Where to start with Colored Pencils – Project tips for Beginners w/ Lachri

today I’m going to give you a little bit of advice on where I think is a great place to start when you are new to colored pencils [Music] hi I’m Lisa the artist behind block refine our cumulus I just received my very first artist colored pencil ever the polychromos set of 36 I have been drawing in graphite for a short while but since your videos are so great I would love to explore colored pencils I just don’t know where to get started what to draw it’s not too difficult since I’ve never painted before I was wondering if you had any tips on starting up if it’s a good idea to start with only a few colors or just go all in from the beginning thank you so very much for sharing all your knowledge both on patreon and YouTube congratulations on your new pencils are so fun and that’s also a great set to start with so with the colored pencil normally the project that I would have beginners to colored pencil start off with are roses roses are just so great because you’ve got areas that have tight detail you’ve got areas where you’ll work on blending and layering you’ve got areas where you’re going to be working on your shading in order to create something that looks three-dimensional like we’re a petal bent over or folds over but the thing was working on a rose versus say a portrait you’re also working on a subject matter that is fairly forgiving so you’re not having to stress out about oh my gosh I think I rounded the nose off a little too much here oh my gosh this little thing seems a little off that’s not such a big deal for you right now on those first projects what you’re really working on is getting a feel for the medium understanding how to blend and layer how to get fine detail versus soft edges and so a rose I think it’s just so perfect for that because it is so forgiving you’re definitely setting yourself up for success versus the failure that you might have on your first colored pencil piece trying to jump into a portrait or even fur I mean fur gets really hectic and crazy and I would say hold off until you’ve done a couple of more simple pieces like roses before you jump into portraits and fur now if you absolutely hate roses you’re just not interested in still lifes and fish may be a good way to go because that they’re pretty forgiving too and that your skin tends to be a lot smoother you may have scales and such but it’s not quite as overwhelming as drawing fur on other animals now I could go ahead and look up a row that I think is perfect to start with this one comes from pixabay and they have tons of roses royalty free roses that you can use there in your own artwork but this one I’ll put a link in the video description to where you can get the specific one over at pixabay but this Rose is great you’ve got light and dark you can blend several color reds and browns and burgandy’s and you’ve got a lot of different tones in there along with your pinks so this is a great great start you can do this first project with or without the background but the background on here is a great way to practice blending through the background so it’s got that benefit – this is just such a great starter project I think and again if you screw something up if you you’re not having to worry about things like pedals being exactly perfect as the shapes are alright it’s good practice to try to make them as accurate as possible but it’s not something you have to worry that much about in order to create a very beautiful finished project so you’re going to feel that much more encouraged to keep on with colored pencils if you are setting yourself up for the success I was talking about before now as to the colors I don’t personally overthink this especially with colored pencils one of the easiest things you can do is look at I’ve got a video on color matching apps one for your phone and then using Photoshop to do the same I will have cards pop up and then I’ll have links in the video description but check those out and that’s basically how I kind of choose what color I need because sometimes things will be gray when you thought they were actually purple things like that it makes it easy to tell what color you’re going for now I do recommend have a piece of scratch paper next to you all the time when you are working because you want to test out okay I know that this pink isn’t quite right so I need to mix another color with it if you mix a little bit of a light blue first and then put pink on top of that that’s going to look very different than if you put pink down first and blue on top of that you want to find that out first on a scratch piece of paper before you find that out on your actual project but don’t stress yourself out too much about the colors the thing that matters the most are going to be your values get your life light enough your darks dark enough and then when starting with colored pencil really focus on trying to get the really smooth smooth blending also I would work on clean edges inside detail just kind of focus on those being your main goals but when you start out with any medium really it doesn’t have to be colored pencil when you’re first starting out with a medium give yourself permission to fail give yourself permission to create a very ugly piece your goal at this point is really not going to be to create the best piece of art work you’ve ever done your goal is to start learning the medium start getting a feel for how it layers how it blends your end result on those first few projects aren’t honestly that big of a deal so make sure just in your head have this idea I’m doing this for practice but don’t beat yourself up if it’s not perfect to start with don’t give up on the medium it’s going to take a little bit of getting used to you’ll find the whole process of learning colored pencils and getting used to them much more enjoyable if you’re not expecting too much too soon from yourself they hope that helps you out and getting started and if you do draw this rose or whatever you draw tag me on in social media I would love to see it I have a frequently asked questions page over my website you cannot find the answer to your questions there is a section where you can submit a question to be featured in one of these videos I will have a car pop up here so you can check that out hey are you an artist have you subscribed yet if not at a handy button right there it’s orange no it’s round the arrows orange so subscribe can’t miss it if I described it right you can’t miss it anyway if you click on that that will let you to keep up to date with all five of my no art videos every single week I’ll see you guys on Saturday


