Mastering the Art of Applying Colored Pencil on Wood


There are many avenues of artistic expression available to individuals. One standout approach that’s gained considerable traction in recent times is the use of colored pencils on a wooden canvas. The unique texture and aesthetic appeal of wood paired with the vibrant colors of pencil create truly unique works of art. This article aims to provide comprehensive insights into the art of applying colored pencil on wood.

Understanding the Basics: Colored Pencil on Wood

The Basics of Colored Pencil and Wood

The first step in creating breathtaking art pieces using colored pencils on wood is understanding the basics. Contrary to popular belief, all woods are not the same. They differ in grain, hardness, and moisture content, all of which can significantly impact the outcome of your drawing.

Choosing the Right Wood

Hardwoods like maple and birch are favored due to their fine grain and smooth surface, which are ideal for detailed works. On the other hand, artists keen on experimenting with contrasting textures often go for oak or ash, known for their beautiful, pronounced grain patterns. It’s important to mention that the wood used should be well-seasoned and free of blemishes, ensuring that the colored pencil can glide on smoothly.

The Power of Colored Pencils

In the world of art supplies, colored pencils stand out, and for good reasons. They are versatile and cater to a variety of techniques — from simple coloring to complex blending. Colored pencils offer an extensive color palette, and different types like wax-based, oil-based, and watercolor pencils further enhance creative possibilities.

Preparing the Wooden Canvas

Preparation Steps

Before applying the colored pencils, you need to prepare your wooden canvas. Start by sanding the wood with a medium-grit sandpaper. This process smooths the surface, making it more receptive to the pencils. After sanding, wipe off the dust with a damp cloth, and let the wood dry completely. You may also opt to apply a sealer or a primer, but that depends on the look you’re aiming for and the type of wood used.

Drawing on the Wood

Creating Your Masterpiece

Now that you’re well-prepared, it’s time to bring your ideas to life. Begin by lightly sketching your main subject on the wood using a graphite pencil.

Coloring the Design

Once your sketch is complete, start coloring the design. The process of applying colored pencil on wood is similar to drawing on paper, but with one key difference: the wood’s texture becomes part of the artwork itself. During this process, apply light pressure and build up layers gradually to achieve depth and dimension.

Layering and Blending

Blending and layering are key techniques for creating gorgeous colored pencil art. By layering various shades, you can create an incredible range of tones and depth.

Sealing Your Artwork

Finishing Touches

An important final step is applying a fixative or a sealer to protect your artwork from damage. The ideal sealer will depend on the type of colored pencil used, so ensure you’ve researched well.


The art of applying colored pencil on wood is a fusion of technicalities, creativity, and passionate engagement. With the detailed steps and considerations furnished in this article, we hope artists at every level can venture into this fascinating medium and create captivating works of art.

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