Friday, 15 November 2019

The Art of Coloured Pencils

I recently finished another introductory art course. Its purpose was to teach us, not how to draw per se, but how to apply, layer, shade and blend an image using coloured pencils to achieve a realistic 2D effect. In order to save limited class time, the instructor had us trace (rather than draw) the basic outline of the image on our paper. Then we filled it in using the freehand techniques she taught us.

We completed three pieces, which I'm posting sequentially from first to last so that you can see the progression as we learned the techniques.

"Japanese Lady"


Our first project was done on black paper using only a single white coloured pencil. My rendition is not particularly good -- you can see how tentatively I applied the colour and how crude the shading looks. The best thing about this one is the flowers in her hair, and even that's not saying much, LOL!

"Horses in Harness"


My second effort is much better. It was done on white paper (although it looks greyish in the photo) using two pencil crayons -- a light grey and a darker grey. I was much more confident in applying the colour this time.

My father loved horses, especially heavy horses, and he would have liked this picture very much. I thought of him often while working on this.

One takeaway from this project is that I never want to deal with leather straps, buckles and chains again. [*Insert bondage joke here. See? I know you people.*] 

"Photographer Girl"


Our final piece was done on grey paper (although it looks brownish in the photo) using three pencil crayons -- light umber, dark umber and cream. My philosophy by this point was obviously "go big or go home." I layered that goddamn colour on like nobody's business! Probably too much so, if truth be told. Oh well! Plus I discovered how hellishly hard hands are to do. Clearly, I have a long way to go in that department.

I'm busy right now doing the next level class in coloured pencils, so in time I will post my results from that. We're using multiple pencils now and doing multiple layers. It's a very slow process but also not a terribly messy process, which is a characteristic that I like. What can I say? I'm fastidious.

[Art and photographs © Debra She Who Seeks, November, 2019]

60 comments:

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Whoa.
That course DID work! The progress is clear and that last drawing is very photorealistic! Very nice. I can also see why the instructor insisted on tracing rather than drawing.
heh. I laughed at the BDSM joke. Girl, you do know us!

XOX

junemac2 said...

Now you see, i just wish i could even start to draw that well. I love what you do, but would not have the patience. It sounds like it was hard work too (especially the bondage part lol )

Kudos !!

anne marie in philly said...

RTG's ex-girlfriend (whom he's known for 40 years) draws with coloured pencils; so did his uncle hugh. we have their works in our home. cleaner than paints fer sure. keep up the good work!

Leanna said...

Are you insinuating something about bondage?
All three of these are perfectly fine. In fact, I would buy these if they were on sale at an art dealer gallery. You have star talent, darlin. I consider you to be really very good for a student. I don't know why you don't show some of your stuff to a local art gallery when you are done with the classes. So don't beat yourself up. The worst art critic is the artist/creator.

Frank said...

Nice. Looks very challenging. You achieved a very professional final piece of art. Would love to see the before color and during color phases.

DEZMOND said...

The lady does look a bit tipsy :) but it is still a great drawing and the other two are simply stunning.

Karen thisoldhouse2.com said...

You are extraordinarily talented! WOW.. these are just gorgeous.

Bob said...

I love them all, and you definitely learned more at each phase. That last one is really very good.
Though I love the horses a tad bit more.

Parnassus said...

Hello Debra, How well your talent is progressing. With all the classes in the world, I doubt that I could get beyond stick figures.

Now that you are becoming familiar with the processes of art, are you starting to notice different qualities in other or professional pictures?
--Jim

Anonymous said...

You did particularly well on the Photographer Girl, Debra. Wow!
Cop Car

Marie Smith said...

It looks professional to me. The child is exceptional, hands and all. You see every flaw. I see the whole...just beautiful!

Rosemary said...

I am very, very, impressed with your work - you have a special talent which you must keep on using. Have you always known about your artistic gift? or is it something that you have just discovered.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Everyone -- Thank you for your kind and supportive comments! I'm not being overly critical of my art though, just realistic. I'm still very much a student and have a long way to go yet.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Parnassus (Jim) -- Yes, I'm starting to see things in art and in life that I never really noticed before -- especially the presence of light and highlights.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Rosemary -- Artistic talent runs in my father's side of the family. I knew I had my fair share of it too but until retirement, I never had the time and money to systematically take professional lessons.

Tundra Bunny said...

Wow, your skills have really improved -- the little girl's face is exquisite! My favourite from this batch is definitely the heavy horse trio. I can hardly wait to see the art you produce in colour again!

Martha said...

These are great! It looks like you're having a hell of a lot of fun!

DVArtist said...

Wow these are STUNNING!

Moving with Mitchell said...

You are gifted! Wow! I don't even have words. Beautiful work!

bobbie said...

I can definitely see your progress ~ the horses are my favorite.
Keep up the good work!

Tasker Dunham said...

You're good. I'm rubbish at drawing. Love having lots of coloured pens and pencils though.

My Grama's Soul said...

All I can say is WOW!! You are truly a gifted artist Debra. I'm so very pleased you are showing us this side of your very creative self...well done.

