Coloured Pencil Tips

Why EXPERIMENTING is Vital when Learning to Draw with Coloured Pencils

As a former perfectionist, I always needed to get everything right first time. Not only was this unrealistic, it was also anxiety-provoking and often crippling to creativity.

I am now a HUGE fan of experimenting. It’s through experimenting that you learn what you like, don’t like, enjoy, don’t enjoy, what works well, what doesn’t, etc!

There is never only one way of doing things, never one person who knows ‘best’, never a right or wrong when it comes to art. Hey, if you don’t like my way of doing things or prefer doing something else – do your own thing! I encourage it 😀 I want you to experiment and learn as much as you can… I guarantee your art will flourish as a result.


So… WHY is Experimenting with your Coloured Pencils so important?


You Will Make Mistakes

… and learn from them. I love making mistakes. The more mistakes I make, the quicker I learn and the more I know.

Most people don’t like to ‘fail’ or ‘get things wrong’. I see mistakes purely as learning curves and an opportunity to accelerate my development.

If you’re so afraid of experimenting and not having everything perfect straight away, this can be rather restricting. Creativity is all about expression, pushing boundaries and giving your soul freedom to simply create – judgment free. Allow yourself permission to mess up and learn from it.


You Can Find New Ways of Doing Things

How will you know what you like and what works well if you don’t experiment?

You won’t learn anything new unless you try other options. Try new materials, alternative paper, different techniques, methods and effects. Get tips and advice from lots of different artists.

I discovered through experimenting that I absolutely LOVE working on coloured paper after 7 years of only drawing on white paper. I’m also now obsessed with my white gel pen and watercolour pencil (read my article for how I use these here).


It Will Make Your Art Unique

I don’t want your art to look like anyone else’s – I want it to be totally yours and unique! Experimenting and trying new things helps you to develop your own personal style.

I love it in my workshops when everyone creates something different when drawing the same subject – it’s so inspiring and wonderful to watch.


It’s Fun!

Being a perfectionist stuck in my comfort zone WAS NOT FUN. I lost my love for coloured pencils when I became obsessed with achieving perfect realism and detail. I stopped enjoying the process, and it became stressful.

Once I stopped judging myself and started playing about with new ideas – again, I stress: JUDGMENT FREE – I fell in love with coloured pencils all over again. I am so passionate about colour and every piece I create now is bursting with it… whereas before I would be more reserved as I didn’t want things to look ‘unrealistic’.  The process has became an exciting and relaxing journey.

You can watch the video version of this article here! Watch me draw a coloured pencil duck at the same time 😀

Happy experimenting lovely people!

Alice x