Coloring with Pencils

During the pandemic closure I started posting coloring pages on my website. It was a way for me to give something to other people who were shut in, and it was a way to steady myself. I wrote about it here.

Three years later, I am still adding a couple of coloring pages every week. Now there are more than 425 pages to choose from (click HERE). I keep doing it because I enjoy doodling. Some of the pages are very quickly drawn.

Others are more elaborate. These are usually drawn when I am stuck on hold on the telephone, or on an airplane.

You can color in these pages with anything – markers, paints, crayons or pencils. Today I am talking about how to use colored pencils to draw from scratch, or to color in line drawings.

Colored pencils reward slowness. You can start by drawing a line, or several.

Margaret Chodos-Irvine drawing

But the true beauty of colored pencils comes when you slow down. The colors glow if you take your time and draw over and over an area with a pencil.

Birthday card by Margaret Chodos-Irvine, drawn with a multi-color pencil

You can create shading and volume.

Shapes drawn by Jennifer Kennard

Here is a sequence of a drawing in progress. I did this using one multi-colored pencil and one yellow pencil.

Colored pencils are more vibrant if you use them on a soft paper. A paper with some texture in it is sometimes called “toothy”. Those teeth hold onto the colors.

If you draw a hard line on soft paper with a light-colored pencil, and then shade over with a darker colored pencil you can create a layered look, like the wax resist lines in batik or pysanky.

Colored pencils can create a soft glow.

Fruit and Flower Lady by Julie Paschkis

Sometimes that glow is unearthly! These drawings are by Edward Deeds from his book, the Electric Pencil.

Edward Deeds
by Edward Deeds

Sometimes I color in some of my own pages that I have posted.

I hope you will dip your toes into the world of coloring – either starting from scratch, or coloring in my pages or anyone’s pages.

I would love to see your drawings – please send them to Thank you!

Julie Paschkis

Don’t worry about coloring inside the lines.

10 responses to “Coloring with Pencils

  1. Love these, Juie!


  2. More pages from Julie Paschkis. Illustrators are amazing❣️

    Sent from my iPad


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  3. So lively! Thanks for sharing this variety of colored-pencil love with works by yourself & others. :0)

  4. I appreciate your instructions so inspiring. Love, Doreen

  5. I’m intrigued by your palette in the coloring pages particularly. So restrained, like nature, but with gorgeous glowing brights.

    • Julie Paschkis

      A lot of those drawings were done with a multi-colored pencil (one tip with many colors). If you layer colors with that pencil they get that odd look because every color also has its opposite! Also, you don’t quite know what you will get because the colors turn up randomly. Fun.

      • Annette Keith

        Such helpful ideas.
        Color choice males the difference when drawing a favorite subject.

  6. When my son was in Waldorf preschool, the teachers and all the kids made pages for a birthday book for each child. Parents made pages, too. I treasure those handmade books, so vibrant with color from the pencils that Walford schools use. You’ve got me wondering whether I still have them in a cabinet somewhere. I love what you’ve shared here.

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