colored pencil painting bible front

Colored Pencil Painting Bible Review

My Colored Pencil Painting Bible review.

colored pencil painting bible review

The book that I’m reviewing today is Colored Pencil Painting Bible: Techniques for Achieving Luminous Color and Ultra-realistic Effects by Alyona Nickelsen. The first thing that I noticed about the book was the cover (duh). That’s a pretty great colored pencil drawing (or painting as the author calls them). The basic technique used throughout the book is essentially layering color with wax based colored pencils (Prismacolor pencils), using solvent (such as Gamblin’s OMS Gamsol) to remove visible pencil strokes and blend the colors together, and finally layering more colored pencil (burnishing where needed) to complete the “painting”.

In the Colored Pencil Painting Bible, Alyona talks about different types of paper, pencils, solvents, and other things such as erasing tools. She tells the reader about color charts and how the reader can create them. This book briefly covers art fundamentals such as composition, color, value, light, and shadows. The author also talks about different pencil strokes, blending, layering colors, burnishing, and image transferring.

At the end of the Colored Pencil Painting Bible the author includes charts that list the lightfastness (how permanent or unaffected by light the color is) of colored pencils. The information can be useful to artists who use colored pencils such as Caran d’Ache Luminance, or Faber-Castell Polychromos. The majority of artists that I know (including myself) who use colored pencils prefer Prismacolor Premier pencils. The charts have no lightfastness ratings for those pencils, which was a huge letdown for me. Thankfully for you, I took the initiative to find the lightfast ratings for the Prismacolor Premier colored pencils. You can see that chart here.

One nice tip I took away from this book is how to obtain a rich black color. Alyona applies black colored pencil to the paper (she prefers Stonehenge), and melts the wax with an OMS wash. Next, she layers indigo blue, dark green, and tuscan red. She then adds another layer of black and blends the mix with a colorless blender.

While I think that Alyona’s technique is nice, I think that the book could be shorter and have a smaller price tag (although as I write this review the book is only $17.15 on Amazon). I think that it has too many exercises in it that just bulk it up. This book provides a good foundation for anyone interested in furthering their knowledge of colored pencils, or anyone who is interested in taking colored pencil art seriously. I recommend at least checking it out from the library if you are serious about colored pencil art.

There you have it! That’s my Colored Pencil Painting Bible review. 

Monoprice Tablet Unboxing

Today we are going to be unboxing the Monoprice Tablet (specifically the 10 x 6.25 Inch Graphic Drawing Tablet)!

I bought the Monoprice 10X6.25 Inches Graphic Drawing Tablet on Amazon. You can purchase it directly from Monoprice’s website but the cost of shipping is what kills the deal (although this tablet is still quite a steal).

This post isn’t my review of the tablet, but the unboxing photos, because some people are into that. Keep an eye out for my review in the near future.


Tablet PackageI ordered my tablet from Amazon and when the package arrived I had no idea what I received. That’s mostly due to the package being enormous.

Tablet Package Size ComparisonHere is a size comparison with an iPod Classic just to show you how oversized this package is.

Inside the Tablet PackageAnd now we take a peek into the package. Initially there was paper in here to somehow protect the box from moving around (or just to take up space). I took that out before snapping a photo.

Monoprice TabletHere’s the front of the box. It’s nothing special but it could be uglier. I wasn’t expecting the elegant design of a Zune box or something from Apple.

Monoprice TabletHere’s the back of the box. It mentions some stupid free tablet software that I will never use.

Monoprice TabletSome words and such on the back of the box.

Monoprice TabletThe contents of the box. The tablet, the pen, the software/manual, extra nibs, a battery and the pen holder.

Monoprice TabletHere’s the tablet in all of it’s glory! No, it doesn’t have a weird white spot on the surface, that’s just the reflection from the flash on the camera.

Monoprice TabletCloseup of the tablet shortcut keys. These are changeable in the software.

Monoprice TabletHere’s the tablet surface overlay. It lifts up so you can put a photo underneath and trace it? Something along those lines.

Monoprice TabletThe bottom of the tablet!

Monoprice TabletThis gizmo holds the pen.

Monoprice TabletThe bottom of the pen holder has a contraption on it for removing nibs.

Monoprice PenThis is the pen. It may not look like much but it works. I’d say that the number one negative thing I see in reviews for this tablet is about the pen. More about that in my review to come.

Monoprice NibCloseup of the nib in the pen.

Monoprice Pen ButtonsThe buttons on the pen. They default as primary and secondary clicks.

Monoprice TabletThe battery, nibs, software, and manual.

Monoprice TabletSize comparison of the tablet with my 2009 15.4″ Unibody MacBook Pro.

Burglary?On the protective bag around the tablet there was a mysterious graphic showing what I interpret as Monoprice despising burglars. Either that or you’re supposed to keep the bag away from infants.



Did you figure out what my favorite package design was from?

What product do you think has the best package design?