Can You Use Colored Pencil on Canvas

It is a simple straight answer, but it has little traps inside of this answer.
Keep reading because I share all the essentials for how you can use colored pencil on canvas.

Not many artists are using colored pencils on canvases. But if you reading this post, then it seems you see a challenge.
You won’t try it. Right?
Why not, art is exploring.
Some artists use them for the layout of paintings, and others to explore and draw with them.
We will stick to those that use canvas for colored pencil art.

How to Prepare More Friendly Colored Pencil Surface

You decide to go for it, and nothing will stop you from using canvas with your colored pencils.

How to get started?

  • Get smoother canvases from the store, already primed
  • Even if the canvas is primed you need to put a minimum of two layers of gesso, I recommend that you go with three layers. You will get a more colored pencil, friendly surface, and it will save your pencils a lot.
  • Sand it and get a smoother surface. That is another power up to save you pencils softcore.

How to Work on the Canvas After or Before It's Stretched

  • Work on pre-stretched canvas
  • Use plywood as support from the back, to avoid sagging. Also, you will work more easily along the edges of the canvas.

How Do You Protect a Colored Pencil on a Canvas?

Once you finish drawing with colored pencil it is time for protection.
To protect colored pencils on canvas you will need a fixative.

If you don’t use fixative your drawing will not last! The same rule goes for graphite pencils

Have in mind when you use fixative colors could run, so approach to this step carefully. Another issue with fixative is that the colors might change.

Colored pencil drawing on canvas by Batsielicious
Art by @batsielicious

Pros of Using Colored Pencils on Canvas

There are not many benefits of using canvas as a drawing surface.
But here are few to point out

  • Colors of the pencil will be much more intensely than on the paper surface
  • There are not many artists that use canvas for colored pencil, that is excellent I see the uniqueness
  • If you have canvas laying around a superb opportunity to explore something new
  • Layout for oil paintings or acrylics

Cons If You Use Canvas with Colored Pencils

Unfortunately, few cons are very important to know. But don’t be discouraged because of that.

  • It is hard to erase colored pencils, but it is possible. You don’t have much space for mistakes, but it is possible to some level. With an electric eraser is possible to remove layers on the drawing but using it with light pressure. If you lift some gesso, you will get some room for further layers.
  • It eats your pencil enormously! Because of the texture of canvas, the tooth is much more significant than on paper. That tooth will eat your pencil in no time, especially if you use soft colored pencils. You will have more luck if you use harder colored pencils like Faber Castell.
  • You will achieve fine details very hard. Due to the humps on the surface, it is tough to achieve fine details like on the paper surface.
  • Blending is possible. But you will have a big struggle with the tooth of the canvas. It is hard to cover white ridges that come out, even after a few layers.

Can you use colored pencils on canvas