My Virtual Studio: Colored Pencil Accessories

I did say in the previous lesson that Colored pencil is the easiest place to get started. But there are some other tools you might want to consider, a few items that will make coloring with pencils easier and make you more successful.


While a ton of papers accept colored pencil, what I find is that a soft, cotton paper has a texture that works well with my techniques of using a light hand and layering colors softly over each other to build up to richness. Stonehenge leaps to the top of my recommendations; it’s similar to Arches hot press if you want to test that out before picking up any of the Stonehenge. I also use other papers listed below when making cards.

  • Stonehenge White BLICK | AMZ
  • Stonehenge Warm White BLICK
  • Stonehenge Colors BLICK
  • Neenah or any cardstock that runs through your printer
    • Classic Crest Solar White EH
    • Classic Crest Desert Storm  EH

Pencil Sketchbooks – Same as above – nearly any sketchbook accepts colored pencil. Fortunately though Stonehenge makes a sketchbook which makes me very very happy. And Fabriano has a black sketchbook that’s great for a change.

  • Stillman and Birn heavyweight white – AMZ
  • Stillman and Birn Grey toned sketchbook – BLICK
  • Stillman and Birn tan toned sketchbook – BLICK
  • Stonehenge Spiral Sketchbook – BLICK
  • Black Black by Fabriano – BLICK

Pencil Sharpening

A sharp pencil can make ALL the difference in getting a nice even blend when using my techniques to draw using light layers, taking advantage of fine paper textures. See the video below for tips – and pick up an electric and handlheld for best results!

  • Electric QuietSharp  DB | AMZ
  • Handheld Prismacolor  EH | DB | AMZ 
  • Handheld yellow one because….yellow BLICK

Pencil storage

Some pencils come in tins or boxes that you can keep them in – however you might want something smaller/less cumbersome, or a storage system where the pencils won’t fall out and land on the floor, breaking leads. I keep my colored pencils in cases shown below – and my watercolor pencils are in their original tins because I don’t cart them around with me, so danger of dropping them is much smaller. I made little tags for my pencil cases, as shown in the video.

Blending stumps

Blending with Gamsol, mineral spirits, or baby oil using stumps is a great way to get nice blends. Each of them works about the same; beware and test whatever you’re using because they’ve all got some oil content in them and can leave a grease stain in white areas. I use a dry blending stump on edges to avoid that.

I keep my solvents in little jars with lids and cotton balls inside, and that keeps the solvent from tipping over, and also means I can press the tip of the stump into the cotton ball and it won’t come out fully dripping as it could if I dipped it into a pool of straight liquid! (see previous video for more about that.)

  • Gamsol EH | BLICK | AMZ  or  other Odorless Mineral Spirits, or Baby Oil  AMZ
  • Solvent jars AMZ
  • Blending Stumps EH | BLICK | AMZ
  • Alvin Heritage Drawing Tools Set with stump sharpener BLICK

Other supplies:

  • Kneaded eraser EH | BLICK | AMZ
  • Stick eraser  BLICK
  • Stylus   BLICK | AMZ    and/or bone folder EH | AMZ
  • dusting brush like this one: AMZ or a large, super soft brush

Join our creative community! Our Student Facebook Group is for all classes here …and while there are no finished projects in this class, you’re welcome to join the group and get an idea of what kind of beautiful works can be created from learnings in classes on this website!