Coloured Pencil Portraiture Beginners

I would like to introduce you to a small group of artists, who joined me to create their very first Coloured Pencil Portrait, in our Coloured Pencil Painting classes on the  Sunshine Coast.  Shelley Novello, Roxanne Marie, and Cheryl Crain.

These artists have studied previous courses with me, including The Complete Drawing and Painting Certificate Course, and the Coloured Pencil Course. They enjoyed learning new skills and developing their art to a high level.  All were keen to combine the knowledge learned in the Portraiture component and the Coloured Pencil units.  The results were fabulous, as you can see by the photos below.

Most importantly, we had to think about which colours were the most suitable for portraiture.

Ann Kullberg’s Book “Coloured Pencil Portraits Step by Step” helped enormously. What we loved about Ann’s system was that she arranged her portraiture colours into 6 groups of increasing value which is the same process we use when drawing portraits in graphite and charcoal.  The artist’s built layer upon layer of light beige, peach, pinks, yellows, orange, and finally browns and even blacks, but above all, staying true to the level of tone.

Keeping the Skin Looking Soft and Translucent

Skills grew enormously as the technique of slowly, lightly, and evenly building layer upon layer created smooth transitions and luminous skin.   There was no place for quick gappy strokes that made the skin tones appear dry and flaky.  Applying browns too early made skin tones look dirty and need of a good scrub.   Modelling light and shadows in colour was such fun as the portraits began to sing. Each artist was astounded to find they could easily develop 12 to 15 layers of colour without losing the tooth of the paper. This kept each layer of skin looking soft and translucent.  Just as we hoped.  The artist’s used white Stonehenge paper and Premier Prismacolor pencils to create the portraits.

Firstly, we Worked through a Small Simplified Portrait

Firstly, we worked through a small simplified portrait step by step-by-step to hone the whisper soft stroke  necessary for layering with the correct pressure, because without the correct pressure, the skin tone won’t be smooth and even.

Using a Skin Tone Value Viewer

Using a skin-tone value viewer (simply a couple of white pieces of cardboard with a hole-punched into each piece), we placed one over an area in our reference photo and the other over our artwork.  As a result this helped to compare depth of tone, and value.  Also isolating the colour from all the surrounding information.  Therefore, making it easy to check whether we had the right colour or whether we had a colour we thought we were seeing.  We were very surprised using this method to see how much light there actually is on darker complexions. Our personal observations seemed to detect mostly darker values.  That’s one of the biggest mistakes we make as artists. Putting what we think we see rather than what is actually there.  This made it easy to build and model our portrait in 3D rather than appearing flat.

Most Importantly

Most importantly, each student worked in their chosen art style which suited their personalities and had been developed in earlier units.  A great result was achieved by all.  Cheryl’s art is always soft and expressive, whilst Roxanne and Shelley’s art style is more controlled.  Above all, both results are equally inspiring.

This year I have included an Advanced Course in my Art Classes which will also include a Portrait in Coloured Pencil as an extension of the earlier Complete Drawing and Painting Course and the Coloured Pencil Course.

Meanwhile, keep a look out for what my students will be creating this coming year.  After all,  it’s going to be an exciting time of further growth, and exploring new techniques for every student.

If you feel you would like to start your journey to creating awesome art please contact me. or 0439615664. Here you will find all my Art Courses. At this time, I still have a few places left in my beginners art classes.

Gregory Peck by Roxanne-Coloured Pencil Portraiture Course

Gregory Peck-by Roxanne-Coloured Pencil Portraiture Course

Daphne-by Shelley-Coloured Pencil Portraiture Course

Daphne-by Shelly-Coloured Pencil Portraiture Course

Selena-by Cheryl-Coloured Pencil Portraiture Course

Selena-by Cheryl-Coloured Pencil Portraiture Course

Art Courses Sunshine Coast

Carlie-by Lyn-Coloured Pencil Portraiture Course