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tools for blending with pencil blend

What type of tools are best for blending
Coloured Pencils and Zest-it® Pencil Blend?




Pastel on board, close-up of keys from Autumn Leaves
Copyright Jacqui Blackman

Blending Tools! So many, so varied, some basic, some designed, its a bit like 'Goldilocks trying to decide on which porridge'!

The paper stumps are compressed paper/card to the form of a pencil shape, they are robust and available.

Tortillions are rolled paper to form a pencil shape, softer than the stump.

Colour shapers are silicon rubber, a firm favourite and easy to clean.

Blending pencils are another option, various types.

Blending stumps are very good for blending colour pencils, not  everyone's choice, as some find them too hard.

Keeping them clean is the secret to their use, wipe on kitchen towel or cleaning on a sandpaper block is one of the best ways.

They come in a variety of sizes from very thin to quite chunky, often available as a variety pack.

various blending stumps     

three sizes of Tortillions

Tortillions, much softer than the paper stump, these are tightly rolled paper formed into a pencil shape. Clean on  kitchen towel or on sandpaper block.

The softness means they soak up more blending fluid, this can flood the work, tip, have a damp brush, tap the tortillion onto the brush hairs, less available to pick-up!

If over soaked dry on kitchen towel or leave until usable. You can make your own tortillions using rolled up printer paper, easy to do and to your own desired tightness and point.

Here's a wiki on makng your own tortillions

Sandpaper block, so useful for cleaning pencils and blending tools, not expensive and long lasting.
We have these on our Dip Pen Nib site - half price while stocks last!

uaeful sandpaper block
 three sizes of colour shaper

Colour Shapers are really useful for blending, adding colour, removing colour and saving on the fingers!

Three samples in the image are a 16 and a 10 in the straight chisel and a 6 (smallest) in the cup shaped chisel. Easy to keep clean with just a wipe on kt or a cloth.

There are a variety of different shapes to choose from, the straight chisel is probably one of the most popular.

Brushes are always good for blending, its about choosing the right one for you and the way you work.

The three brushes are a filbert, a round and a flat, they are made of synthetic hair are very easy to keep clean and last a long time.

Brushes hold a considerable amount of fluid and can flood the work, touching the ferrule to kt can take off the excess and give better results.

three brushes filbert round flat

derwent pencil blend

For some people the blending pencil is the tool of choice, the core is like a pencil without colour and allows for the blending of multiple colours.

Some people have a problem with 'wax bloom' on their work, this is usually where the blending has warmed the pencil core enough to bring  the wax to the surface, bit like the cream on the top of milk, the bloom can be difficult to remove.

A wipe over with Pencil Blend will usually remove it.

Cloth, faux suede and leather, silk, many materials have been used to blend pencils, the different surfaces dictating the effect achieved.

For a smooth finish then silk and the faux material, cloth and linen can give a wider spread of colour.

Materials can also be rolled into a pencil-like shape for blending, similar to using a very soft tortillion.
'Cloth' can also be wrapped around the blunt point of an ordinary pencil or a wooden dowel to give extra substance and allow more pressure to be used on the 'cloth'.


faux chamoise leather




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