3 Colored Pencil Blending Stump Challenge

by Wendi OBrien
Precious Moments


Strathmore Toned Tanned Sketch Paper

Polychromos Colored Pencils:  101 White, 199 Black, 280 Burnt Umber

Blending Stump

Pencil Sharpener

Kneaded Eraser

Tombo Mono Eraser (optional)

The Challenge

I thought it would be fun to take on the challenge of creating a realistic art piece using only 3 colored pencils and a blending stump.

When working with limited supplies you sometimes have to think outside the box and come up with creative ways to make the most of your supplies. 

Choosing the Supplies

Since my pencils were limited, I decided to use toned paper to be able to build additional values that would not otherwise be available to me.  This in turn limited the type of texture in was going to be able to achieve. 

I used this to my advantage and decided to go with a vintage grainy photographic appearance when looking up close but realistic when looking from afar.

This is a nod to the old masters where when you look at their art work up close you don’t really see the beauty of the picture…just the brush strokes and paint colors. 

You really don’t get to fully appreciate the piece until you step back and look at it from afar.  That was my goal for this piece.

So I started with Strathmore toned tanned paper and polychromos black, burnt umber and white.  I chose polychromos because of their make up and the fact that they are a transparent pencil and are able to move around the paper easily with blending stumps.

Getting Started

I used the paper as a mid to mid light tone and based everything off of that.  I started with the burnt umber and blocked in my darker areas.  I built up my color and blended a bit to smooth things out. 

I continued to build color adding in black to the darkest areas and going over it with the burnt umber.  This tones the back and gives it a dark brown appearance.

I faded out the burnt umber into the toned paper and allowed the paper to show through much of the shading and highlights to get nice transitions between all the tones and values.  I only added white for the brightest areas fading it out into the toned paper allowing the paper to show through the transition.

By working back and forth in this manner with these colors I was able to achieve a vintage style sepia appearance of a photograph. 

Viewing the Artwork

When viewed from a distance it ends up looking realistic, but as you move closer you start to see the vintage photographic style coming through.

By using the texture and color of the paper to my advantage with the limited color pallet and only a blending stump I was able to achieve this look and consider this challenge to be a success.

That’s a Wrap

Let me know in the comments what you think and if this is a style or challenge you would try.

Until next time keep on arting!

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Solve : *
26 + 23 =