Colored Pencil Portraits Step by Step

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For that I draw equal circles first and then partially cover the circles by the eyelids. The upper eyelid has a different shape from the lower eyelid. Always keep a one-eye distance between the eyes. I draw the face on a sketch paper and then transfer the outlines onto my good drawing paper.

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When you work in colored pencil, the surface must be clean of any residue or excessive graphite lines. Shading over the graphite makes the color look dirty and flattens out the space. Never draw on a textured paper with colored pencils! Sketch papers are too thin to layer the pigments, and are not archival to work on.

Many artists use mat boards because they are archival, very thick and smooth. There is very little burnishing needed to achieve the desired blending effect, if you draw on a smooth surface. I prefer drawing on colored surface, and thus I often use a somewhat textured, colored pastel paper — Canson Mi-Teintes drawing papers. Drawing on colored paper helps me with the correct distribution of values, and lets me get fun color combinations. You will achieve a much better result, if you begin drawing with professional colored pencils.

What makes them different is their softness, lightfastness, and durability. I pick most of my colors based on their lightfastness rating, buying them as open stock. I substitute those hues with Luminance. It is the Cadillac of colored pencils in quality and softness. I also have a basic set of 18 Pablo colored pencils that are great for detailed work, but again not all of them are lightfast.

While I have never had any problems with this company, many artists claim that these pencils break easily these days. There is no defined formula for the skin tones. Stand in front of a mirror and look at the color around your eyes. Do you see the light purples, pinks or greens? Look at the area around your nose. Is it warm or cool? Most of the time the nostrils have a very warm color. These are the check points that give you ideas how to study color. This way you pay more attention to values and shadows as opposed to random shading all over the place without a plan or consistency.

Finally, just have fun with it! Not every drawing is a masterpiece, but every drawing brings you closer to success. Veronica does a lovely job of explaining how she accomplishes such fantastic drawings and paintings. I look forward to reading this blog! I love your paintings. They are all so beautiful. Which you have quite a bit of. Drawing portraits in colored pencils: tips and techniques Are you interested to know how to draw people?

The quality of the light Here I set my model against the evening light. The colors of the sunset illuminate her hair and skin beautifully. Instead of looking at facial features, I focus on the distribution of light on a person when I take pictures. Here a single light source with red filter covering the lamp illuminates my model.

Here my camera looks down at the model to capture her from a different angle. Understand the basic proportions first, and then apply them to your drawing of a particular person. I place a line at a diagonal first and then draw the eyes on that line, keeping a one-eye distance between the eyes. This way both eyes are placed correctly on the face. The softness of professional colored pencils You will achieve a much better result, if you begin drawing with professional colored pencils.

One Fractal at a Time, colored pencil on matboard, 13x20 inches. These tutorials are a wonderful way to learn technique, learn about different pencils, and different surfaces. You will grow with each tutorial. Visit my YouTube channel for my instructor series for reviews, and suggestions on books, classes, product reviews and more!

It's creative expression, it's meditation, relaxation, tranquility, escape, creation, and just plain fun! These are things that come to mind when I think about colored pencil. When you sit with pencils, and create, and feel the satisfaction of what you can accomplish, you will see what I mean.

I hope by spending time on my website, I can inspire you to create everyday. I had a short lived relationship with oil painting, then I switched to watercolor.

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I loved trying to make watercolor, NOT look like watercolor! Something was missing. I was never satisfied. Fast forward a few years, I decided to try colored pencils. I had the original "Adult" coloring books from many years ago. Now, they are very popular! They seem to be everywhere! Grocery stores and the local pharmacy has some on the counter. What was once old, is new again! The coloring book craze really took off the last few years and due to it's popularity, colored pencil as a recognized art medium, has also grown. I was enjoying coloring in my old books, and I loved the mental break of the day, feeling like a little girl coloring in her room without a care in the world!

That is exactly how I felt when I would sit down to color. When I decided to create something original, I took to the internet for more information on colored pencils. I was totally amazed! I could not believe my eyes! I found beautiful works of art in colored pencil. I found group's, and websites, and lots of information on professional colored pencil.

