Quick Tip: Blending Color Pencils with Baby Oil
Now that I have card stock, I can try out a few things I've been wanting to do. The one I happened to pick up is called Accent Opaque Digital by International Paper. It's 8 1/2" by 11", smooth, 65 lb, and white. I paid $11.99 for 250 sheets. For the experiment, I printed out one of the images from the history of Paris book I detailed in this post.
So first, the tools. In addition to my Crayola color pencils, I used baby oil, a palette (it has handy reservoirs for holding the oil), and tortillions.
Tortillions are pointed stubs made out of rolled paper often used for blending with graphite pencils. The way this works is that you color an area you like with the color pencil. Once you have the color the way you like it, you dip the tip of the tortillion into the well of baby oil and then go over your color pencil with it. It should smooth out the color a bit and help blend colors that are adjacent. Here are some before and after examples.
Things to know:
- The oil didn't go through this cardstock but you should always check yours on a spare piece before using.
- It's important that you have the color where you like it *before* using the baby oil. You won't be able to go back over it later to add more color.
- Some people have used cotton swabs instead of tortillions and liked the results better. I didn't try them here, but they seem to be great for larger areas.
- The tortillions can hold on to the color a bit. You can clean it off (and resharpen it) on a bit of sandpaper. You could also get several and reserve one for each color family.
If you are interested in learning more, here are a few videos I found useful.
Eventually I'd like to use Gamsol, which seems to work a bit better from the videos and allows you to go back over it with color (which baby oil does not). But it's also flammable and the fumes are toxic so I'm going to hold off for now until my technique overall is better. But, if you are interested, here's a great intro video on using it.