Types of Color Blenders for Artists

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    Blending Pencils

    • For artists using colored pencils, a blending pencil is the best tool for blending colors. Blending pencils are the same shape and size as colored pencils and are often included in larger sets of colored pencils or sold separately. Instead of colored pigment, they contain a clear, waxy medium that can blend the pigment in two colored lines drawn side by side. Artists use a blending pencil much like a standard colored pencil but apply it over the top of existing colors, causing the colors in the first layer to blend together smoothly.


    • A stump is a short stick made of paper pulp. Stumps usually come with two pointed ends and can be sharpened with a razor blade or in a standard pencil sharpener. Stumps are made from porous paper material and collect the pigment in graphite, pastels, or conté crayons. Artists use a stump much like a graphite pencil to create a smooth surface or blend colors and create gradients.


    • Tortillons are paper rolls that resemble stumps but are made from a single sheet of paper rolled tightly, rather than from compressed paper pulp. Tortillons are more dense and useful for blending colors in conté crayons and graphite on rough-textured paper.


    • Artists who work in oil, acrylic, and tempera paints use brushes to blend colors. They blend pigments either on an easel or on the paper or canvas painting surface itself. Brushes come in many different sizes and styles and may be made of authentic animal hair or synthetic fibers.


    • For artists working with watercolor paint, water is a common color blender. Water dissolves the paint medium and causes the pigment to spread out or blend with adjacent colors. Watercolor painters use water to blend colors before they paint, and later to produce various effects on the painting surface.

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