Who knew? I found beautiful works of art, by professionals, who created drawings that look like paint. I wanted to do that! I no longer wanted to color in a book, I wanted to created my own artwork. After 30 years of not loving my watercolors, I fell in love with pencils. Luckily, I had a small set and set out to see what I could do with them. I looked for online classes for colored pencil, and to my surprise, there were several. I took a class and was hooked! Getting the rich painterly look, and deep, rich colors I love from the pencils, seemed easier than paint.

I finally was able to produce a result I loved, and the best part, no clean up. Did I mention, they travel well? Even better! I totally loved my online class. Ever since, there was no turning back! I'm still learning about this wonderful, versatile, medium. Like everything else I do in life, I jumped in with both feet, full motivation and passion, now I can't get out! This is where I want to be. I still have my watercolor, and oils, acrylics. I'm a bit of an art supply collector. Colored pencils have become my passion. My medium of choice. I am here to share what I know to help other colored pencils artists see what's possible with the wonderful medium.

I currently write product reviews in Color Magazine. My artwork has been featured in Ann Kullbergs 17th and 18th annual member show, and multiple Pencil Box Showcases over the last several years. I run a large active colored pencil group on Facebook for tips and resources. And, a pretty good review! Get your subscription today.

Amazing colored pencil portrait class. Easy to follow. Available online now! Don't draw a flower without this class! Start here! Pick up your handbook and then a Jumpstart project kit. Many to choose from! This is a level 1 project. Beautiful fun and easy Western Bluebird project. This is a true beginner level 1 project. This takes you through all the steps to create this ripe tomato! Easy to follow step by step project. Level 2. Fun and easy Pansie project. Follow along with beautiful colors and easy instruction. Order here or download today! Order your booklet or download today!

This is a little more advanced than level 1 or 2 but still just perfect for the beginner colored pencil artist. Very easy instructions in this FUN ladybug project. This is a level 2 project. This takes you through all the steps to create this beautiful landscape and mountain goats. Easy to follow instruction. Another easy to follow step by step! Follow at your own pace. Get digital download or print with paper!

Get inspired with this jam packed book of tips from 55 different artists.

Learn Portrait Coloring With Color Pencils

Interesting still life on drafting film! Try it! Drafting film is fun and erasable! Gemma Geylling is a great colored pencil artist teaching on suede mat board for a realistic texture! A little more advances but if you follow directions you can do it! Creativity is a beautiful journey for your mind and soul. Once you look at things differently, you will see what I mean.

There are the obvious things, like sunsets, and scenery, mountains, and nature that are always inspirational. Then, there are things you would never think of. There is a famous quote:. Wayne Dyer. I use this quote in many areas of life, and it holds true in my art world. I can look at a house with burgundy shutters and blue siding, and think how beautiful those colors go together.

That is all it takes for me to want to run to my studio and find a picture of a beautiful burgundy flower, and see how I can incorporate it with blue sky, or another blue flower, or bird. Seeing those two colors can inspired me. I recently picked up a year old calendar from the store for. Of course, there for inspiration only! Copyright laws are something that must always take precedence! Look in a garden. Look on google for copyright free pages and you can literally be sitting at your computer for hours looking through beautiful photos.

As I sit here writing this, there is a note pad on my desk with pretty colorful fish and I am already thinking how I would love to create a drawing of fish or a sea life drawing. So, look at things differently.

Books by Ann Kullberg (Author of Colored Pencil Portraits)

Look and find the beauty and color everywhere you can! The first one looking like a pencil drawing, the second one looking painterly. A small colored pencil bird before learning CP techniques. A small colored pencil bird after learning some CP techniques. Ok, so you decided to do this. Good for you! The word "supplies" would imply items to purchase but the 1 item on that list should be "Time" now you see where I'm going with this!

With everyone so busy, finding time for ourselves, is very difficult. If you do not make the time, no other supplies will ever be needed! Now you need to make that happen. Let me tell you what I do and perhaps you will get some ideas. I can hear the groaning Now, stop that! Remember this is time you are making for YOU!!!

I knew you were going to do that : Now, If you do this, you can find 3 or more hours every week. I personally find an hour every morning, and an hour or two in the evening but some people are not as lucky to find that time daily, so do it weekly! Twice a week and you have an hour for yourself. If you signed up for classes outside your home, you would make time to get there. Make this a must!.

If you want it bad enough, you can find small blocks of time. Some brands are oil, and others wax. Some ink, some water soluble. And there are numerous brands. I myself have on my desk right now 8 different brands!


