Mixing Warm and Cool Grey Coloured Pencils Together in Your Artwork

Feb 18, 2022
Mixing Warm and Cool Grey Coloured Pencils Together in Your Artwork - Bonny Snowdon Academy


Today, I want to talk about mixing warm and cool greys together in your coloured pencil artwork. It's something that works really, really beautifully and has the most amazing effect on your drawings. 

Recently, I drew the gorgeous Brad, a pale grey horse, only using grey coloured pencils. I used the Polychromos range of warm and cold greys, which I think are just amazing and are, in my opinion, the best range of grey coloured pencils available. They have six warm, six cold, plus the Dark Sepia, which is very dark and warm, and the Paynes Grey, which is very cold. It really is a brilliant range of colours. 

So, I wanted to break down the areas of the portrait where I used each type of grey, to give you an idea of the effect they can have, and to help you when it comes to mixing greys in your own artwork. 

Here's the finished portrait: 

So, you'll be able to spot where I've used the cold and warm greys just by looking at the colour. If you look at his forehead, you'll see patches of hair that have a yellow tinge and look slightly warmer than the hair in other sections. This yellow patch then starts to change as you come down his nose, and you can see where I've started to mix the warm and cold colours together. 

When you look further down at his muzzle, you'll see where I've added warmer greys into the highlighted areas, and cooler greys in the shadowy areas. In the really dark areas around his mouth and nostrils, I've added a lot of colder grey, but you can still see some of the warmer greys I've added in when you look at the shapes between his nostrils and his upper lip. 

Looking at his back, I decided to use warmer greys as I wanted it to blend in nicely with the paper and give the effect of it fading off into the background. 

It's not that often that I'll stick to just one colour, but I felt this had a really beautiful effect. Mixing the warm and cool greys has left me with an almost silver colour throughout the portrait, but you still see those flashes of warmth. I have to say, I'm really pleased with the outcome, and hopefully Brad's owner will be too! 

To find out more about how I mix warm and cool greys in my coloured pencil artwork, and to see more examples of drawings where I've used these colours, give the video shown above a watch. It will take you through the process in more depth, and will help you to train your eye into spotting those warm and cool hues.



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