I’ve done a bit of pencil on copper and I was able to learn enough to do it
to my satisfaction by using Google to bring up tutorials and articles on
Off the top, other than to suggest you make Google your best friend, too,
get Prismacolor pencils. They have a high wax content which you will need
to “melt” the colors onto the metal
Before coloring on the metal clean it well and then rough it up on the side
you are coloring with coarse sandpaper.
After roughening, use a patina to further pit the surface (on copper I use
Jax) - both sanding and adding patina make the surface more porous and
receptive to the pencil
Layer your pencil until the surface won’t accept more pencil – it becomes
Then bake in low oven – I can’t recall the exact temp now – perhaps 225o
for ten minutes. This melts the pencil wax on
After the metal cool, give it a spray with fixative or matte sealant. This
not only helps the layer to adhere but also helps make a roughish surface
for your next layer to adhere to.
Repeat until you finish. Seal again
That’s the bare bones.
Oh and be prepared for it to take a lot longer than you might think it
would. I was.
I am certainly not an expert but I was happy with the results - very
different than enamels. The pencil looks “drawn” and more primitive.
I sold my copper pieces as components for other designers to use. Although
the colored surface is quite stable, I still suggested that they use care
in assembling to not scratch with tools and to suggest that their customers
use care in storing to avoid scratching the surface with other pieces of
Deb Karash inspired me. Her work is superb