Creating a realistic portrait drawing with colored pencils seems impossible if you don’t have expertise. Well, portrait drawing is hard, and the details require a lot of practice and expertise. If you are into portrait drawing, tips from an expert can help you out improve your skills. Here is an overview of the main factors that you need to focus on:
- Quality of light of the objects
- Accuracy and precision
- The smoothness of the paper
- Softness and quality of the color pencils
- Layering the different colors
So, if you are willing to boost your portrait drawing game, then let’s discuss all of the other tips and techniques in detail.
1. Make Rough Sketch
Instead of jumping into full fledge portrait, start from the very basics of portrait painting with pencils. Draw an outline of the face of the object that you want to portrait. If you think that you will mess it up, you can try making facial outlines on the rough paper. You can try drawing nose or ears. Try to improve your drawing speed, but keep your focus on the details of the drawing.
After trying some attempts on the rough paper, you can draw the sketch on the real paper where you want to paint a portrait with the pencils. Using colored pencils instead of graphite pencils gives you a better opportunity to blend and mix the colors and outline in a better way. Sketches with graphite pencil don’t look at realistic as portraits with colored pencils.
2. Paint the Eyes of the Object
Eyes require most of your attention and most of the beginners find this part difficult. Lay down the foundation of the eye with lighter color tone. Keep the colors faint to give you a clear outline. Start increasing the intensity as you move further with the drawing.
Use darker shades to add depth to the iris. You can draw light shadows around the lids for the depth. If you want the blue eyes to pop then adding reddish shades around the eyes will do the job. Use brown and black pencils to draw the upper and lower lashes. For detailed and better outline, make sure that your pencils are properly sharpened and thin.
3. Paint the Skin
Now here comes the main part of the portrait drawing with colored pencils. Start painting the skin away from the nose and darken the area around the eyes and nose. Try using the same colors that you used for the eyes. It will give a smooth look to the overall portrait. For more realistic approach, you can try the reddish shades on the cheeks.
After defining the main plains of the skin, try adding sky blue colors with skin-toned pencils for the realistic painting. Sky blue pencil is highly recommended to add shadows around the lower lips and on the right part of the nose. Keep going with the layers and then try to blend all the colors in a smooth way that it looks realistic and natural.
4. Paint the Eyebrows
For better depth for the eyebrows, try using darker colors with a lighter tone. For example, you can use van Dyke for the darker shadows and light yellow ocher for a part of eyebrows.
5. Paint the Ears
You must use the step-by-step layering technique to draw realistic ears with colored pencils. Use the dark brown pencil for the darker and intense parts of the ear. Don’t press too hard while painting the ears and go smooth with soft strikes. As you are going to add color after this part, make sure that shadows are not too dark. Now, start adding flesh-toned colors to the outline of the ears. Even at this part, don’t press the colored pencils too hard.
The choice of colors for the ears depends on the skin tone. Adding blue, green or yellow color with the additional blend of dark brown pencil can make the sketch even more realistic. You can use the darker colors to clarify the shadows. As you are done with all of this, go all over the area with lighter flesh-tined colors and start blending different layers smoothly.
6. Paint the Hair
Start from the outline with darker colors to draw the hair. Use the same colored pencils for drawing hair as you did in the skin tone. In case the hair color is blonde for the subject, you can try the blend of the following colors:
- Light yellow
Draw series of curvy and straight lines for the realistic texture of human hair. Try to draw the series in the same direction instead of using different directions. Try adding different colors and shades and highlights to the hair.
7. Finish with the Mouth
At the endpoint, you need to be careful as you might be excited to finalize it as soon as possible. For the mouth, you need to the same tone of colors that you used for the skin. As you are done all of these steps, reviews your portrait and if you want any missing point, make sure that you don’t mess up the portrait fixing the tiny edits. Here you go with an amazing portrait drawing with colored pencils.
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