Colored Pencil Shading Tips For Adult Coloring Books: Basic Shading Tips With Color Pencils

Learning colored pencil shading techniques to use in adult coloring books is important. Highlights mentioned here will help you go a long way in achieving the results you’re seeking.

A couple of tricks will allow you to yield some beautiful effects with colored pencils. This will take a bit of practice, but a few tips will go a long way in producing gorgeous results. As Art-Made-Easy instructs, test various styles out by creating eight squares on a piece of paper to practice.

One of the most popular colored pencil shading techniques is “side-to-side.” It’s a more naturally-controlled technique requiring a light-handed style. Colors form gradually with ease.

A wide range of techniques can be used for colored pencil shading in adult coloring books. A lot of vibrant colors alone or combined with others make give great results (Photo Credit: hotblack/Morgue File).

Allowing yourself to practice more involved techniques makes a difference in how well the color blends during shading. This dictates how intense the coverage on the paper will be. Using the pointy part of the pencil lead produces a more concentrated shaded appearance. Using the side of the pencil lead covers a broader portion of the area that you’re shading with the colored pencils. For adult coloring books with larger spaces to color in between, this is more practical. The main difference being that side shading like this will have more open, coarser sections.

Broader shading on the side is nice because it leaves less permanent pencil strokes. This is especially nice if you intend to blend colors — or decide to erase any of it. Additionally, it allows for more even tone.

Colored pencil techniques for your adult coloring book is about the overall effect you’re aiming for. That’s the nice thing about art, there is no right or wrong way as long as you’re pleased with the outcome.

“Circular” motions is another colored pencil shading technique. In doing this, small, light circular strokes are executed. For this, be sure your pencil is very sharp for best results.

“Crosshatching” is a technique in which you take your pencil and make lines across one another in vertical and horizontal strokes. These entail short strokes on both parts. This colored pencils shading tip is ideal for a more “uniform” look. It’s great when using two different colors of colored pencils in your coloring book.

Colored pencil shading in an adult coloring book (Photo Credit: zArtz Adult/YouTube screenshot).

“Graduated tone” shading with colored pencils can be done with two pencils of a similar color — with one being lighter than the other. It’s a lighter effect with the same color, giving contrast. It adds some depth to the color with the side technique, starting with the area where you desire to have the color appear darkest. As you go along, the color should be less intense as you lighten the color. Blend the colors together once you reach the lighter shade you’re seeking. By the time you’re complete with that section, one area will appear much lighter than the other with appealing contrast in between. Blending some of the strokes together will bring it together nicely.

Another colored pencil shading technique is “burnishing.” This works best by getting a very light or neutral blender to smooth out colors and minimize visible pencil strokes. It gives better results than your fingers and allows for more control. An additional option for this is a paper stump tool.

“Blot” instead of rub with your eraser. Erasing can be messy and it can really ruin a coloring book page if portions of your shading have thick layers. Rubbing can leave smear marks or press colors. As an alternative, gently blot erase for highlighting, effects.

Think of colors besides black-and-white for highlighting and adding shade. Colored pencils shading techniques require more than these two colors. For instance, think to use yellows for pale highlights or rich blue and lavender colors for darker toned highlights. This will help in bringing about beautiful highlights in your adult coloring books.

[Image via Cohdra/Morgue File]