Back to All Posts

Coloring Tips – Mineral Oil

When it comes to coloring mediums, pencils are by far the easiest to control and use. However, they oftentimes lack the vibrancy of paint and ink. But with the following technique, you get the best of both worlds!

Using a colored pencil, shade your images as you normally would. Add some contouring around lines to give form to the image and don’t be afraid to go dark with the shadows. Then, use a q-tip or a colorless stump blender and some solvent (baby oil, gamsol, etc) to blend the contouring blocks of color. This allows for the color to really pop, bringing out saturation, vibrancy and contrast between your hues. It’s best to use this technique on card stock or higher weight papers so your artwork doesn’t come off looking like it was used as a placemat at a greasy burger joint.

It’s important to remember how versatile this technique can be. Rarely are shadows 100% black, so use mineral oil to make your tones much more dark and realistic. Or, on lighter images, use oil to roll the highlights on, creating an almost three-dimensional look.

Experiment and enjoy!