The "Magic Wand" of Mixed-Media Supplies

Chances are, you have a stash of art studio supplies with varying degrees of use. Your watercolor paints might be your go-to medium for every art journal background, and you may be depleting the ink in your favorite markers. No doubt there are other mixed-media art supplies that intrigue you, but they stay unused because you’re not sure how to maximize their qualities.

Jane Davenport’s Supply Stash Series of Art Lessons explains in depth how to use a variety of mixed-media supplies. Each lesson focuses on a different medium, offering an overview of how and when to use it. There’s also an exclusive companion technique video within the download. To celebrate the Interweave Art Lesson sale (download them at 35% off!), here’s a preview of Jane’s tutorial on how to use colored pencils.

How to use mixed media supplies (colored pencil) |
Jane highly recommends adding a variety of Prismacolor colored pencils to your stash of mixed-media supplies.

Make the Most of Your Mixed-Media Supplies: Colored Pencil Tips by Jane Davenport

I think of colored pencils as magic wands. It’s as if all you need to do is wave them at paper and lovely things happen. As a result of their magical powers, I have collected virtually every brand of colored pencil available.

Colored pencils are so efficient, self-contained, and portable that creating with them is a breeze. They are very often the first art supply we’re given as children, and because of that, sometimes colored pencils are not given the respect they deserve. I aim to change that.

Colored Pencils for Sketching
I rarely use graphite to draw and I encourage all my workshop students to give it up as well, at least for my classes. This is because colored pencils are difficult to erase, which encourages you to learn to live with your marks. I believe being able to erase can bring out the perfectionist in us, and it’s difficult to enjoy the drawing process if you’re constantly judging your work.

Tip: If you’re addicted to your eraser, then consider using a Prismacolor Col-Erase colored pencil. It’s a favorite with animators because it draws so smoothly, doesn’t smear like traditional pencils, and it can be erased.

Try sketching on a variety of surfaces. Some papers will receive colored pencil well, others won’t. You can sketch on canvas, wood, and painted surfaces. The experience on each substrate will be different. In this example (above) I’m using an altered book, and sketching on vintage paper. The type showing through the sketch makes it more interesting.

Tip: As you draw, try shifting the angle at which you hold the pencil (e.g. upright or flat to the page) and where you hold it (e.g. close to the point, or by the “tail”). Very different lines will result, which always adds interest to the sketch and a sense of play for the artist. ~Jane

To download Cloth Paper Scissors Art Lessons at 35% off (that’s less than a latte!), click here today. Learn how to use mixed-media supplies with Jane; master a variety of colors with Gina Lee Kim, Dina Wakley, and Jenny Cochran Lee; and learn more from other talented artists. Making beautiful art isn’t magic; it’s a learning process that involves listening to advanced artists such as these, plus patience and practice.

Yours in art,

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Blog, Mixed-Media Supplies


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