Colored pencils are easy to work with, portable, and affordable, and they can produce a diverse mix of textures, color densities, and finished looks. If you prefer a looser, sketched look to your artwork, use cold-pressed paper (shown here) and bolder strokes with less layering to allow the paper surface to peek through. If you lean toward a more painterly appearance, choose hot-pressed paper (shown here), layer extensively, and apply firm pressure to achieve a polished finish.

With unlimited subject and style possibilities, colored-pencil artists can achieve stunning results with just a few techniques. We concern ourselves with pencil pressure, stroke direction, and color layering. It’s really as basic as that! Pressure affects whether ...

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