Archive for the ‘Colored Pencils’ Category


Worth repeating

   Posted by: WebmasterJJ

This is a post from last year but it’s worth repeating as it’s a question I get asked a lot.


Let me take you on my journey to find the perfect sharpener for colored pencils.  First things first,  there are three types of pencil sharpeners available that I use and recommend;  electric, battery powered, and handheld.  

What type you use really depends upon your needs at the moment, for example if you are working on a tutorial (packet) and have a number of brand new pencils to sharpen you will want to use the electric sharpener to get your pencil started.

Perhaps you are taking a colored pencil class and have new pencils to sharpen, but don’t have easy access to electricity for your electric sharpener, this is where you’d want to use a battery powered sharpener as it has great portability and convenience.

A handheld sharpener also works well in the classroom setting, but is what you will want to use when you need to get a finer point on your pencil without eating up as much wax.  Some say that turning the sharpener instead of your hand will get you a better point, but I have found that as long as you hold your pencil straight up and down in line with the hole of the sharpener it is really your preference whether you turn the sharpener or turn your pencil.

Tips for using an electric pencil sharpener.

  1. Sharpen a no. 2 lead pencil with the sharpener prior to sharpening any colored pencils.
  2. Use the smallest hole.
  3. Prismacolors are wax-based, soft-lead pencils and pushing them down into the sharpener will break the lead off the pencil. Gently insert the pencil and let the sharpener do the work for you.
  4. If a colored pencil breaks off inside the electric sharpener, use a no. 2 pencil to push the wax point through.
  5. Every couple of months sharpen a no. 2 pencil to clean the wax off the blades.
  6. Never trust the light to tell you that a pencil is sharp. Learn to listen to the sound of the pencil being sharpened.

To see all the sharpeners that I recommend and offer, click here or copy and paste into your browser:

Here is a hand-held sharpener for the Lyra Polycolor pencils I am now painting with.

*** By the way, I am now offering E-Tutorials on my website. Take a look here…


New Colored Pencil Tutorials

   Posted by: admin

Remember the day when the lesson was called “packet”, well the new descriptive term is “Tutorial”.

Splash!-Trumpeter Swan was taught to a sold-out, 35 student class at the SDP Conference. It was fantastic! A big thanks to all the students! It motivates me to get class submissions ready for 2012 SDP Wichita, KS.

The Splash! tutorial is now ready for purchase on my website

You’ll find these in the Gallery on the Home Page.

We’ll be adding new items throughout the week.

The pictures above feature Splash! on different surfaces. Instructions are included for this in the tutorial.

Another tutorial available is “Flee to the Mountains”. I previewed a picture of this a while back on the blog. It’s based on several photos that Jeff, my husband, took while we were in Canada.

The newest item in our life right now is the studio and what’s going on here.

Natalie, my daughter-in-law, and Norah, my granddaughter, are working with me. So if you call or email you may talk to Natalie Johnson, Studio Manager. Were still working on her title, so go-with-the-flow if she answers the phone differently!

Best wishes to all and have a great Memorial Day weekend!!



The Easter Blessing

   Posted by: admin

The Easter Blessing

The Easter Blessing

Have a blessed Holy Week and a wonderful Easter weekend!
Janelle & Jeff Johnson
This colored pencil design by Janelle is available through her website.
The pencil  painting has a special touch added with an inspirational wood cross by
David Krepel