Figure 15-4 illustrates the color effects of Sanford Prismacolor Pencils. Figure 15—5 illustrates the effects of various black markers.

Figure 15-4

Sanford Prismacolor Pencils

1. Spring Green

PC 913

11. Rose

PC 929

2. Apple Green

PC 912

12. Lilac

PC 956

3. Grass Green

PC 909

13. Light Cerulean Blue

PC 904

4. Peacock Green

PC 907

14. True Blue

PC 903

5. Olive Green

PC 911

15. Warm Gray 30%

PC 1052

6. Sunburst Yellow

PC 917

16. Sand

PC 940

7. Orange

PC 918

17. Henne


8. Pumpkin Orange

PC 1032

18. Black

PC 935

9. Scarlet Lake

PC 923

19. Peach

PC 939

10. Terra Cotta

PC 944

20. Burnt Ochre

PC 943

Black Markers

Staedtier Permanent Lumocolor S

Staedtier Permanent Lumocolor F

Pilot Razor Point

Liquid Paper Mini Correction Pen

Y & C Calligraphy


Y & C Calligraphy


Y & C Calligraphy



Color pencils can be used in two primary ways to render landscape design drawings. First, just as black-and-white drawings can be developed using a variety of line types, these same drawings can be developed using the same line types, but with the use of color pencils. The following are common examples:

• A gray pencil can be used to draw a series of varied sizes of polygons to repre­sent a stone patio.

• A blue pencil can be used to draw a pattern of cross-hatched waves to repre­sent a body of water.

• A green pencil can be used to draw accordion lines to represent small ever­greens.

• A pink and a purple pencil can be used to fill an area with jitter lines to rep­resent a bed of annual color.

Second, color pencils can be used with a series of techniques that can add character and contrast to landscape design drawings. Eleven techniques will be presented, each with a series of examples to aid in illustrating variations in the techniques.

Vary the Line Width (Figure 15-6)

The width of lines drawn with color pencils can vary from thin to medium to wide.

1. A sharp pencil point can be used to draw thin lines of any line type. Press lightly so as not to break the point of the pencil. The angle of the pencil is similar to that when writing or print­ing with a pencil.

2. Angle the pencil more and press harder to draw medium lines. These wider lines are quite well suited for delineating things such as wood planks, courses of brick, roof shingles, and so on.

3. Angle the pencil even more so as to develop even wider lines. This technique is often used for coloring in large areas such as expansive lawn or a pond of water.

Soft Is Safe (Figure 15-7)

Soft tints of color are very effective when coloring a drawing that is already rendered in pen or pencil.

1. Use medium or wide lines to provide a consis­tent color and avoid identifiable streaks.

2. When drawing a mesh texture, color in oppo­site directions for an even pattern.

3. Use a smooth texture on one material and a sharper point with a visible texture on another.

4. A texture can be created by using wide lines of a color and fine lines of a pen.

5. Thin, simple parallel lines in a 45-degree criss­cross pattern can be used to depict a lawn panel.

6. Contour lines can be drawn with a fine-tipped black marker, with sharp to medium lines.

Respect the Line Type (Figure 15-8)

When adding color to a black-and-white rendered draw­ing, color in the pattern using the same line types.

1. Use a medium to wide fray line to indicate ele­ments such as wood planks or courses of brick.

2. Layering two colors of blue with different point widths can create a pleasing water pattern.

3. A single color used to create a jittered pattern will quite easily represent a bed of annual color.

4. Using two colors to draw simple short lines can show brick edging for a paved area.

5. Using pink and violet in a circular scallop pat­tern can indicate an ornamental tree.

6. Use sharp pencil lines to capture the smaller texture of the plant, such as that of a conifer.

Combine Colors (Figure 15-9)

Coloring an item with two or three colors will add more interest than if it were colored with one color.

