007 Burnishing

What exactly is burnishing?

Burnishing and layering go hand in hand.  I can test on separate paper to figure out how many layers I can go.

In colored pencil, burnishing happens when you’ve applied so many pencil layers and used heavy enough pressure to smooth the surface of the paper.  This generally means that the paper or surface (or support) will no longer take any more layers.  

Burnishing can limit the options that you have.  Once you’ve flattened out the tooth (all those hills and valleys) in the paper you have no more opportunities to add more colors.  

Heavy pressure too earlier in the process for a very textured paper can also cause your surface to look unfinished.  It can leave white spots that you can’t get rid of.

The point of the pencil makes a big difference in the layering and burnishing process.

So what about pencil burnishers and the different types there are to choose from?


What is Scrubbing?  Movement that is 2 directional in the same spot.  Such as moving the pencil side to side or back and forth.  If you were to use lighter weight paper and scrub for very long you would eventually wear a hole in the paper.  

Scrubbing should be reserved for cleaning pots and pans and not for fine art!

Links mentioned in the show:

Lisa’s video on burnishing