Featuring colorist Ronda Francis

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What Coloring With One Graphite Pencil Taught Me

I was tired after Christmas, but not tired enough to fall asleep.

Watching TV is never enough for me on its own, so I either doodle, draw, write, or...you get the idea.

But I was determined to take the day off, so as I was watching The Sopranos then The OA, I picked up one of my own coloring books and a pencil.

At first it was a bit like doodling on a newspaper or magazine, and I had no predetermined outcome on my mind. I just wanted to relax.

Then I got into it.

Picture as seen in coloring book.

Colored with one Pentel GrapGear500 0.3 2B lead

The pencil is a mechanical is a GraphGear Pentel 500 with 2B 0.3 lead. You can buy it here: Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil Brown (PG523E) 

The book is Coloring Dreams. It is printed by CreateSpace and has 14 one sided images. You can buy here:  Coloring Dreams: 8 x 10 Version with Borders

 I learned that using just one pencil is not only enough to color, it is super relaxing. (I found it to be even more relaxing than using colors, and can be just as striking.)

I learned to appreciate the images in a coloring book as art, and how to use shadows and light to make the image stand out, and even look beautiful.

I learned that 2B lead has a huge variation in depth of color, and that I love to use softer lead.

I also learned that if the lead is thin enough you can use a softer lead in a mechanical pencil and get a big variety of results.

I am not saying to get rid of your colored pencils, but maybe to give this a chance.

I loved it.


  1. I took a year of drafting in college back in the early 90s. It took me quite a bit of trying to get 3D down when drawing something. I just has the hardest time trying to figure it out. Then one day it hit me...and now I understand 3D like the back of my hand. Now if I can get that way with shading, my coloring will improve by leaps and bounds. I enjoyed reading your blog. I may have to get that pencil you recommend and try my hand at drawing. I am also thinking about that I need to get your book too. There are things in it that I am sure will delight my coloring urge.

    1. Interesting you mention drafting Gadel--many of my drawing tools are antique drafting equipment from the 50s. My father went to college for engineering and still had all his stuff. I am thrilled to have it. One of my faves is my Turquoise drafting pencils. Perfect weight. And I know what you are saying about 3D!! Perspective gave me a devil of a time! So have fun and thank you! If you buy the book I hope you like. There are 14 one sided images. Xo

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