns here, I used Dark Brown 946 and Burnt Ochre 943. I limited myself to 2 browns due to the size of the image. 

For the purples, I used Lilac 956, Dahlia Purple 1009, and Violet 932. I used the from lightest to darkest, same as the first example. I followed with the blending pencil to minimize my pencil strokes and have seamless blending between the colors.

For the greens, I used Spring Green 913, Apple Green 912, and Grass Green 909. I used the blender at the end, and then followed with a bit more Grass Green to intensify the color.

For the straw on the broom I used Goldenrod 1034, Burnt Ochre 943, and Dark Brown 946 blended with the colorless blender.

Comparison of the finished images with both sets of colors. You can clearly see that the Prismacolor pencils give a more intense color. They also do that with less pencil pressure and effort as compared to the Crayola.

Another comparison showing the vampire troll using both sets of pencils.

Now what fun is coloring all these images if we don't use them?? Since it's October, we have to have a Halloween Spread in our planner. And possibly a bonus project to use the entire month!!

These are my finished projects using the images we colored and a few more from the Frightfully Sweet set. I challenge you to tell me which set of pencils was used. Can you tell the difference? Let me know in the comments or reach out to me in the CDD Gallery or on Instagram @nancy_finch.  Until next time, thanks for joining me!!!

Supplies Used:


  1. Great tips and projects! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I would say you used the Prisma pencils ?

    1. Actually I used the Crayolas for this project. But you can see how they work interchangeably.

  3. Thank you so much, Nancy, for such an informative post. I also have Crayola colored pencils. Now I know how to use them! The comparison was great.


    1. You're very welcome Evelyn. I'm glad I could give you some useful information!


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