Coloured pencil on mi-teintes. Questions from the lesson

I’m currently working on the sky for the landscape lesson in the coloured pencil course.

I ran into 2 problems:

  1. I’m using a very old mi-teintes paper (when it was still sold in block-binding of some 20 papers), so I’m not sure if they have changed the tooth since then, but the rough surface is a little bit like honeycomb and it will still show through after 4 or 5 layers even after burnishing. While I like the effect in the lighter areas of the sky, it looks a bit “dirty” in the darker parts. (I try to add some close-up photos)

This is the tooth of the paper:

  1. Problem two is a mixing problem: I get some greenish glow when adding the spanish orange to my sky, due to the cloud blue. Again I will try to add some photo)

Any ideas how to improve this would be appreciated

I love the way it is.

Jennilein, it would be nice to see the whole piece in context. I have not taken that course yet.

I don’t have the full piece but that’s how far I got:

Hi Jennilein - it looks like you’re doing fine so far. I have not done this lesson myself, but I went to take a quick look to better understand your question. The reason you may be thinking your dark colors are looking dirty could be because it looks like you missed a step. Go back to the lesson and listen / watch the part from 4:18 to 4:28 minutes. Notice that Matt is putting a layer of white on the entire sky. It looks like some of your sky does not have this white layer, which would make colors a little darker / duller. Anyway, you are really early in this lesson and you need to keep working thru the lesson and making adjustments as you see fit. All drawings have a point where they look kinda ugly in the artists eye, until they are further refined. Just stick with it. You still need a lot more layers on top of what is shown in the photo that is posted here. The texture of the paper should allow you to add several more layers.

Terri Robichon


Hi Terri,
thank you so much for your answer. You are right, I can’t believe I missed this part. I watched the video several times :astonished:
I will try to add even more layers, I already have up to 5 I think, so I really believed this would be all. This is really a time consuming paper tooth :laughing:

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I decided to give this a go. I went and bought the prismacolor scholar 24 set,
The sky I am pleased with, probably need more layers. I moved to the tree line, I am not happy at all, looks like a child used some crayons and scribbled on the paper. I put the piece up and I am going to start a charcoal piece, my first attempt at using only colored pencils. I will attempt this lesson again at some point but for now I will marvel and enjoy the colorful art of others.
Thank you for sharing your progress and looking forward to seeing the completed project.

Hi Jim - so sorry that you are frustrated with colored pencils. They do take a lot of time and patience, but are delightful to work with once you get the hang of it.

Also, you are not alone when it comes to trying something that doesn’t turn out very well. It actually happens to me quite often. But, with determination and persistence, that is how we learn.

Terri Robichon

Wow, I noticed how long I have not posted here, got sidetracked so I didn’t draw as much.
Here my update: WIP

For a landscape I’m quite happy, as I rarely draw those. I had a lot of trouble with the bush on the left, so I worked with the white to add some details. I like the style better now, but I’m still lost with all the detail in foliage and grass. How do you not lose focus with all the details?

And I call that done, finally.
I still don’t fancy landscapes but I learned quite a bit about mixing the colours and how to layer the pencils so I am not unhappy with the result


Nice job! At least you finished, I quit on my try, its back to charcoal for me. Someday I will have another go at colored pencils.

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Don’t quit! Make the best of what you created! I always hate to throw unfinished paintings out, bc during the process we learn!

I will do some other medium now, too for a change. Basically bc I feel bad that things like watercolour are just gathering dust!

All I can say is: Don’t limit yourself! Have fun :heart:

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@Jennilein ,

Your landscape is very good. It is a large piece in colored pencils to tackle. I do love colored pencils, however, I do my landscapes with soft pastels in pencil and stick form to save me time and effort. I did the peony in colored pencils a while back and started it over because it was challenging. I’m so glad you committed to it and finished it. Very impressed!



Thank you! Yes, it was a challenge. I do love coloured pencils but I don’t usually draw landscapes and the paper took a big toll on my greens. I usually use mi teintes with pastels, too. One thing I find challenging are small details in pastel, I find that coloured pencils are better for those, but maybe I’m just not used to it


I’m new to the forum and a little behind on the conversation. Mi teintes paper is my go to. I’ve been working with color pencils for 25 plus years. A trick with this paper with a heavy texture is try the back side, still has a tooth with less texture. pictures coming later.

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Hi Rodney. If you like colored pencil drawings you should also try PastelMat paper by Clairfontaine. It is more expensive but is regarded by many as the best for colored pencils and pastels. Takes more layers than anything else. Comes in white and some colors.

Terri Robichon

PS welcome to the forum. A very friendly and supportive place to hang out. We’d love it if you’d post some of your artwork here. We usually don’t give advice for improvement unless you specifically ask for advice.