Can Colored Pencils Be used On Canvas?

can colored pencils be used on canvas?

You can use colored pencils on the canvas surface, but you need precise control and adjustability because the canvas does not have a straight and smooth surface. Using color pencils on canvas is all about controlling your hand pressure and adjusting it accordingly. You need to select the appropriate pencil because not all pencil types work on the canvas medium. As you will be using the colored pencils on canvas, you should remember that you are using them on a rigid, unbendable surface, not paper. So, your steps and works should be accordingly with that.

To properly implement the color pencil, you need to create a proper surface first. The surface of the canvas is quite different from that of the paper, as it is drafted for paintings.

Can Colored Pencils Be Used On Canvas?

Yes, you can use colored pencils on canvas and get incredible results. But unfortunately, the standard inexpensive and low-quality color pencils do not have the requirements to offer good performance when used on canvas. The most vital factor in perfect art or drawing is pencil selection. All the regular pencils will not work on the canvas properly because they have a max base that can resist some paints.

How To Use Color Pencils On Canvas?

The best way to add that additional dimension to your canvas-based drawing or painting is using colored pencils. It tends to work very well with other popular mediums such as acrylic and oil paint. We have some amazing techniques for you to use colored pencils on canvas.

First of all, Make sure you are using a suitable colored pencil, keep your pencils sharp, and don’t apply too much pressure. Although, there are some fantastic canvas pencil products on amazon that you can use to save your time and energy. They are soft yet durable and made of the latest advanced formulation.  

Although there are some specific canvas pencil products on the market that you are able to use, many of our readers will be much better off using something like the Prismacolor and Castle due to their lower price point and excellent performance. The pencils tend to perform very well on all surfaces, especially canvas, and are a quick and easy fix to the most common mistakes that we see people making time and time again when using colored pencils on canvas that is using a pencil that is not suitable for the job.

How To Blend Colored Pencils On Canvas?

There are a couple of quick and easy ways to blend colored pencils on canvas. It depends on what you are trying to do with your artwork. These range from applying friction with a cloth to adding a little terpenoid or other solvents to help different colors from your pencils blend well on your canvas. Some blending methods will only work with waxy pencils, though, so you do have to factor in the type of pencil that you are using.

We recommend using Prismacolor, as we mentioned above. They blend very well without the need for any external help. Although it may take a while to get used to blending pencils on the texture of canvas, once you get used to it, you will be able to blend colors quickly and easily. Usually, different brands and different types of colored pencils blend better when using different methods to assist with the blending, no matter the surface though. 

Benefits Of Using Colored Pencil on Canvas

Using suitable colored pencils brings you a lot of uniqueness, anxiety, and feasibility. Once you start implementing them, you are sure to use them for other purposes. There are a few things that you should keep in mind.

Firstly, be sure to get the best saturation when implied accordingly over the gesso spread surface. The durability of the colored pencil is outstanding. You are sure to use them for a long time on canvas. You don’t have to make any kind of pre-framing for your art. All you have to do is to implement the colored pencil and do your task.

There is no limitation to having any fixed canvas during your work. Real sketch impact can be easily indulged in your artwork. The pre-layouts of the drawing and oil paintings get elevated quickly. You can border or mark them with precise control.

Why You Should Use Colored Pencils On Canvas?

It seems challenging to use colored pencils on canvas, but you should give it a try. Here are a few benefits of using colored pencils on canvas.

– More Painterly Effects

Colored pencils on canvas can take on a more painted look than on paper, especially if you use a solvent on colored pencils. While one is not better than the other, drawn and painted looks are better for specific subjects. Both strategies have their place in the world of art. The canvas is the best if you want a painted look more than a drawn look.

– Durable Support 

Canvas is much harder than paper. Thus, it is more stable and can take on more burnishing and erasing than paper. The outstanding durability of canvas makes it excellent for correcting minor and major differences.

– High Versatility

If you want a very smooth drawing surface, you can try coating the canvas with gesso. The more coating of gesso you apply on the canvas, the smoother its surface gets. The smoother the surface of the canvas gets, the more detailed you can be with your drawing. Although it depends on how detailed you want to get with your drawing, smoothen down your canvas with gesso consequently.

– Highly Saturated Color

The weaves of canvas take a lot of pigment. Therefore, it makes sense that a colored pencil drawing on the canvas is highly saturated with color. However, keep your pencil sharp and apply the right amount of pressure to get this result. Keep your sharpener close at hand if you are trying to get a bright and prominent color on the canvas.

If you want a less saturated color, you can still get that with less amount of pressure on the pencil. Canvas creates a delicate feeling if you don’t apply too much pressure, and the white of the weaves barely shows. This method is amazing for skies and other atmospheric environments.

And if you want a more saturated and prominent color, you should not prime the canvas because priming the canvas smooths its surface. The more you apply primer, the more it will function as paper does. You can still prime your canvas according to expected effects.


To conclude, we can use colored pencils on canvas. Canvas is predominantly used for painting but, colored pencils can also be utilized on canvas. Special focus should be on the type of pencils you are going to use. With proper technique and some practice, you can create a masterpiece with these mediums!

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