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How to Use a Colored Pencil Tutorial

We all enjoy a good tutorial, don’t we? But do you know how to use a colored pencil tutorial to get the most from it? If you’re serious about learning colored pencils, this post is written for you.

How to Use a Colored Pencil Tutorial

So now you’ve chosen a tutorial. Let’s talk about how to use that tutorial.

Read it first.

Before you set up the paper or get out the pencils, sit back and read the tutorial front to back.

Yes, it takes time and I know you’d rather be drawing, but you do want to learn, don’t you? The best way to soak up new knowledge is by repetition. Reading a tutorial first and then doing it is one form of repetition.

It’s also a good way to make sure you understand exactly what the instructor is describing. Sometimes, the early steps don’t make much sense. Take the time to read the tutorial before starting it, and the logic behind the early steps makes more sense.

Follow the instructions.

This seems so obvious I shouldn’t need to say it, right? But I do need to say it because I know I’m not the only one who tends to take shortcuts. Especially if I think my way is better, faster, or easier.

Again, you’re taking the tutorial to learn something, so do what the instructor tells you to do, when and how they do it. If that method doesn’t work for you, you can change it later.

Or drop it altogether. That’s perfectly okay, too. But how are you going to know if you don’t do the tutorial the way it was written?

Do it over.

Once you’ve finished the tutorial, remember that you don’t have to be done with it. You can follow the same steps to do your own subject.

After that, you can do it yet again, but this time adapt the method to your own personal style.

The Bottom Line

Knowing how to use a colored pencil tutorial for maximum benefit is important if you want to do more than just have a pleasant experience. Choose wisely, follow the tutorial faithfully, and you’ll reap the benefits.

Shop for tutorials.

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How to Choose a Colored Pencil Tutorial

We all enjoy a good tutorial, don’t we? But do you know how to use a tutorial? If you’re serious about learning colored pencils, let me share a few tips to help you choose a colored pencil tutorial.

Let’s get started.

How to Choose the Right Tutorial

Most colored pencil students choose tutorials based on one of two things.

One, the tutorial is by a favorite artist or, two, they like the project.

There’s nothing wrong with either of those two things, but if you really want to improve your skills or gain new skills, you need to consider a few other things, too.

What do you want to learn?

If drawing water is something you want to get better at (and who doesn’t?), then choosing a pet portrait tutorial probably isn’t going to help you very much. It may be fun, and you may learn something, but you won’t have advanced your goal.

Instead of looking for any tutorial with a fun or attractive project, look for a tutorial that features water. Any kind of water. Drawing water in a glass will help you even if you really want to draw water in a landscape.

If you can’t find any tutorials with water, then look for a tutorial with a different kind of reflective surface. All reflections behave pretty much the same no matter where you find them, so a tutorial with a classic car or lots of glass, may be a good substitute for a tutorial with water.

What’s your artistic style?

I once worked on an art deco tutorial that was interesting and enjoyable, but didn’t really improve my existing skills or teach me new skills. Why? Because art deco isn’t a style I want to learn. My preferred style is realism, so while an art deco tutorial provided experience, it didn’t help me draw more realistically.

If you want to learn the art deco style, then look for art deco tutorials. If you want to develop detail drawing skills, look for tutorials that focus on drawing crisp detail.

What about paper, different mediums, or other things?

The same holds true for trying different papers, different pencils, different tools, or similar things.

If you want to learn mixed media with colored pencils, look for mixed media tutorials.

And if you want to learn a new support, that’s what you should look for. Matching the type of tutorial to what you want to learn helps you advance much more quickly and could be a lot less frustrating!

Unless you just want a fun project.

Look for a Challenge

Every now and again, it’s a good idea to deliberately push yourself. Challenge is a key to avoiding stagnation. That was, in essence, the theme of the post I recently wrote about getting bored with my favorite subject. I’d forgotten to challenge myself within that subject and eventually got tired of it.

Don’t do that! Periodically look for a tutorial that really stretches you.

Maybe it’s more advanced than you think you’re capable of doing. Maybe the composition is more complex than anything you’ve ever done before, or maybe it’s a totally different subject. Don’t automatically exclude a tutorial because of those things.

Or maybe it’s a more detailed study of a single subject.

How to Choose a Colored Pencil Tutorial - Hay Bale Study tutorial

The best way to learn anything is to push yourself. The more often you do, the more quickly you’ll improve.

Just be aware of challenging yourself to the point of giving up. No good will ever come of that!

So How do YOU Choose a Colored Pencil Tutorial?

There is no right or wrong way to choose your next colored pencil tutorial, but if you have a specific goal in mind, remember that goal when you shop for tutorials.

Yes, any tutorial can be fun and informative, but choosing the best tutorials for what you want to learn or accomplish can help you accomplish more. And accomplish it more quickly.

Shop for tutorials.