1. Mixing brown and yellow medium lines is very effective in delineating a wood deck.

2. Using white on the upper left and green on the bottom right indicates the round form of a tree.

3. Blues and greens are good combinations for coniferous evergreen trees.

4. Mixing brown with orange or red fray lines works well to represent a brick running-bond pattern.

5. White and medium green for the tree shows good contrast against the dark green ground cover.

6. Two blues, white, and a tint of yellow make for a shiny and sparkling water effect.

Vary the Pressure (Figure 15-11)

Learning to vary the pressure in applying color will add a sense of depth and layering to the rendering.

1. Texture is created by varying the pressure in drawing the wide brown lines.

2. Wide violet lines and thinner pink lines pro­vide textural interest to this ornamental tree.

3. Varying the pressure of a blue pencil in an ac­cordion pattern adds additional texture.

4. Using the same color pencil with varying pressure will often look like two colors.

5. Heavy, dark texture lines of ground cover create a contrast with a soft, even-colored tree symbol.

6. Varying the darkness and lightness with pres­sure will add contrast and interest.

Vary the Shading (Figure 15-12)

The values (light/dark) of the colors of hardscape mate­rials should be varied to create additional interest.

1. Applying various values of a tan color will in­dicate a mottled look for concrete.

2. Using grays and blues of different values helps represent differences in stone color.

3. Light, medium, and dark values of blue can depict various textures of water.

4. A tile patio can be highlighted by varying the pressure on one single color of brown.

5. Blues, grays, and tans provide an effective combination for depicting a stone pattern.

6. Boulders can be represented by coloring sepa­rate sides with varied colors in different values.

Highlight Edges (Figure 15-13)

The edge of an area of material can be highlighted by fading out the pattern and color across the entire area.

1. Using a combination of wide green and yel­low frayed lines can emphasize an edge.

2. Light and dark blue wavy frayed lines can highlight the edge of a water body.

3. A portion of a patio can be faded out to high­light an important edge of the design.

4. Fading out of a ground cover symbol is done by rows of lighter and lighter color application.

5. Violet and pink swirl lines become increas­ingly lighter and thinner from one edge to an­other.

6. Varying the pressure of each of several strands of an accordion symbol provides an easy fade out.

Let the Sun Shine (Figure 15-14)

White, yellow, and strong contrast in colors can provide bright areas within various design elements.

1. Highlighting the edge of a ground cover with yellow calls attention to the paving edge.

2. Using yellow on the upper left of a tree sym­bol represents the sunny side of the tree.

3. Using pink with brown and yellow with brown depicts brick and wood, respectively.

4. Using white on the upper left of plant symbols, along with a dark side, highlights the symbol.

5. The sides of roofs facing the sun are rendered lighter than the darker-shaded sides.

6. Using darker blue with some black radiating lines works well to highlight a water jet.

Lighten Beneath Tree Canopies (Figure 15-15)

When large trees hover over important parts of a design, it is important to lighten the colors beneath the tree.

1. The wood fence has a light tint of brown on the area beneath the tree canopy.

2. The pink ornamental shrubs have just a tint of pink within the tree canopy.

3. The evergreen shrubs have less lines and lighter color under the tree.

4. The brick edging is still colored beneath the tree, but with thinner and light lines.

5. The lawn area outside the tree canopy is dark­ened to emphasize the edge of the tree.

6. Ground cover symbols are light and faint in character so as not to overpower the tree.

Shadows (Figure 15-16)

Shadows, usually shown to the bottom right, add three­dimensional quality to any landscape design plan.

1. Thin parallel black lines spaced close together make for a reasonable shadow.

2. Thin black lines in a consistent mesh pattern make for an even shadow pattern.

3. A black fine-tipped marker is often used to draw a tight accordion line type.

4. A black or dark gray calligraphy pen provides for an easy and even shadow.

5. Shadows on walls originate at the corners of the form.

6. Shadows on cars and benches are offset to indi­cate that the supports are set within the form.

Updated: October 18, 2015 — 2:50 pm