Get to Know Your Medium – Make Some Marks!

Dry media: pencil, pencil crayon, ink, charcoal, chalk pastel, oil pastel
Use each material to make different kinds of marks (see sample videos of oil and chalk pastel below). Try:

  • creating lightness/darkness
  • blending colours, layering colours, varying pressure
  • hatching (lines in the same direction) and cross-hatching (lines in different directions)
  • stippling (dots), scumbling (overlapping circular scribbles), dragging, rolling… 

Then, choose at least 3 different media to create small individual drawings, using some of the techniques you have explored.

Colour blending note: when blending oil pastels, start with the darker colour and blend the lighter colour in. With all other media, you can start with the lighter colour. With chalk pastel and pencil crayon, keep adding light layers, alternating colours, until you achieve the desired effect.


  • Vary dryness/wetness (of paper and brush) to create washes & blend colours
  • Experiment with brush strokes (dry/wet) and different kinds of brushes
  • Explore additional materials to see the textures and effects you can create (e.g. salt, plastic wrap, spray bottle, straws, paper towel, cotton swabs, glue+salt, tape resist, oil pastel resist, etc.). 

Then, create a small watercolour painting, using some of the techniques you have explored. Feel free to add additional media to this piece.

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Think pencil crayon is boring? It doesn’t have to be! Check out these works by Lui Ferreyra:

Embrace the fuzzy edges you can make with charcoal, as in these works by Elaine Green:

Contemporary chalk pastel work by several artists, including Zaria Forman:

features incredible contemporary art and artists, and is always inspiring:


Enormous color pencil drawings of paint by @cj_hendry.

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>> More pencil crayon drawings of giant gobs of paint by CJ Hendry


Ballpoint pen drawings by @nuriariaza today on Colossal, link in bio.

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>> More extraordinary drawings in ballpoint pen by Nuria Riaza


Illustrations by @alfredbasha today on Colossal, link in bio.

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>> More pen and ink illustrations of animals morphing into trees by Alfred Basha


Incredible charcoal portraits of women by artist @clionewton today on Colossal, link in bio.

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>> More stunning charcoal portraits by Clio Newton

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Helpful link: Creating value in pen & ink


Oil Pastel

Chalk Pastel

Watercolour techniques: Washes and special effects