The Sections listed above may have several individual Topic pages.

The list of available Topics are shown on the first page of the Section and in detail on the ‘Contents’ page

These are the main sections of the Site


Information, Choices, Techniques and Advice on all Pencil Matters


Over 150 detailed pages of information for beginners and improvers to help you develop your skills


OCTOBER 2017    


This is the OLD version of the topics web site.

It has been archived here at

as it contains old tutorials and charts no longer included in the new build of the site. This site is no longer updated

Peter Weatherill




and why does it exist ?

Those coming new to the joys of Coloured Pencil can find it difficult to locate a collection of notes to guide them through the basics -

the basic information that long standing users of pencils can take for granted.  

This website tries to provide just such a collection.

Back in 2007 and 2008, I was handing out notes to my course students covering the points we had discussed in the course sessions, and I found that the notes needed regularly updating - which resulted in piles of scrap paper and untold numbers of printer cartridges being used up.  

I already ran a couple of websites and it struck me that it would be a good idea to transfer the notes to a new web site so that they could be updated whenever necessary  at a very modest cost, and past students could readily refer to the most up to date copies of each sheet whenever they wanted.

In January 2009 the earliest version of the site was established and publicised only to current and past students.

Since then the site has grown and as each course has run, a fresh set of pages has been added.  The site has also been re-written several times until it is as you see it now.  Along the way we have been picked up by various search engines and  a number of friendly sites have linked their pages to

The site does not sell anything and does not ask for money.  

The information is free to read and use and the tutorials included in the site are also free to use.

I still undertake courses at Knuston Hall, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire,...... in the UK

-  I have to say that   as I now have more readers outside the United Kingdom than within it ,

             and I add further pages of notes to the site, following each course.

We have a regular monthly audience of around 50,000 unique visitors to the site ( and still growing )

and you are a welcome member of the Friends of ‘Pencil Topics’,

There is no subscription, no membership fee

You just have to turn up !        

Feel free to contact me with any questions ( obvious or otherwise ) and the answers may well add further to the site contents in due course.  

Peter Weatherill  2017


What you read here is a personal view .  

These notes have been assembled from personal experience, information in books, magazines, discussions with other artists on Internet Forums and from speaking to other artists over some 12 years.  

Where I know an original source, I have given it,  But in many cases the origin is no longer known and I apologise in advance if, on the odd entry, I have not acknowledged an outside source I may have used or if I infringe any copyright.  

The images here are mostly all mine.  Those that are not, have the artist’s name quoted.   If you see something here that you know should have an acknowledgement, please tell me and I will put it right straight away.

Where a site page looks at products, it describes those available in the UK at the time of writing.  Please check the foot of each page to see the date of the last page revision.  You may need to bear this in mind if you are looking for the most up to date information and you are seeing prices quoted.

The information here is made available in good faith with the intention of providing a freely accessible resource on a specialist subject for those starting out in this interesting art medium.        The site is no more infallible than I am !     

THE SITE IS BASED in the UK  and looks at the UK market.

 HOWEVER, around two thirds of the visitors to the site are from outside the UK,

and a high proportion (nationally) logging in each month is from the USA.  

To my readers from that big world outside, I hope that you find the content of the site useful.  

It is written purely from a UK perspective, however,

so some products you are familiar with may not yet have found their way to the UK, and vice versa !!

If you read the site content with the aid of a translation tool

- like the Google translator - then you may find that some of the pages have images obscuring the text.

In the original version these pages are correctly laid out and all the text is visible, but translation can make the text longer and therefore in some languages the layout becomes changed.  I have no control over this, I am afraid.

It would be a major task to lay out all the pages to be sure that all languages are catered for !

I check translated pages from time to time and re-arrange the layout to take account of regularly used alternate languages (like Spanish and French)

so if you find a particular page especially annoying with missing words, let me know and I will try to do something about it.


Was launched in 2009 and has been ‘WORK IN PROGRESS’ ever since

From an initial 12 pages it grew to nearly 300.

The whole site was revised in August 2010 and the number of pages reduced,

but the pages lengthened so that the same amount of information was included.  

The site was further refreshed in March/April 2011 to update the main structure

and update some of the content.

There has been some further updating of the layout in January 2012 and 2013.

The site now contains around 150 pages and I aim to keep it at that level

Even though some pages are the equivalent to 5 normal pages long

(12,000 pixels long x 1,100 pixels wide)

In 2016 a further re-vamp has included more pencil media and has lead to the extension of the pages

On Pastel Pencils and includes hard pastel ( Carré ) sticks, which are also a drawing medium

and are made by pastel pencil manufacturers.

The site is currently being updated and re-written to new software

and is expected to appear here in it’s new design sometime towards December 2017

We have an internal Google search engine (which generally finds things, but is not perfect).

The first two or three search results may be adverts, so bear that in mind when you use it.

The search enquiry box is on the adjoining page

Please let me know if you spot any bugs in the system, or areas where presentation could be improved.  

Enjoy using the resource

Thank You.

On adjoining pages in this opening section are

   1/  The SEARCH facility  

2/  The record of comments and notes from the Diary on the opening page. The notes are brought forward as they are replaced

but retained here ( from January 2015 ) as a matter of record

3/  IN ADDITION there is a page describing how to use the PDF file facility.

PDF files are those written to a format which is opened by and printed by Adobe Reader Software, which is free to download from Adobe over the Internet.

In the earlier lives of this website, PDF files were available for all the major pages to simplify the printing of permanent copies of the notes.

These have now been discontinued, but PDF files are still available for some of the Step by Step pages, and Step by Step notes.

If you want to take hard copies of the pages here, please see the PDF  file section that follows and that offers some suggestions.

You are free to copy and use the information here, but if you publish them elsewhere in any format, I would appreciate a credit and a link.  

I have marked most of the sheets as Copyright © but that is there as a precaution against major commercial theft.    

4/  there is a  glossary of Coloured Pencil terms which was put together by Bill Coulter in the Spring of 2007, and published here with his permission

5/    ALSO Featured in this opening section is a Page entitled updates

This records all changes in the site after 1st February 2009 and could well be your first point of reference if you are checking back on the site at some future time

Next Page

This section includes several Topics

You can reach them using the links below

Peter W Personal site