The penchant for sketching pencil portrait images can be given another interpretation by rendering them with color. Creating a portrait in itself is a tedious process that breathing a life-like shade onto it becomes a much more challenging feat for any artist. But, there are manageable ways to break down the process and achieve a deeper dimension for the artwork. Creating images with realistic color tones can elevate the artist’s calibre in the field among the league of masters.
Creating Colored Pencil Portrait Images
• Position the easel with the right type of tracing paper on it. Make sure that the live model is near the natural light to capture the facial features. Get the most comfortable position for both you and the model because a portrait session usually lasts for hours. If using a photograph, align several photos of the person by clipping them on the easel.
• Using a graphite pencil, create a contour drawing by outlining the facial structure of the model or the image on the photo. Define the hair and all facial attributes without shading them.
• Use a colored pencil to trace over the contour drawing. Select a color that is two tone darker than the paper. Without filling any area, use the colored pencil to draw over the initial outline.
• To transfer the drawing, turn over the side of the paper with the drawing on an acid-free drawing paper. Use a ball-point pen to trace over the contour drawing to start transferring the colored pencil onto the other paper.
• Once transfer is finished, fill in the image with color. Begin from the lightest shades and create highlights in spots where the light shines the most. Use small, short strokes and criss-cross lines to create the cross-hatched look. Retain blank spaces to create light streaks on the face.
• Provide more colors and shades using short but measured strokes. Make sure to regularly sharpen the pencils to get the best color effect. Fill in shaded areas with dark colors and use lighter colors for spots where the light shines the brightest. Use an eraser to tone down dark shades.
• As soon as the image springs to life-like resemblance, step back to look at the portrait from afar. Find the areas needing more shadows. As finishing touches, use blues and purples for deeper shadow effect and peaches and brown to blush bright hue for the skin and hair. Use the shading technique to blend the colors to make the portrait more realistic.
Colored pencils are staple school supplies for elementary students. But, it does not reduce their versatility for other artful purposes such as providing color in pencil portrait images. While any type of colored pencil can be a good tool to render shades and tones, the high quality ones can be more effective in bringing out the desired shading effect. Colored pencils can do wonders on any drawing. A masterful artist can create realistic drawings using these childish art materials on various subjects that can be easily transformed into amazing works of art through methodical strokes.
Just like the regular pencils, colored pencils have the same quality of hardness and softness. Thus when attempting to create pencil portrait images using colored pencils, refer to the same qualities as you are wont to do when using regular pencils. In fact, most artists prefer to use colored pencils with soft color instead of the dark graphite pencil in outlining a portrait. Once the line work is drawn, it becomes easy to add in the mid tone colors of brown to create the flesh color and darker shades to establish texture and highlights which are all essentials in giving a new dimension to your masterpiece.