Monday, August 11, 2014

Coloured pencil portrait

If there is one medium that I find both beautiful and extremely challenging it's coloured pencil. From time to time I dabble in mastering them a little more. While working on the collages in the previous posts I used some coloured pencil for the background and it reminded me how much I like the feel of them in my hand.

I think when it comes to actual coloured pencil art what is most intimidating to me is the type of artist that does coloured pencil paintings, where he or she uses layer upon layer, and often solvents too, to achieve a very realistic result. Obviously that is not my thing. It just takes way to much time (and way to much skill too, haha) and in the end I'm more the kind of person who likes to colour in stuff. Stuff like my own line drawings.

That doesn't mean I don't want a little depth in those drawings. And that requires practice, especially in a medium like this. In the past weekend I decided to practice by doing a portrait after a photograph in a magazine. I made a line drawing first. It started with a mechanical pencil and when I was happy I redid the thing with a black felt tip pen.

In the above picture I had already started on the first colour layer on the face, but it gives you a bit of an impression of how the drawing looked before I coloured it in. I actually really liked it. That of course made it even more scary to colour it in, one migh after all totally ruin it, haha.

But with a bit of patience I think I did okay... see:

I should say that the contrast in these pictures is a bit higher than in real life. The actual drawing is a bit more subtle, which I like better, but I still think it looks pretty good. I really liked the process of this portrait, taking my time with things and really working at it to get it right enough to my liking.

Here's the portrait next to the original photo:

I really like how I managed to get the light in the hair by using an eraser on some parts of it. For a very realistic drawing I would have to add about a gazillion more layers, but I must say I kind of like the fact that you can still see it's coloured pencil and not paint or anything. I like that you can see the lines.

I think I must do more of these to really get a bit of skill with coloured pencils. I'd like to be more confident with them and the only way is (as always) practice, practice, practice! ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!