We’ve noticed brands and mainstream editorials are choosing illustrations created using coloured pencils over a clean, stream-lined digital style. This may reflect a wider societal preference towards textured, hand-crafted aesthetics over vector-based artworks.

Although many of us probably used coloured pencils as a child (if we weren’t trying to break or eat them) before disregarding them, artists David Sparshott, Sonja Stangl, Lucinda Rogers and Josie Portillo continued to use and perfect the craft, some even creating their entire style - and subsequent artistic career - around coloured pencils.

The benefits of the humble yet effective coloured pencil are immense - simplicity, portability, tactility and freedom - something valued in a modern world when time is precious. Simply pack a few pencils and a sketchbook wherever you go, and when a brilliant idea springs to mind you can sketch out ideas straight away - no chalky mess, no clean-up required. And there's something unique about the basic pencil-to-paper process that digital applications just can't mimic.

The four artists tell us some of their favourite techniques and mediums to mix coloured pencils with, how colour pencils fit their style and what sketchy aesthetic offers brands right now.

Image: An illustration from Sonja Stangl's Full Of series

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