158 Burnishing

158 Burnishing.png

Show Notes

Sharpened Artist: Colored Pencil Podcast

Release Date: May 28, 2018


Topic: Burnishing


Points of Interest:

John and Lisa talk about the burnishing technique: what it is, when to use it, ways to effectively burnish, which materials are useful in burnishing, and some of the physical effects and considerations with using this technique on a regular basis.


Bonus: New information about the lightfastness of the Caran d’Ache Aquarelle pencils!

Get the "Caring For Your ArtWork" document below:



Links Referenced

Interview with Cecile Baird

Art Spectrum Colourfix Pastel Paper Packs

Fisher 400 Art Paper

Stonehenge Paper

Caran d’Ache Blender Bright

Caran d’Ache Aquarelle

Chart explaining the Blue Wool scale rating for the Aquarelle pencils from Creativeartmaterials.com




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John’s Twitter: @sharpenedartist

Lisa’s Twitter: @lachri



As always, thanks for listening! Tune in next week for more from John and Lisa. In the meantime, be sure to visit www.sharpenedartist.com for additional updates and information. You can also join our Facebook group, Colored Pencil Podcast, or contact us by email at podcast@sharpenedartist.com .


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Stay sharp!

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