02 Sep 2016Mont Marte Blog

Create a Portrait with Colour Pencils

In this lesson Joe demonstrates how to create realistic skin tones with Mont Marte Skin Colours Coloured Pencils. It's amazing what you can create with just 12 colours in this beautiful portrait.

How to create a Portrait with Skin Colours Coloured Pencils Skin Colours Coloured Pencils

The materials for this lesson can be found at a Gold or above art centre. Go to to find the one nearest to you. MPN0103 Mont Marte Skin Colours Coloured Pencils MSB0054 Mont Marte Sketch Pad A3 Also Required: 6B Pencil Vinyl Eraser Materials Lis t . . .

Step 2. Transferring the Image Take the first image in this PDF. This is the ‘outline’ image. Place the image face down and shade the back side with a 6B pencil. Place the image onto a sheet from the sketch pad. Place it into position and tape it on to the page. Retrace the line work with a ball point pen. Ensure you don’t press too hard as this will cause an indentation on the paper. After all of the lines are reproduced remove the outline sheet and discard it. Redraw in the eyes and lips with a pencil. When laying in the colours for the skin tones, the general rule is to lay the first tone in quite lightly and consecutive tones should each be applied using a little more pressure. With the last tone applied with the most a mount of pressure. This is so that the tooth of the paper does not become clogged up before all the tones have been laid in. 2 Step 1. Making a colour chart Although this step is optional it is advisable to do this, so that you are familiar with the tone of each pencil. To make a chart draw up 12 small boxes on top of each other and colour each box in. Colour them in the order they come out of the packet. They will be in this order: White, Peach, Sanguine, Red Oxide, Sepia, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Van Dyke Brown, Grey and Black. After you have created the colour chart write the name of each tone/colour onto the end of the pencil with a ball point pen. 1

Step 3 Eyes I like to create the eyes first to get the artwork moving. In this project they are pretty easy as they are tonal. First shade the eyes in with the Grey. Then use the black to colour in the Iris. Leave the circular highlights in each eye and make them a little lighter. Next use the White to colour in the Whites of the eyes and burnish the highlights. To ‘burnish’ just means recolouring over a full body of colour. Use a fair amount of pressure so that the colour blends smoothly. Lightly colour the bottom eyelids with Sanguine Step 4. Creating the skin tone Skin is not just one colour it is an amalgamation of tones. To suggest this convincingly with Coloured Pencils, one has to layer tones on top of one another. Refer to the photo image and study where the lights and darks lie. In this particular project the order of colours are: 1) Peach 2) Raw Sienna 3) Raw Umber 4) Burnt Umber 5) Red Oxide Start with the Peach, this will cover most of the portrait. The Raw Sienna will occupy a little less surface area. The Raw Umber will be mainly visible over the shadow accent areas and the Burnt umber will lie strongly in the deep shadow areas. The last tone, Red Oxide with give the portrait warmth. Step 5. The hair Similar to skin, hair is also made up of multiple tones. For this step ensure that the pencil has a sharp tip. In this project, although the hair is thought of as Black, to suggest ‘mass’ we first lay in Grey. Follow the direction of the hair from the top of the head and lay the strands in with long fluid strokes. The next tone to add is some Van Dyke Brown. Lay this down in the same fashion as the Grey. The last tone is the Black. Pay close attention to the photo reference and build up the tone. Bear in mind light falling on certain areas as this will show as lighter, so apply less Black. 3 4 5

There will be times when you need to rest your hand on top of coloured areas. To avoid smudging your work it is a good idea to lay a sheet of copy paper under your hand. Step 6 Details By this stage the majority of the portrait is done but requires ‘detailing’. What I mean by detailing is adding things like eyebrows, eyelashes, the lips, shading the reddish hue around the eyes and nose and finally removing tone to suggest any highlight areas. Use a vinyl eraser to do this. 6

Material List

  • Skin Colour Pencils Signature 12pc
  • Sketch Pad Signature 150gsm 25 Sheet A3 297 x 420mm (11.7 x 15.5in)

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