Continuing on with our series of The Why, How, When of layering, burnishing and solvent. Here is Part 2 – Burnishing

Starting with the basics – What is burnishing?

Burnishing is when you use a light coloured pencil (usually white) or a colourless blender (Derwent & Primsacolor ) to blend all of your previous coloured pencil layers together.



How to do it?

Take your burnishing pencil go over your artwork, as you do so push hard and you will  you see all your previous layers blend together.

When to do it?

ALWAYS burnish towards the end of your artwork. You will not be able to add more pencil once this is done so only do this when when you don’t want to mix any more colour and are finalising your drawing.

Subject wise you generally do this when you are drawing smooth surfaces and can also be used to create shape like roundness or shape buy burnishing and colouring in the direction of an object ie. like a glass vase you could burnish following the curve of the glass.

You do not have to burnish your whole artwork you can just burnish sections.


  • – Use a pressure of around 3-5 – (5 being the hardest you can press with your pencil).
  • – Burnishing can sometimes be done to stop other layers of pencil covering a section of your artwork.


Don’t forget to watch the video. Please let me know what you think.


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