  • Lily Raimey

    Thank you.

  • Oscar Benitez

    Im from ecuador, help me please with great advice I have saved a money from my work and I am going to buy myself a box of faber castell the set of 120 and the caran d'ache luminance The set of 76, I just saw on the caran d'ache pablo colored pencils it is necessary to buy them, I want you to help me if you guide me in this if they are really different pencils to all that I am going to acquire, or they have some similarity with some mark , Because I want to invest in colored pencils and I would like you to help me in this thank you very much have a great night until soon thanks

  • Ebube

    Lisa must be clairvoyant. Right as i get my first coloured pencil set in the mail, BAM! drops the video lol

  • Erika Ashford

    This video is a godsend! I think it would be great if you did a "Where to start with" series!

  • Clariece K

    would you say roses are good when starting with acrylic?

  • D D

    Fabulous advice.

  • Darrell Waller

    Lisa, which white colored pencil do you use to get the brightest white?

  • md1911

    Love your videos, they are really helpful. My question is do you use blending solutions/minerals for the pencils?

  • harlowke


  • vanes kaz

    Not only are you such an awesome super talented artist and have the ability to inspire so many people (something some school art teachers could work) on but are so wise beyond your years. With such a funny sense of humor. Wow you just have it all together. Ya gotta lov ya.

  • felipe bello

    I wish i could be as good at drawing (and painting) as you!

  • Matthew Schroeder

    You should make one of these for oil!!

  • Valarie Connell /DrawingWithFire

    Great video Lisa! 😁

  • bleuvertetforetdepin

    you're the gardien angel for all 2.0 artists all around the world .
    you got me concerned about royalty issues when using reference photo , and i thank you for that !
    and now your giving me a free solution , with a handfull of carring tips .

  • DB's artworks

    Awesome video!

  • David V.

    I love this video and it's going to help me so much s nice I just bought color pencils and am on my first project doing a still life of gummy bears and I'm going to actually just try not to be so perfect and let myself just experiment

  • Schizoid137

    the owl picture behind you looks amazing 😀

  • Twill Scott


  • Michael Scott

    I like your hair 😀

  • Desh K

    I know this isn't an Inktense video, but it's most recent and probably most likely to get an answer:

    I bought Inktense blocks about a year ago but only recently got the nerve to use them. Do you find they go down streaky? I've attempted to use them exactly as I do my watercolours and acrylic inks, but they dry so fast the colour is never even.
    It might not be an issue in your work because you layer for texture a lot, but my technique is almost graphic- the flat and matte nature of gouache is more my style.
    I've had some success by using a lot more ink/water mix than I normally would and saturating the paper, but I'm not sure if it's worth continuing the effort.

  • Greg Gillson

    Hi Lisa.

    More of these beginner techniques, please!

    I started using Prismacolor colored pencils about 5 months ago. Previously, I did pen-and-ink and graphite many years ago. My artwork has improved markedly the past 5 months, but still no where near your hawk speed video for realism. I've subscribed to your channel and have been watching your older videos for about 3 month now. I like the speed drawings, slowed down to 1/4 speed so I can watch you change pencils.

