Monday, September 16, 2013

Faber Castell Polychromos Pencil crayons, Sansodor and colouring

 A post with some info lots of you have been asking for.  I know I mentioned this in recent classes, but here are some links to suggested shades and materials for colouring with pencil crayons.

First, there are different pencil crayon brands on the market and over the years I have used a few, but my favourite is the faber castell polychromos range.
The blending technique using odourless mineral spirits is not to be confused with watercolour pencils - those are water-based, and pencil crayons are waxed based like oil pastels.

There are a whopping 120 colours in the range, available in sets of 12 24 36 60 and 120.
BUT, you can buy them in single pencil as well. Marion in the Crafty Bride Wedding Studio in Kilkenny stocks the colour list below, or you can get them from Cork Art Supplies (Cards n Scrapz) and most artist shops.

So, I do admit to having all 120 colours (bought a tin of 60, loved them so much and then bought the rest as singles on a trip to Cork a couple of years ago!)  In using the pencils, I came up with a list of the colours I would use the most, to shade my stamped images. Please see the list below for those of you looking for a condensed set of shades. (oops spot the spelling mistake on Mauve)  

Next, if you want to blend your pencils you need to invest in a couple of things - Sansodor (odourless mineral spirit otherwise know as Gamsol in the USA) and paper blending stumps. Sansodor is available in most art supply shops as well.

 Paper blending stumps come in various sizes, and you only need 2 or 3. I sharpen and remove the colour from mine with cheap sandpaper or big emery boards.  Buy a good quality blending stump, not those which are very hard and plastic looking -  they need to look off white or the colour of grey newsprint.
Cork Art Supplies have blending stumps available HERE or again in all art supply stores (you might have to ask for them).

Here is an excellent Hero Arts video tutorial where you can see this technique in action - it includes blending single and multiple colours

And lastly, an idea of what the pencils look like plain without blending, and with blending on a couple of my card samples:

 soft blending on the bears above... and plain pencil colouring on the boy card below.

Any questions, just leave me a comment or email me at

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