Pencil Blending Tools

Pencil Blending Tools

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Blending is a big part of drawing with a pencil. Its what gives you smooth value transitions. Over the years I have found many things that I use for blending pencil. Here I’ll go e you all a description on what I use.

Blending is important because it gives you control of where you want pencil and how dark you want it, it controls the tonal value and how it transitions from dark to light. Personally I use it  to blend the shadows with the surrounding areas. You can blend all pencil hardness that may range from 6H up to 9B,each giving you different results.  I primarily use softer pencils such as 4B and 6B as I feel that I can have better control of the graphite.

How do you blend? The most popular way is to blend in a circular motion. The amount of pressure determines how much you blend. I prefer blending,adding pencil and then blend again. You can also pull if you need to get a different effect. Be sure to practice and have fun doing it. Drawing is about enjoying it and learning,don’t ever forget that. Now let’s get to the good part.

What do I blend with?  These are the tools that I have used over the years.

Tortillon: the tortillon is a great way to blend as it’s made of rolled paper. Basically you’re using paper to blend on paper. My only complaint about the tortillon is that over time it can get really dirty,not only from pencil but oils from your hands get on the tip over and over time grime and dirt sticks to it and it can smudge that on your drawing. These dont last forever so they are meant to be replaced when needed. They are also relatively cheap in price.

Tissue Paper:

Tissue paper is a great for blending and it’s easy to find. I’ve used tissue paper to blend large areas,for example blend skin values. A great example is blending the area that has shadow along the face. It gives a nice transition from dark to light area.


Q-tip are are also great for blending. It gives you much more control of how much you want to blend. These are great for blending tight areas like under the eyes.


This is definitely something different but it’s great to blend large areas. Since the brush bristles are soft you don’t have much control of how much you can blend. The brush helps you you give you an even transition once you have blended with any of the othetools.

Shammy towel

This one is of my favorite tools for blending large areas. Because of the fibers,it gives you such a nice smooth transition.  Relatively cheap for a large piece,it will last you a long time if you use cut it into small pieces.

Color Shaper

One of my favorites and best tools for blending. This tool is specifically for blending tight areas. The tip is made of silicone and it’s usually used for painting but it’s amazing for pencil. It is good for “pulling” pencil and then blending it. It’s such a versatile tool that can be combined with the previous ones mentioned. You can pull the pencil in any direction and then blend it with the other tools or even this one. It gives you so much control.


Blending is an important part of drawing but it’s also important to be creative. Remember that you can also combine any if these tools to blend a certain area. You don’t necessarily need to use only one tool. For example,you can blend the edges of a dark area using the color shaper and Chamoi towel and the feather out the edges even further with the brush. Be creative,experiment and you will see great.  If you found this tutorial helpful,be sure to share it with your friends! Have fun drawing!!

Pencil Blending Tools
Pencil Blending Tools

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