    What you don't seem to cover is choosing the very first couple of pencils–why? Are you using an underpainting for shading? It doesn't seem so for most of your drawings, though you did use a gray underpainting for the cloudy night sky in the owl drawing (but you didn't explain what your were doing or why). You use so many different colors and I seem to see very few when I look at my reference photo. And I still look at the reference photo over several days to try to see the different value levels. It's very hard for me to determine the paler highlight colors under the major darker colors. I can now choose and blend colors to get the major color, but smooth, not with all the detailed variation that you do.

    I'm still doing something wrong with the odorless mineral spirits (using Gamasol). I can't get smooth backgrounds, such as for sky. It is always blotchy, pigments seem to clump like curdled milk in coffee. When trying to color two adjacent colors (like your feathers on the hawk) the darker colors spread over and cover up the pale colors. The paler colors tend toward wax bloom with only a layer or two. I can't get details. The OMS blends and obscures the detail. I know you say more layers, but after 4 times with OMS my drawings look like block woodcuts rather than varied detail.

    So, while I have reached a point of frustration, as you can see–I can imagine something better that I just can't quite figure out–I hope this means I'm ready to break through to the next level soon!

    I hope that this may give you an idea of where I'd like some of your videos to go… I see the edges of my subject, but need a little more help seeing value, seeing color and shading, using OMS, and especially, slow down and explain the early part of your drawings in a bit more detail. How you choose the first colors and where to apply them. I feel like maybe my first pencil is the wrong choice and I'm sabotaging the work from the start somehow.

    Thanks! Your videos are wonderful.


  • Camilla Meng

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!!!. I´m going to start on the rose right away, and if I can figure out how to tag you, when I am done, I will 🙂

  • Maxios-7

    such a good vid ! I'm gonna practice on that rose

  • mohawksniper79

    your a work of art. so hot!

  • Harry West

    I was in the same boat so thanks for your knowledge I went out and got a set of faber castell they are amazing hehe, all your coloured pencil videos are a great help. I was wondering Would it be possible for you to do a coloured pencil drawing of a seahorse in seaweed some time. Right off to draw a rose now hehe thanks again.

  • Sanny H

    where to start with oils!!! pretty please~~

  • Ms Mel Jackson

    Thank you

  • Heba Qureshi

    ohh dear Lisa, its lovely to know that there is a great artist and a nice person like you 🙂 i enjoy watching your videos a lot, although i have started watching you only a couple of days ago. i am an artist but am working as a lecturer in Oman. i am learning from your videos . hope if i can find a way to share some of my work with you.your feedback will be valuable. i wanted and want to do something as a profession in art field but may be i was slow 🙂 but i draw and paint. i felt myself more into water color but quite recently i have started working with pencils and specially after watching your videos i LLLLOOOVVEEEDDD your details as real life.
    thanks to social media that i can see u and ur work. God bless you.

  • My Yarn Runneth Over By Ella

    Hallo! Tx for this video. I mostly work with oils, acrylics and sometimes watercolour. This is my first attempt at working with colour pencils. The only brand I could find in my area was Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor Pencils and it is a whole different ballgame. Thanks for your advice and video's…it is giving me a very good idea of where to start. Oh…and thanks for the pixabay link. First time I have seen the site and there are some awesome ref photo's to work with.

  • SoloArt Studio


  • Olivia Perelez

    very helpful!!! i bought the 24 polychromos and cant wait to learn and of course make mistakes
    but less intimidated after your tutorial.!!!
    thank you!

  • Cat Goldsmith

    Thank you so much for this!! Just the right video I was looking for!! I'm just starting out with painting/drawing/sketching/illustrating. You are helping me so so much. Thanks!

  • Debra Lynne Edwards

    What are your thoughts on vaseline for blending?

  • Magical Bevanna

    I've just received a wonderful thank you present. A full set of Luminance coloured pencils in a wooden box. I have some experience with coloured pencils, however I'm primarily a watercolour /Graphite artist. With a background in oils. A series like this video I've just watched, would be a God send. When I was a University doing my Art degree, coloured pencils weren't really bothered with. I would really like to do these pencils justice. I know I'm going to sketch something out, and once I start using them, they won't seem so scary lol.. However, any good advice would be lovely.