I basically use Prismacolors premiere wax and Faber Castel Polychromos oil. I do use my other brands as well and I love my luminance. They work well with other brands however, they are pricy but, these high quality pencils are lightfast as well which means your color will not fade or change over time.

To build my set, every time I go to my favorite art supply store I purchase 1or 2 open stock so this way I and am slowly building up my set of Luminance. I'm almost there. This may not be the ideal way for you because you are paying more per pencil but since they are expensive, this is my way of building my set in a way that I can afford. This may work for you as well. Or just using Prismacolors or polychromos only is totally fine. Many artists use only one or the other. Open stock is always a great way to try other brands without making the full investment.

From my experience, Prismacolor Premier has the best bang for your buck in color, choice and accessibility. Most art stores have open stock options and they have a great price point. If you are lucky enough to purchase a large sets of luminance then by all means it's a wonderful set and they blend beautifully. If you know that this is something you want to get into and you are ready to start buying supplies, I would definitely get the largest set that you can afford because you will be going back adding more pencils to what you have. That's what I did and I really wish I had bought my original full set of prismas because that would've been cheaper than my original tin of 72 and then ordering 5 pencils here and there many times.

Blending is a very important element of colored pencil. This is why professional colored pencils are not the same as your kids or grand kids colored pencils. The professional pencils blend beautifully with other pencils and other blenders. Some CP artists layer many layers of color before they blend.

Most pencil brands carry a blender. Prismacolor makes a colorless blender. A fan favorite of mine is the luminance and it blends well with all pencils. Some artists blend with solvents. Their are many different solvents and other options to blend with but I will tell you that what ever tutorial you choose or what ever book you purchase will have there own reference on how to blend that specific project..

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  • Until you gain knowledge of how to use the solvent properly and safely, I would follow along with the tutorial exactly and what the instructor recommends. And, make sure you tape your paper down as it could wrinkle when wet but will flatten again once dried as long as it is taped in place. A white pencil is many times used to blend layers.

    This does a nice job however it can and in most cases will lighten your blending area. Sometimes that is warranted, other times not. I always practice on a separate scratch paper of similar project type and draw a 3'' or 4 " section with the colors you want to blend. Then try small sections with different blending options including the white pencil to see what look you will decide to use for your project.

    Better to find out you don't like the way something blends on your practice piece! This is the next most important item. There are even more choices of paper. It comes in sheets and in pads. It comes smooth and rough. This is something you will need to just experience as you go. Most people stay with what they learn on until they get brave enough to venture out and try something new. What ever class you decide to take or tutorial or book, you will be guided through the supply list for that particular project.

    I started with Strathmore Bristol smooth pad. I have tried many other types that I have learned to really love but my first is still my favorite. Try different kinds until you find what you like best with the pencils you like best. There is drafting film, pastel mat, suede mat, Velour, wood and clay panels and the list goes on. What I do is try different kits that offer different techniques and surfaces and when I'm done with that project, I have learned something new and if I liked that project I then purchase the supplies used for that kit to have and start building my very own supply closet.

    Ok, cabinet! Is exactly that. Ok not really. Now, the items you will want and need to work on a project will vary from project to project. Get the short list items before you start. You will need at the very least those items. Other Items in your work space. Lighting is key! If you can get natural lighting that is best.

    If you are lucky enough to have a desk near a window that's awesome. Otherwise you should have some good lighting. I have an old fashioned tree lamp with bulbs that I can turn on and off individually which is great but boy does that get a little warm under the collar! So there are many other lights on the market and one brand is Ott light.

    I have a medium size light that sits on my desk and I love mine. They come in floor lamp style and a small clip on. I would suggest reading reviews to see what price point and type of lighting would works for you. A drawing board is not a necessity for some people because some people like to draw on an easel.

    You can also draw on your desk or a clip board but a drawing board is good to have for taping your paper down. I actually found a large plastic cutting board that worked well for a time. After a while I realized I needed to lift my board for the proper angle. This will help with the view and how you see your subject. It made a big difference for me. My final thoughts regarding coloring books. Coloring books can provide a few things besides making you feel like a kid again. They can offer you inspiration, They can offer you a place to practice light blending techniques of pencils keeping in mind this is not quality paper and will not take many layers They can offer you a place to try other pencil brands and see how your colors will look.