Tag: step by step drawing

Step-by-step drawing: 3 graphite pencil techniques that work

Drawing is so fundamental to artist’s skill, we can hardly skip it, working in the realist tradition. Here I’d like to share several basic tools and techniques I use, drawing portraits in graphite pencil. I must note that these techniques are applicable to any kind of pencil/charcoal drawing, and these steps and tools are universal across any subject you pick to draw. In the end of this post I share my inspiration behind the drawing and a short video illustrating the steps. Let’s dive in!

#1 Use paper stumps with care

step by step drawing

I begin shading the image by placing the darkest darks on paper. You can compare this method to drawing from shadows to light. Here I draw on the Strathmore Bristol smooth paper that’s super smooth and thick. Because it accepts a limited number of layers, I need to be more mindful how dark I’ve got to go in the first step of shading. (Strathmore drawing paper, medium has a slight texture that’s more forgiving for general drawing techniques in pencil and colored pencil because it accepts more layers).

Paper stumps help artists blend the graphite and charcoal.

Once I’m done massing out the shapes in a soft, 4B graphite pencil, I use the blending stumps to blend large areas, such as the background and the hair. I’m mindful of the pencil pressure as well as of the stroke direction. It’s important to blend in the “right” direction and not to overwork the surface.

Blending with paper stumps unifies the surface, blending everything to a medium gray tone. Therefore, I strengthen the darkest areas immediately after that. Various sizes of paper stumps give me the precision I need blending the graphite.

Never use these paper stumps for colored pencil work! They will ruin the surface.

#2 Use kneaded eraser and the Tombow Mono Zero eraser

how to draw people

In the second step, I usually pull out the highlights with the kneaded eraser. Any brand of kneaded eraser works.  This type of eraser has dual benefit of lifting out the pigment without any residue and creating soft edges around the highlights, which look natural and give a realistic effect of soft light.

What’s to lift out? The lightest lights you see in your picture. I often lift out a bit more than I need to come back to it with finer shading over the lightest parts of my image to create subtle tonal transitions.

General’s kneaded eraser

Tombow Mono zero eraser is a great eraser that lifts out tiny details, such as thin strands of hair or tiny highlights in the pearls. This eraser also works great in colored pencil drawings when I try to erase hard to reach, very small areas in my work. I buy these on Amazon, and it takes about a month to arrive home from Japan! So if you decide to give it a try, order two or three at once, you won’t regret it!

Tombow eraser

#3 Shade in graphite in layers, erase and repeat

Kat with a shell, graphite pencil on paper, 9×12 inches

This step consists of several steps that’s simply a repetition of my actions. I layer the graphite by erasing, enhancing the dark values, and refining details. I develop my picture further with every new layer.

I work on subtle transitions with harder pencils, especially if it’s a skin tone. I usually shade with 2-4H gently transitioning from mid. tone to light. While I’m doing this, I pay attention to values to turn the form.

 

how to draw people
Drawing detail

Value scale

Every color has its own value scale going from the darkest dark to white. Because some colors are darker than the others naturally, they have a wider value range as opposed to the light colors. (Think of ultramarine as a dark color and yellow as a light one). Why do you need to know that?
You control your values at all times as you draw or paint to have a range of tones that makes your image look three-dimensional. Usually, students complete their drawing with a very limited range of tones. That’s why everything looks “just grey” or “too flat.”
Convert your color image into a black-and-white picture on your computer, and you’ll understand how dark the shadows should be, or how light your lights really are. Then step back and compare your drawing to that picture.

Drawing detail: hands with a shell

I finish working on my piece with a final fixative, spraying my drawing outdoors. I strongly recommend using professional-grade varnish, like the Grumbacher matte final fixative for dry media. It gives a very nice and even finish to my artwork that’s impossible to achieve with cheaper brands like Krylon.