  • Catrena Belgamh

    your hair is really pretty with that color and straight

  • Erin Wegner

    I'd love a tutorial video of the rose you showed in the video from Pixabay. I'd love to learn how to do backgrounds like that.

  • silvio433

    Lisa, hello there, the subject of your video got my attention, am a beginner in the art of drawing and coloring (2.5 months) and am using Sargent art pencils ( I don't know if water, oil or wax) made in China plus a drawing pad book from a $dollar store and a #0.7 pencil for drawing. Did I start good or I made a boo boo?? thanks for any help and advice.

  • Kate Flores

    I can't afford any good art supplies because it's very expensive and I could only afford Crayola and dollar store colored pencils😞

  • Coffeemancer

    How do i create lighter areas and highlights, how do I blend, how do you create hyper smoothness with sharp highlights like a super-hero suit, how do I mix colors, and how should I sketch the initial drawing, what to do about the graphite/lead afterwards? I alerady watched yoru video about drawing in ovals instead of straight lines but I don't have aromatic mineral oils so I'm only using a smudge stick. Thanks

  • wilma kerstholt

    Thank you a lot for everything and btw your hair is so nice

  • sofija jota

    I like to draw anime caracters…so does somebody know some artist on YT who draws it too?

  • Aisha B

    What colouring pencils are good for beginners?

  • Irvin Nguyen

    My very first realistic drawing was a rose like you said it should be and it helped me so much. Not only did I not have did I learn about blending, layering, and shading; I got to learn what my colored pencil could do and what they could not do.

  • Dizzy Devi

    My biggest problem … Is eyes I can never make them match … I've tried using rulers … Drawing light lines on the paper .. but nothing … I tried to do a portrait of Alex Delarge … But I had such a hard time with the eyes.. I kept messing up and having to erase to the point where I ended up with a small hole in the paper …. Yeah not good… I was doing it in a prompt journal and those don't have the best paper in them I know .. but come on …. I'm having issues… Any ideas

  • Coloring With D

    I do not know how to draw. Where should I start and how do I start?

  • Huyen Le

    Thank you for your advance! I feel better when I didn't shade them well for couple first projects.

  • Sissy Beans

    Hi Lisa! I really appreciate very much your surreal ideas! I am trying one myself. Just a quick question if that is ok. What do you use to do inktense pencils on and like the most? I haven't done much since my mastectomy in August but want to get busy now. I do cats better than anything else so I am forging ahead with them! So far I have Bristol paper, vellum surface. I also have one hot pressed water color block also. And not much money (cancer isn't cheap!) Thank you so much, SissyBeans

  • sky

    Hello I am a twelve yearold artist. I would say that I am pretty informed on Charcoal and Graphite. I want to start on colored pencils. Since I am just a child, my Mom wont let me buy the more expensive supplies. The only thing I can afford is the Prisma 24 set. Is that enought to start? I can also afford the Faber Castell Classic Colour pencil 60 set. Since people say that FB Classic is vey affordable and good for beginners I am thinking of buying that instead. But my dream is Prisma so I am really torn apart. A 60 set or a 24 Set?

  • Sara Hebert

    the best advice i've ever gotten regarding art had to be my ninth grade art class. if art 1 is taught right, every project you do with your focus art element helps (color, value, line, shape, form, perspective, proportion, etc). what happens when they're taught separately is that you actually learn to meld them together (we did still life graphite drawings for value, then used value techniques 2nd semester in our graphite proportion portrait project).

  • Школа Инвесторов

    Thanks for your knowledge )) It's very impotent for beginners and not only 😉

  • Person In Space

    I was expecting it to be a waste of time and they would just say crayola 😂

  • Sharon Rose

    Roses sit longer in a pose than fish do. Of course, both prefer being left in water. 😊 How did you get started with coloured pencils? Was at love at first sight? 🌹🐬

  • Miranda Bardick

    Wow such good information!!! I’m so happy I found your channel!! Thanks for allllllll your time 🥰

  • Micheal Rivera

    Hay do u have teach ,if yes how can I get in evolved?please !and I have some drawings I do not know how to send it from utube

  • Wild South Australia

    Better to pick something you are interested in.


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