How to sharpen your colored pencils

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday
Here’s your weekly dose of inspiration To build a creative habit
One drawing at a time Brought you by Sketchbook Skool Hi! It might seem a little bit of a silly question:
How do you actually sharpen a pencil? But a lot of people get so frustrated because the leads inside their colored pencils break
all the time. And that is just the biggest frustration of
the colored pencil, isn’t it? You’re sharpening your pencil and then the
tip breaks off. You’re sharpening again and the tip breaks
off again, and before you know it you end up with a really short pencil and still no
sharp tip. Now this could be because the lead inside
has broken because the colored pencil is a tool that is kind of fragile. If it falls on the ground then the lead might
break and it keeps breaking when you sharpen it. There are people who say that it can be fixed
by heating the lead, so you could put it in the sun or on the heater, and then they say
that the broken parts of the lead would melt together again, but I am not sure if that
is true. It is worth a try. I you’ve tried it, let me know if it worked
or not. Anyway, there is another reason that the lead
inside the colored pencil might break often and that might be because of the way you are
sharpening. I have a range of sharpeners here – just sharpeners
that I picked up throughout the years. And with those I will show you a few ways
to sharpen your pencil. Let’s start with this metal simple sharpener. It’s really small. So it fits in your pocket, which is handy
on location. Now, there is always a little bit of wiggle
room when you put your pencil in the sharpener, so if you are turning the pencil, you might
actually rock it a little bit up and down and that might actually cause pressure on
the lead inside, which makes it break. So that could be one of the reasons that your
colored pencils often break when you sharpen them. Now, there is a bit more of a steady way of
sharpening: You turn the thing around, so instead of turning
the pencil in the sharpener, you are turning the sharpener around the pencil and this way
you are actually really holding your pencil very steady. But it is a little messy with a sharpener
like this. That is why I like using a sharpener with
your container. And then you just catch all the shavings of
your sharpening inside off the little box. Which is really great, both on location and
at home, then you don’t have this mess. If you really like very very sharp tips,
then you will be sharpening more often, and you might want to choose a larger container
rather than a smaller one. But of course these takes up more space in
your bag, when you’re on location. So that is something to consider. These, just like this wooden one, have two
holes in them and that is very handy because if you have thicker pencils like this one,
they don’t fit into that small hole. There are also pencil sharpeners that you
can find, that give you options for the length of your pencil. This one is by the brand Ooly – the mighty
sharpener. And as you can see one of the blades is longer
than the other ones. Again, this one has smaller hole and a larger
hole and the one with the longer longer blade actually has a small hole. So this is for a regular pencils not for that
thick pencils. Okay so the normal length blade doesn’t
do anything different than the other sharpener that I just showed you. This sharpens your pencil in a regular way. Now if you would be using the longer blade
then you will actually create a longer tip. It’s quite the difference between those two
tips, isn’t there? And it means that you can use the side of
your pencil way more than you would if you have the shorter length pencil. Some people really prefer this very long tip
and it’s really up to you whether you like that or not. For some people, it doesn’t matter – for some
people, it’s really important. There are no rules, it’s really up to you. And then if you want a really really long
tip, you can always use a exacto knife. But I’m not going to do that because I’m sure
I will cut myself.I really enjoy using these very handy container type colored pencil sharpeners. I hope this tip is useful to maintain your
colored pencils collection, and to get less frustrated about breaking leads. One last tip: The other day I organized all
my colored pencils – and I have a LOT! – I really got into sharpening them all – and
I ended up with a blister on my finger. So maybe you want to sharpen in smaller increments
– or get an electrical sharpener! Have fun with your colored pencils, and make
sure to sign up for the Sketchbook Skool kourse: “Colored Pencils” it’ll change the
way you will use your colored pencils forever and you will be inspired to color the world
around you. Join us at


  • Terry Lanwermeyer

    I feel like I have more control rotating the pencil, because if you tilt the sharpener you may break the lead. I will have to try your method again.

  • Suzanne Rogalsky

    Thank you so much!
    These videos are great!

  • Nancy Jane Peirce

    Thank you Koosja!

  • Dwiputri Pertiwi

    Thanks for the tip, Koosje! I use the T'gaal adjustable multisharpener and it's super convenient. Highly recommended for those who like to work with pencils.

  • Clinton Watkins

    I've found that the best sharpener is a crank style. Mine mounts with a suction cup. It doesn't stay mounted for long, but it stays put long enough to sharpen a pencil or two. As far as the heat method goes, I've tried it. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. I've only tried it on Crayola brand. I have some Prismacolor pencils and they seem harder, so I have my doubts.

  • Iryna Boehland

    Thank you Koosja! I purchased Ooly after watching this video and love it!

  • Jose Isava

    saludoslas minas de los lapices al romperse no se vuelven a unir ..

  • ChuckyJesus drawingart lover Duarte

    Hello my dear friend I love to draw I love art I'm going to buy the green pencil sharpener I love the long tip on the color pencils


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