Colored Pencil Info
Glossary of Colored Pencil Terms

Blenders- also called Colorless Benders. These are typically made the same as the cores of colored pencils, only without pigment. They therefore give you a similar effect to burnishing, but without the added white or other color.
Derwent makes a blender that is in pencil form and excellent for both oil and wax-based colored pencils.
Prismacolor makes a colorless blender in stick form and in an art stix form, that is good for blending wax-based colored pencils.
Lyra Rembrandt makes a blender called the Splendor Blender that is good for oil-based pencils.
Bristol paper- A type of heavy paper that was originally made in Bristol, England. It is made in 'smooth' with a very slick, smooth finish, or 'vellum', with more tooth. It is an excellent paper for using with colored pencils.
Burnishing- going over colored pencil with heavy pressure, usually using a light color such as white or yellow. This gives gloss and shine to objects, for example ceramic surfaces.
Drafting Brush- A long brush designed to brush pencil and eraser crumbs off of your work without adding oils or smearing.
Core- the center of a pencil that has the pigment or graphite and makes marks. Many people call this the 'lead'.
Circular strokes- Creating pencil strokes by drawing small, overlapping circles. This gives an even coverage that does not leave 'lines' where the strokes stop.
Cold Press- a fine-grained watercolor paper
Concave- The inner surface of a sphere is concave; it is curved inward.
Contour- a line that connects equal areas of elevation, or follows the shape or outline of an object.
Convex- The outside of a sphere is convex- it is curved outward.
Crosshatching- Creating pencil strokes very close together in one direction, then doing the same thing from the opposite direction. Pencil marks create an X when crossed this way.
Erasing Shield- A small, thin, metal template with various sized holes in it that allows you to erase (especially with a battery operated eraser) only a small area, without erasing surrounding areas.
Hatching- creating pencil strokes very close together in the same direction.
Hot Press- a smooth surfaced watercolor paper
Hue- The hue of a color is not a true pigment. For example, cadmium yellow (hue) does not contain cadmium; they are made of alternative (cheaper, non-toxic) pigments that look like cadmium yellow.
Kneaded Eraser- A gummy eraser, typically grey, that is good for lifting pencil pigment of all kinds off the page. It is then 'kneaded' in order to clean it. The ability of the eraser to be shaped allows you to use shape it to a point and use it in small areas.
Layering- Laying down one color on top of another, typically with light pressure to allow more layers to be build up for a rich color.
NOT paper- The British term for Cold Press watercolor paper
Odorless Mineral Spirits (OSM)- A petroleum based solvent used as a brush cleaner, for diluting paint, and blending colored pencils. It does not have an odor like turpentine does.
Opaque- An opaque surface allows no light to pass through. Gouache is an opaque medium, one layer will cover up another layer.
Open Stock- means that you can buy an item individually, instead of just in sets. For example, you might use a lot of a dozen or so colors, but not much of the rest of your it is more economical to buy just the replacements of the pencils you need.
Reflection- A reflection is like something you see in a mirror. Surfaces such as metal and glass can reflect objects near them.
Refraction- Refraction is the bending of light through an object. For example, you can see an object that is behind a glass bottle, but it will be distorted by the refraction of the light from that object passing through the glass.
Rough paper- Watercolor paper with a highly textured rough surface
Solvents- used to blend and saturate the paper with traditional colored pencil. Gives the colored pencil drawing a more painterly look. Solvents are applied with a Q-tip or a brush. Some are toxic and even flammable, so care should be used with them. They include Liquin, Best Klean, Bestine rubber cement thinner, isopropyl alcohol, lighter fluid, mineral oil, odorless mineral spirits, turpentine, turpenoid, and Zest-it (nonflammable, nontoxic, and biodegradable but difficult to find in the US).
Tooth- The tooth is the surface of the paper. Some paper is very smooth and has little 'tooth' and some is more textured and has 'more tooth'.
Traditional colored pencils- Non-water-soluble colored pencils. Wax or oil based. Blended by heat, colorless blenders, or solvents.
Translucent- A property of colored pencils. Light can pass through a translucent surface, but it is slightly diffused, or scattered. What this means for us, is that if you layer one color on top of another, you will be able to see each color seperately, or a different looking color when you view both colors together.
Transparent- If something is transparent, light can be seen through it clearly. Most watercolors are transparent. When layered, a new color is created.
Vellum paper- Originally, vellum paper was made from the hides of livestock, and had some translucency to it. Now, it is applied more to fine-grained parchment types of paper. It is an excellent paper to use with colored pencils.
Water brush- A plastic brush that has a reservoir in it that is filled with water. The water comes through the brush, which allows you to use it with water-soluble colored pencils without constantly dipping your brush in water.
Watercolor block- a pad of watercolor paper, with stiff cardboard backin on the back, that is glued on all sides. The sheets do not buckly once wet, since the paper is glued on all sides. Each sheet is removed by running a palette knife around the outside of the sheet. Once a sheet is removed, the other sheets on the pad are clean and ready to use. The block also acts as a drawing board, it will not flop.
Watercolor pencils- colored pencils that are soluble in water. A more proper term is water-soluble, since these pencils do not have actual watercolor in the cores, and many are made to look more like ink or graphite instead of watercolor.
Water-soluble pencils- pencils or colored pencils that will dissolve, all the way or partially, when water is added. Also called watercolor pencils.