How To Sharpen Colored Pencils?

How To Sharpen Color Pencils

The era of black and whites is long gone and the world has introduced colors. Colors bring you a clearer version of everything and anything. The world has revolutionized so much that it has brought us from the no image era to the colored image era and in that colored pencils have played a huge role!

What Are Color Pencils?

As the name indicates that colored pencils are the ones with pigmented or colorful lead inside them. They leave colorful marks when rubbed against the surface of the paper. Pencils might have lead in them or oils or waxes but anything that is used will have a pigment in it. The outer cover might be or wood or anything. Nowadays improved versions of pencils exist having plastic or stainless steel bodies when a lead sticks inside them. These are more durable and do not require sharpening. The lead can be put in again once it is finished.

What Are The Types Of Color Pencils?

  • Professional pencils and Artist grade pencils

    These are the ones used only by professionals. These have increased durability in terms of core, breakage of lead as well as water resistance. These possess the most durable core with the best quality of pigments in them. The ratio of breakage of lead is also decreased in the professional pencils. They are water repellent. These have a wide range of shades of colors they come in. These can be bought in sets of a minimum of 72 colors to a maximum of 120 colors. Individual colors are also available.
  • Student use pencils and scholastic grade

    These are typically made for student users who are either trying to be professionals or for elementary school children for arts and craft purposes. These no doubt have low quality in everything as compared to the professional ones but do their job as required. The quality of the wood used for outer covering is not as nice as the professional ones. Also, the durability is also decreased when compared to professional color pencils. These are more viable to breakage and are less water repellant. The pigments used are also not of the best quality but they still do the job really nicely. These come in a range of 24 colors minimum and 36 colors at maximum. These can also be bought as individual color pencils rather than in sets.
  • Watercolour pencils

    Watercolor pencils are another medium used for drawings and paintings. These can be used dry as well as damp. You first apply the dry color and then you can use water and a brush to get shades of it or draw. These are also available for professionals as well as for simple use. The range of colors in these is again starting from 72 shades. These come in a maximum o 120 shades also.
  • Pastel pencils

    Pastel pencils are no different than hardwood pencils. These can again be used dry or wet. The fun part about these is that the colors can be combined to get a different shade. The lead can also be sharpened if a pointy tip is needed for detailing in the sketch and can be used as-is for the purpose of blending and mixing colors. These are available in a set of 32 to 64 colors.

What Are The Types Of Sharpeners Used For Color Pencils?

Electric Sharpeners For Sharpening Color Pencils

Electric pencil sharpeners are automatically operated. the user does not need to apply any pressure or move it over the pencil to get the desired tip. These work by themselves and are usually available in office cabins. These are reported to get blocked by the dirt or wax that gets off while sharpening hence you need to clean it up quite often. You can run through any graphite pencil or you can also use toothpicks or Q tips. For color pencils, they tend to work harshly and eat up a lot of pencils before giving a pointy tip. This is so because of the waxy pigment in them and it’s hard to get a pointy tip.

How To Sharpen Color Pencils With Electric Sharpeners?

You just need to put your pencil in the hole and the sharpener automatically sharpens it. Once it’s done, pull out the pencil and it is ready to use.

Handheld Plastic Sharpener For Sharpening Color Pencils

These are the cheapest and easily available ones. These are pretty easy to use also. These create quite a mess while working with them but are a safer option to get going. These can also be used by children.

How To Sharpen Color Pencils With A Handheld Sharpener?

You need to put your pencil inside the hole in the sharpener and turn around the sharpener. The pencil shaving comes off as you move the sharpener around indicating that the pencil is being sharpened. You can check the tip of the pencil from the little gap after the blade to check if you have got the tip you were looking for. Pull out your pencil once you are done and throw the shaving and lead debris in the bin.

Hand Crank Pencil Sharpeners

Hand crank pencil sharpeners are usually available in school or university settings. These are a bit too harsh for colored pencils. These offer a lot of force and friction towards the pencils and there are more chances of breakage than a pointy end. Since the color pencils usually have a pigmented lead, you will lose a lot of lead as well as the pencil’s outer covering while sharpening with it. These are not recommended to use for color pencils.

How To Sharpen Using A Hand-crank Pencil Sharpener?

You put your pencil in any of the holes. Apply force on the handle and make it move in a circular motion. This sharpens your pencils your pencil in about 3 to 5 circles and takes about 2 to 3 minutes.

Knife For Sharpening Color Pencils

Knives are another option to sharpen your color pencils. These are again easily available. While sharpening with knives, provides you with a clear view of the tip. You can stop working as soon as you get the desired tip. Sharpening with knives might take longer than the other things used but does the job perfectly. Knives should be used carefully as you might get a cut while working with them. This again creates a mess while working.

How To Sharpen Colored Pencils Using A Knife?

Hold your pencil in one hand and sharpener in the other hand. Using your knife slough off the lead and the outer wood covering. It will make an approximate angle of about 30 degrees. Keep on rotating your pencil while sharpening as you do not want to lose a lot of material from one side disturbing the symmetry of the pencil tip. Continue doing this till you see your desired pencil tip. Clean away the dirt from the tip.

Sandpaper For Sharpening Color Pencils

Sandpaper is quite a good option for color pencils as they can sharp crayons or pastel pencils as well. This good slough off a lot less material than any of the other things used. These again as knives provide you with direct looking at the tip while sharpening and you can stop whenever you want. This takes about 4 to 5 minutes for sharpening. If your upper layer gets used up, You can tear it away and you will get a new layer under the first one. This means it is quite long-lasting. Contrary to knives, you will not get any cuts while working with sandpaper.

How To Sharp Color Pencils Using Sandpaper?

Put your pencil on the sandpaper making an angle of about 30 degrees and rub it against the sandpaper. It will slough off all the unwanted lead and outer covering and sharpens your pencil giving you the pointy tip in the end. Keep rotating your pencil while you sharpen it to maintain the round shape of the tip of it.

What Type Of Sharpener Is The Best Among All?

Handheld sharpeners are the most commonly used ones and often do a pretty good job in less time. These are also convenient and easy to use and give you a pointy tip in just 3 to 4 turns. These are portable, cheap, and easily available as well.

How To Prevent Often Breaking Of Colour Pencils?

  • Keep your pencils in pouches or pencil cases. Less exposure to the environment helps maintaining pointy tip for longer period of time and there are going to be less chances of sudden damage.
  • Try to use the pencil as long as you can before you start sharpening it again because a lot of pigment is lost when you sharpen your pencil.
  • Try using the sharpener that suits your pencil best. Don’t be too harsh on your pencils.
  • While using your pencils, try to apply less pressure. This helps in minimising the often breaking of the lead. If you want darker impact of your pencil in some area, move it over that area twice or thrice.
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