Final fixative for dry media

My inspiration

Sandro Botticelli, The birth of Venus
Sandro Botticelli, The birth of Venus, 1486, Uffizi gallery, Florence

My pictorial inspiration for my drawing comes from the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus. His shallow treatment of background space and the romantic figure of Venus coming out of the sea influenced me to create my goddess of the ocean. I worked on clothing and poses with a model to complete a fun photo shoot on the beach in Naples, Florida. The completed drawing is a study that I will later take to my oil painting.

You can read about the Botticelli’s artwork here.

Video

Here you’ll find a 40-sec. video as a summary of the step-by-step drawing described above.

 

How often do you draw in pencil? What’s you creative challenge? Let me know what you’d like to learn from me.

Share your thoughts in a contact form below!

Check out the step-by-step demonstrations here.
Join the art student club to receive a free drawing demonstration! Click here: http://eepurl.com/bIJlGf
educational books, drawing instruction books, travel books

Art Books & More

How to draw almost anything

Are you interested in discovering new colored pencil techniques? Is oil painting your passion?

My art instruction books teach students how to draw in graphite, colored pencil and more! While some art books have step-by-step painting demonstrations, most of the information covers the basics of realist drawing that’s fundamental to painting as well. Art books feature step-by-step drawings completed in various media, including colored pencil, graphite and even soft pastels.

  • Depending on your choice of the art book offered here, you’ll find the step-by-step drawing tutorials covering the following subjects: how to draw a bird, how to draw a flower, how to draw a cat, how to draw a person, how to draw objects in perspective, etc.
  • If you’re interested in travel books, they capture the architecture, landscape, people, and lifestyle of the country in beautiful pictures and words. These are visual travel guides to your final destination.
  • The advantage of buying a digital file rather than a Kindle book is that you can open and see large images on your computer screen. Also, if you have black-and-white kindle, it makes no sense buying the art book that explains how to draw in color.
  • Every book sells as a digital download that you can save to your computer, and open the file whenever you’re ready to work on your art in colored pencil or paint!
  • This price of the soft cover books includes FREE shipping within the U.S. only! If you live in Europe or any other country, please order on Amazon in your country. If you live outside the U.S. and still wish to order the book from me, an additional $20 shipping surcharge applies.

Let’s get started!

Click on the circle to enter the art book of your choice and to get more information about each product.

 

Join the art student club to receive a free demonstration! Click here: http://eepurl.com/bIJlGf
Join the art student club to receive a free demonstration! Click here: http://eepurl.com/bIJlGf

 

YouTube Channel

Copyright

I reserve all rights to my intellectual property. It is illegal to forward, print, electronically copy, or distribute any digital content from this website or from downloads without prior written permission. If you copy, or forward any content, in any form, or grant access to the digital products to someone else, then you’re guilty of copyright infringement and this is a violation of U.S. and international copyright laws. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

out-of-the-blue-sm-9x12-veronica-winters

Colored Pencil Portrait Drawing

Colored pencil portrait drawing

I love to draw in colored pencil! In the following galleries you’ll see some of my pencil drawings that are inspired by personalities. In my surreal colored pencil portraits I enjoy capturing the character of each person through expressive eyes. I often add a mythic landscape or symbols to create a story. I plan out my drawings around a specific color scheme, and know how it’s going to look like finished before I even begin drawing.

My colored pencil artwork has been featured in many publications, including several issues of Leisure Painter, Colored Pencil Student, Colored Pencil magazine, and Artists & Illustrators magazines, Women Artists 2004, 2013, 2018 calendars, two Colored Pencil treasures books, Draw portraits in colored pencil book, Flowers in art, Strokes of Genius 8 & Strokes of Genius 9 art books, as well as in Dick Blick’s national ad campaigns.

To buy a colored pencil drawing

If you’d like to buy any of these drawings, please email me for details. nika@veronicasart.com   .

9 x 12″ unframed, graphite drawing – $249-349+ Priority Mail shipping

9 x 12″ unframed, colored pencil drawing – $449-499 + shipping.

You will love how the colored pencil artwork looks up on your wall once it’s framed!

Payment is expected in full once I email you the bill via PayPal. The check out is secure and you can use the service with your major credit card even if you don’t have the paypal account.

