COLOURED PENCIL DEMONSTRATIONarttutor.s3. hair and the lighter pencils to softly layer in colour....

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Transcript of COLOURED PENCIL DEMONSTRATIONarttutor.s3. hair and the lighter pencils to softly layer in colour....

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    In this step-by-step guide we’re going to paint a hare in coloured pencil. As per usual with my coloured pencil demonstrations we’re going to create our image by building up layers, beginning in monochrome and then working our way through various different tonal groups. This isn’t going to be a quick painting, but the results you’ll be able will be worth it! And there’s nothing quite as therapeutic as curling up with a coloured pencil painting!


    Hare Today By Jane Lazenby


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    I’m going to use quite a selection of coloured pencils – you can see them here in this photograph. But please don’t worry if you can’t see exactly which colours I’m using, I’ll be mentioning them as I go. You also shouldn’t worry if you don’t have exactly the same colours as me – this picture will work even if the colours are just a close match. In addition, we’ll be using:

    • 200gsm white cartridge paper A2, smooth or medium surface. • Embossing tool • Long point pencil sharpener • Electric eraser,

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    The Reference Photograph

    Reference photograph courtesy of Ian Addison Here’s the picture we’re going to be painting from. Not only is our hare a handsome fellow but we’ve got a really interesting background to work with. At this stage we’ve got to decide on our composition. We could copy it directly, using a landscape format, but I think the best way to show off the hare is to crop this picture and make our hare centre stage. If you were working in pastel it would be really easy to get those long grasses in the foreground. We could even replicate the out of focus effect by smudging… But we’re not working with pastel and coloured pencils are excellent for fine details, but not so good at loose out-of-focus grasses! So for me, they’re out!

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    The Initial Sketch Before we start applying any areas of tone, we need to create an accurate structural drawing – this means we’re drawing in not only the outlines, but paying close attention to where there are areas of tonal change – kind of like a painting by numbers! You must use a black coloured pencil to draw out your outline and not a graphite pencil! We can blend in the coloured pencil lines, but with a graphite pencil this is much harder and our hare will always have a cartoon outline! When you consult your reference photograph you’ll see that the background is very busy! If you painstakingly drew out each and every rock, you’d be there for a very long time! This is where as artists we can interpret the reference photo instead of copying it. We can simplify these areas because a complicated background will distract the eye from the main focus of our composition – the hare. If you’re not too confident in your drawing you may find it easier to use a grid or tracedown paper if you lack a little confidence in your drawing skills. Over the next two pages of this guide you’ll find a larger version of the cropped reference photograph to copy, and the sketch that I made.

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    Step 1: Creating a Monochrome Base Layer We’re going to establish some darks in our coloured pencil painting. In watercolour we’d work exclusively light to dark and if you wanted to preserve the pure white of the paper you could use masking fluid. In coloured pencil painting we don’t of course use masking fluid, but it is possible to preserve the colour of the paper, no matter how much colour you layer on top. This is called the indented line: for this you’ll need your embossing tool. The areas where this technique will work best are the bottom right corner grasses, whiskers, edges of the ears, the tail, and light flecks in the fur. Take care not to have your paper directly over a surface that may get damaged (such as a table surface), and protect your work area by placing a piece of heavy card underneath. Use the embossing tool with an expressive flick and even pressure. The areas in which to place the indented line are indicated by the red circles.

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    Now using the black pencil only, add all of the tonal work – our aim is to recreate what this picture would look like in black and white. In the beginning use the pencil with a light circular stroke, slowly adding layer after layer. Do not try and shortcut this stage- it will take hours of careful observation and work to create a really thorough base layer before we venture into colour. Build up the layers over the really dark tones and remember SLOW and METHODICAL is the answer!

    Once the indented line and

    monochrome layer are complete, it's

    time for the exciting part... adding the


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    Step 2: Adding Colour Starting with a small selection of light colours, we’re going to add some colour to the hare’s ears:

    • White base layer over the pink areas of the ear. • Soft addition of pinks, cream/peach and brown. • Precision drawing in of veins and darkening of edges.

    Before completing the rest of the hare, I’m going to complete the background. I’ll be honest with you – it’s a long stage that can seem quite daunting, but if I do it now then I can relax and enjoy the rest of the painting process!

    Step 3: The Background This stage involves slow layering of colour into the background stones, working from the lightest pencils progressively to the black pencil again. When I’ve done this, I lightly skim over the background area with a dark brown pencil. This will increase the depth as well as unify the surface and colour palette. It’s important that you work from the top of your paper down to the bottom because it’s a bit too easy to smidge the areas you’re working on as you go. For this I’d also advise you put a clean piece of paper under your drawing hand to prevent the oils from your skin smudging your beautiful picture!

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    Step 4: The Eye It’s time to have a look at our hare in more detail! We’re going to concentrate on the eye in this section. Add soft ochre around the iris and a variety of browns into the outer circle. Put a heavy splash of brilliant blue into the black of the pupil remembering to leave a glint of the paper showing through for the shine.

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    Step 5: The Hare My colour palette for the hare is a very similar to the rocks.

    • Start with the white and cream/peach • Move to the ochre, lilac and mid browns • Finally, switch to the darker selection of browns, purples and

    black. I'm using the darker pencils to dab in the short bouncy strokes of the hair and the lighter pencils to softly layer in colour.

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    Step 6: Finishing Touches To complete the piece I’m going to blend the surface of the hare using my white pencil, and blend the surface of the rocks using a cream and brown pencil (you could use the colourless blender or even simply leave the surface unblended). Adjust any areas that have lost their highlights by using the electric eraser to take the layers back to the white of the paper. Use the yellow ochre pencil with a fine point to colour the indented line in the bottom right corner. I also skim over the hare's tail with a light blue as the white fur is in shadow.

    Now carefully consider the dark tones... • Do your ears come away from the background? If not darken the

    edges. • Are the foreground shadows darker than the background

    shadows? • Are the colours too light or bright? If so, skim over these areas

    with a brown pencil.

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    The Finished Outcome

    Take your time considering if the piece is complete. As I stated at the beginning of this guide, I chose A2 paper which has given me a very large piece of work and a very slow drawing time, feel free to make your hare smaller in stature! I named this piece 'Hare Today' because how this chap blended into the background in a camouflage effect. It reminded me of that saying: 'hair today, gone tomorrow?'

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    About Jane Lazenby I am an establi