Book Review: The ultimate guide to colored pencil by Gary Greene

colored pencils review
The Ultimate Guide to Colored Pencil by Gary Greene – buy it here

I got this book as a Christmas present a couple of years ago after a sudden idea that if I knew a lot about these mediums, my coloring would improve.

First of all -it didn’t. Only time and dedication to my time spent on improving myself could do that. Still, I think CAN be worthwhile sometimes to invest in a real book and not only videos. Gary Green might not be an expert on every technique for every colorist/artist, but he is knowledgeable just the same.

At first glimpse…

This book is spiral-bound and heavy. The paper is thick – but not too thick. Yet, it can be a bit hard to flip through the sides as they are very glossy. When they say hardback, they MEAN HARDBACK! 😉 This book can take a beating or two.

The book carries with it a bonus DVD with a demonstration of coloring a rose, using different techniques in the book. When you flip through the pages, you see that this book is mainly for new or beginning artists which brings me back to the point that colorists can learn a lot from this book themselves. Even if you’re a beginner in the art.

The content…

The author starts off with a brief glimpse into the different medias (dry or wet pencils for example), their special abilities and the brands mostly used. Personally I’d like to see a more thorough and in-depth review of each medium, as well a wider list of the different art mediums, since the market has certainly overflowed the past years with this stuff.

Gary goes over mediums as well as paper types, explaining the different ways to make use of your tools – everything form sharpeners to erasers, solvent and paper types are discussed and the best way to optimize the use of them. Then she goes on to dedicate a whole chapter for reference photos, which – as an artist – might be important if you’re doing your art freestyle (that is, no coloring books). This section was not very relevant for me though, but feel free to purchase if you think this might be the thing for you!

Finally we get to a section of the book where Gary demonstrates the different techniques in colored pencils. Now THIS is what most colorists would look forward to read, as it contains headlines such as “layering”, “color selection and combinations”, “working dark to light” coloring and the like. She provides pictures for reference, showing the process of e.g. burnishing and layering with her own images to show the various expressions of the techniques. Again, still rather superficial, not a lot of comments or explanations. She demonstrates techniques with different mediums – dry and water-soluble colored pencils etc.

For me, personally, I’d much rather like a video for these things, as the pictures doesn’t really show a lot to me – but I assume this is because I’m not a REAL freestyle artist with a white board to cover with color 😉


For all the world I don’t think this book offers enough knowledge for colorists. Sadly I think we’re better off with various YouTube videos that presents different techniques in coloring, not so much the purely artists way of doing things. Still, it’s not useless, as it carries in itself its own weight. But I think this book is a waste of money if you’re looking for something spectacular in the coloring book area. Spend time coloring – not reading about coloring I’d say!

You can buy this book here on Amazon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *