How To Shade With Crayons

Crayon shadings are very popular in art classes. You can use them on paper or canvas. There are many different ways to do this. Here I’ll show you my favorite way.


If you’re looking to add a little extra dimension to your drawings, crayon shading is a great way to do it. You can transform your flat pictures into works of art with just a few supplies. So grab your materials, and let’s get started!

What Materials Are Needed For Shading With Crayons?

The great thing about crayons is that they’re very versatile and can be used on a variety of different surfaces.

However, when it comes to shading, you’ll get the best results on smooth, non-porous surfaces such as Bristol board or illustration paper.

For this reason, many artists prefer to use specialized shading tools like pencils or charcoal sticks.

When it comes to shade with crayons, the type of material you use will depend on the effect you’re going for. Use a blending stump or cotton swab to smudge the color for a softer look. If you want sharper lines, use a fine-tipped marker or pen instead. Experiment until you find the technique that

What Tools Will You Need?

  1. A good quality set of crayons. Cheap crayons often have a wax that’s not as smooth, making it difficult to get a soft shading effect. There are a few essential tools you’ll need to shade with crayons:
  2. A blending stump or tortillon. This is a thin, paper-covered wad of cotton that you can use to blend your colors.
  3. A piece of paper towel or tissue paper. This will help you remove excess wax from your crayons and keep them from getting too messy.

How To Shade With Crayons

What Steps Go Into Creating A Shadable Painting?

The first step is to choose your colors. You’ll need a light color, a dark color, and two shades each.

The second step is to draw your subject on canvas using the lightest color.

The third step is to mix the darkest color with enough white paint to make it light enough to shade your subject without making it too soft. Use this color to fill in the areas of your subject in shadow.

Next, mix one of the shades of each color with white paint to make them lighter and use these colors to fill in the areas that are not in direct sunlight.

The final step is to add details and highlights with the lightest color. Allow your painting time to dry completely before framing or displaying.

What Kinds Of Colors For Shadings?

Although black is not technically a color, you can use it for shading in crayon drawings. In general, darker colors are better suited for shading than lighter colors. Some good choices for dark shades include brown, navy blue, and forest green.

Bright colors are great for adding life and cheer to any project. Earth tones are perfect for a more subtle, natural look.

When choosing crayons for shading, it’s essential to consider the image’s color palette you’re working on.

A general rule of thumb is to use lighter shades to create highlights and darker shades to create shadows.

However, it’s always best to experiment with different colors and combinations to see what looks best.

Color theory is a complex topic, but here are a few essential tips: blues and purples typically make objects appear more relaxed, while yellows and oranges make them appear warmer; reds and greens are complementary colors, so you can use them to create visual contrast, and light colors tend to recede while dark colors seem to come forward.

What Color Goes Best With Each Other?

There are a few different ways to find the right colors to use for shading with crayons.

You can experiment by trying out different color combinations yourself or consult with a color expert.

If you’re going to experiment on your own, a good rule of thumb is choosing colors opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, if you’re using a yellow crayon for your lightest shade, you could use a purple crayon for your darkest shade. This will create a nice contrast and make your shades pop. 

Another approach is to choose colors that are similar in hue but have different saturation levels. So, for example, you could use light pink and dark purple to create gentle shadings.

As mentioned earlier, it’s always best to experiment with different colors and combinations to see what looks best.

What Kind Of Medium Should You Use?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a medium for crayon shading.

The type of paper you’re using is essential, as different pieces will absorb color differently. A thicker paper is better for wet media, while a thinner paper is ideal for dry media.

The type of crayons you’re using is also worth considering. Oil-based crayons are great for creating rich, deep colors, while wax-based crayons are better suited for detailed work. Whichever crayon type you choose, be sure to use a high-quality brand like Crayola or Prismacolor.

Finally, it’s always helpful to have a variety of pencils on hand to create different types of shading.

A fine-tipped pencil is excellent for detailed work, while you can use a thicker pencil to fill in larger areas.

Experiment with different mediums and see what works best for you. There’s no wrong way to shade with crayons, so have fun and see what you can create!

What Size Paper Should You Use?

The size of paper you use for crayon shadings will depend on your personal preference and the overall effect you are trying to achieve.

However, generally speaking, using a smaller piece of paper will give you more control over the shading process and allow you to produce more detailed and precise results.

So, if you are new to crayon shading or are looking for precision, it is advisable to start with a smaller piece of paper.

Once you become more comfortable with the technique, you can experiment with larger pieces of paper to see their effect on your shading.


Shading with crayons can be a lot of fun, and the results can be awe-inspiring.

By experimenting with different color combinations and mediums, you can create a wide range of shading effects that add depth and dimension to your drawings.

So get creative and have some fun with it!