Step-by-step drawing:

I usually draw on colored paper using professional, lightfast colored pencils. In the following images you can see the drawing sequence. I always begin drawing in one dominant color, and then slowly add the additional colors one by one. This way I have a full control over my values and color.

eleven_stranger things_colored pencil steps
“Eleven” from the TV series The Stranger Things | photo credit Beat productions

 

 

Tutorials:

If you are interested in step-by-step drawing tutorials, you can purchase them here.

My thoughts on the art of drawing:

This is my most recent interview for CPSA chapter

 

http://eepurl.com/b-vEXP

Step by step drawing in colored pencil how to draw a gecko

Step by step drawing in colored pencil: how to draw a gecko

In this step by step drawing demonstration you’ll learn how to layer color in colored pencil on colored paper. You will also see how to use solvents to blend colored pencil. This is a fun drawing project to complete for both kids and adults alike.

Materials:

  • Canson’s Mi-Teintes pastel paper, beige, smooth side. This paper can be replaced with a similar, professional colored paper.
  • Prismacolor Premier colored pencils (colors are listed in steps); they can be replaced with other soft, colored pencils
  • Turpanoid/Gamsol and a small brush for burnishing (blending)
  • General’s pencil sharpener
  • Transfer paper, sketch paper
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Fixative: professional spray varnish for dry media like Grumbacher.

Step-by-step demonstration

Step 1

how to draw gecko

Work on the basic outlines of gecko on sketch paper. Then transfer these outlines onto your colored paper. Keep the fine drawing paper clean of any residue at all times. I usually transfer the outlines using white transfer paper manufactured by Loew-Cornell. This paper lasts for years, and the lines are very easy to erase with the kneaded eraser. MAKE SURE YOU USE THE SMOOTH SIDE OF YOUR DRAWING PAPER!

When you have transferred the outline, strengthen some lines in colored pencil to separate between the shapes. The color of my colored pencil depends on the subject’s basic tone. If the subject is light, I use cream colored pencil to strengthen the outlines, if the subject is dark, I use dark brown to outline some shapes.

Use dark brown like raw umber and dark green to map out the dark spots and the cast shadow on the lizard’s skin.

Step 2

how to draw step by step
Block in the background with indigo blue and the same dark brown you’ve used before. (A combination of any dark colors would work well here). Add grass green and apple green in the background’s middle tone. Then add spring green in the light.

To strengthen the pattern on the skin, shade with a combination of violet, indigo blue, and dark green.
For the eye, use a sharp point of indigo blue and dark brown to outline the circle and to draw the iris. Shade the darker values (tones) on the left side of the eye, while deliberately using lighter tones on the right.

Notice that all colors look a lot more vibrant on colored paper as opposed to shading on white paper.

Step 3

how to draw gecko

When you’ve completed shading in the background, use a solvent (like turpenoid or Gamsol) to blend the background and a few spots found on the gecko’s skin. Let it dry completely!

Make sure you use a small brush to blend the image with solvents that is not used for anything else. Solvents melt wax in the wax-based colored pencils making the surface smoother and darker.

Step 4

When it’s dry, layer the same colors in the background and add a few more over the entire background space. The colors are poppy red, aquamarine, light aqua, and limepeel. OVERLAP COLORS!

Now let’s draw the body. You can shade the light values found on the skin with parma violet and cloud blue, using a very heavy pencil pressure.

It’s important to see how the skin pattern curves around its body. Don’t create straight lines and repetitive shapes. Create volume and dimension by curving the uneven lines around its arms and feet.

Step 5

how to draw gecko step by step

Use a touch of canary yellow and light pink to shade the reflected light on the body’s bottom.

Step back to look at it from the distance and check your drawing for contrast, color and shapes. If needed, re-apply the background colors once again with heavy pencil pressure. Step back. Check values and edges. Outline a few edges in its head with sharp pencils for additional crispness and focus.

Browse through complete demonstrations and art books below.

 

Drawing portraits with colored pencils: tips and techniques

This is the excerpt for your very first post.