Jo

Barb said...

How much fun, and very challenging. I love "playing with art" but you have developed some serious skills.

Laurie said...

I wish my eyes would let me see this but my daughter is here and said your work is magnificent! I know it is, I can tell by the comments , you are truly gifted,

Rain said...

Debra your drawings are AWESOME!!! The horses blew me away!! Well done my friend! :)

Barbara said...

I am absolutely amazed. I would be proud to have produced any of those drawings. I have no talent, it is true. But I've always heard "but you can learn". I'm so impressed that you are taking more classes.

Lady M said...

Wow - those are all very good Deborah - your shading is excellent. What a cool technique to learn. I am a fan of those heavy horses too seeing as though I own one.

Lady M said...

P.S. Please do me a skeleton for my haunt and mail it. JK

Kirk said...

You're a very talented artist. The little girl with the camera is especially good.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

You're obviously really enjoying the course and learning a lot from it. (Having talent to start with does definitely help, I should imagine!)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

remind me to NEVER take an art class with you. i couldn't handle my shame. i better stick to cooking. these are outstanding!

Old Lurker said...

YOU never want to deal with leather straps, buckles and chains again? How do you think those horses feel??

Joanne Noragon said...

There is a lot of detail in the horse picture. A lot!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Everyone -- Thank you all again! I appreciate your kind comments!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Lady M -- I know I didn't produce a skull drawing for you for Halloween but I will do my best to provide one to you by next Halloween!

Powdered Toast Man said...

Your Japanese lady looks like she got smacked around by her boyfriend.

baili said...

this is clear that you have artistic touch in your gens dear Debra
otherwise the way you done the first ,i would have ruined it totally

on black work looks bit down yet i can see you brought some life to her atleast :)

second and third painting show the progress more accurately
i loved the horses painting ,quite tough to color precisely i guess ,your dad's love for horses made you draw it beautifully i believe :)

i loved the girl so much ,her eyes and smile is captivating and you managed to reveal it amazingly
wishing you BEST OF LUCK for your next ventures Debra!
i am so enjoying your art here believe me !!!

nothoughtsnoprayersnonothing said...

Thanks for the free drawing lessons.

Dana said...

Wow!! You are very good.

pam nash said...

All three are just lovely.

Lady M said...

Wow really Deborah? You are the best. I can pay for mailing. I will send you an addressed mailer when you have an idea of size. So excited!

Adam said...

Nice art

Busy Bee Suz said...

Listen, Miss Artist! I dropped my jaw at your first try and it dopped further with each piece. YOU are very talented and don't sell yourself short. So very impressive and lovely to look at from my point of view. Keep up the good work. *giggling at your whips and chains* ;)

Magaly Guerrero said...

My goodness, Debra, this are wonderful! You have such a way with facila expressions. Those eyes say so much...

Miss Val's Creations said...

I am extremely impressed Debra! These are all amazing, even your first one. The eyes on Photographer Girl are perfection.

miruspeg said...

What great comments Debra! I absolutely agree with everything everyone has written, you are one talented bitch!
Namaste
Peggy xxxx

e said...

Look at you go! I'm very impressed. It's an interesting exercise to trace the picture and then focus on the skills of using the colored pencils. I hope you are enjoying it!

Guillaume said...

I find your work quite impressive. I cannot draw to save my life.

Bea said...

I felt as if I could scratch those lovely horses on the nose. How lovely that that rendering brought you thoughts of your father.

Enjoy the next course!

Liz Hinds said...

Those are absolutely amazing! As I scrolled down to the last one I honestly thought you were putting up the photo you'd sketched from to show the comparison!

The Captain said...

I'm blown away by your talent, you're an amazing artist.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

WOW!!!!!!!!! That's amazing Debra! It's good to strive to get better but I think you are too hard on yourself.
My favorite was the horses and for the exact same reasons you mentioned, my Dad loved draft horses. Seriously I was expecting to hear the harness jingle and rattle or one of the horses to suddenly shake its head. Goooood JOB!

This N That said...

What talent you have..I did a lot of pencil blending when I ws making greeting cards..Kinda miss it..I still have my pencils but sold almost everything else.The horses are great ..I know what you mean about their harnesses...Have a super week..

Ur-spo said...

Someone refers these things as pencils of color.

I like your work too !

Carol Blackburn said...

Wonderful job with your art. I do not have the patience for that. Bless you.

RO said...

Your work is simply amazing. I get so caught up in your great sense of humor that I often forget your fabulous artistic skills. Bravo! Hugs, RO

The Happy Whisk said...

Oh my gosh, Debra!
This is so freaking cool.
You did an amazing job, truly.
Really, really enjoyed seeing these.
And I love that you take classes to learn.
Learning new stuff is one of life's true treats.
I really feel so.
Happy Learning and boogie boogie.

Fundy Blue said...

You are crazy talented, Debra! I love draft horses too! It amazes me how many things make me think of my father.

Magic Love Crow said...

Wow Debra! Simply Stunning! Girl! You are AMAZING!!! I truly mean that!!!!

Laura said...

Those are all fabulous!
blessings
~*~