I am so excited about this topic on how to use colored pencils for portraits this year 2017 to 2018! If you are just starting out to learn portrait drawing with colored pencils, this is perfect for you. Below you can read a short review.

In addition, if you are already in the advanced level, you will also get some new ideas that will improve your skills professionally. You will polish your artistic ability and improve your skills on how to draw a face with colored pencils.

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I encourage you to watch this tutorial carefully if you want to learn how to create a beautiful portrait in colored pencils. Kerry Brooks, a professional artist demonstrated clearly and in detail how to do this successfully. If you watch it seriously you will receive a lot of benefits.

1) It will improve your skills to the point that your drawing will look so lifelike.

2) You will know the fundamental techniques that will help you create fascinating realistic portraits.

3) You will learn to portray correctly how to draw the facial structure with its correct form and proportion and how to apply them in colored pencil drawings of faces.

4) You will understand the different scopes of skin tones using blending layers techniques.

5) You will learn how to draw a hairstyle and texture in full details using colored pencils.

6) You will be able to learn how to draw facial features with expression.

7) You will have the opportunity to watch this class anytime and wherever you are.

8) You will get help from experienced instructors until you learn to the fullest.

9) You will be familiar with different colored pencil mediums, even if you don’t get to use them all because you will have the skills to choose what is best. Most artists prefer Prismacolor Premier portrait colored pencils. I love this brand!

After you finish watching this tutorial, you will be able to create beautiful colored pencil drawings of faces.


Base on what I learned, my advice to you is, try to focus your mind only in this colored pencil medium. Learn one thing at a time. If you are already used to creating portraits using oil or acrylic paints, your experience will help you apply your knowledge in this new colored pencil medium.

I find this medium amazing because you can control how you render it more in detail. One example is that you have to sharpen your pencils often to get a sharp detail effects.

You will also be challenged when you start learning how to create portrait drawing with colored pencils.  Basically, sketching and planning the drawing is tough because you have to make sure before you apply the colors that the image looks exactly the same as in the photo. I advise you to check this book on how to draw portraits in colored pencil from photographs by Lee Hammond. It will be helpful!

I would usually use a black and white pencil to sketch it. You can sketch the portrait using the grid technique or purchase an art projector and use it to trace the picture to the illustration board.


Once you are done sketching, I would start applying colors from lighter to darker tones using colored pencils. It is basically like the way you render it in watercolor. You basically start from lighter base color layers and then little by little progressing to darker tones. Check this great book, on how to draw realistic portraits with colored pencils by Jasmine Susak.


Most of us always choose to draw animals, flowers, and insects because we find it easier to do. On the other hand, the one thing that we find difficult to create is, how to draw a face with colored pencils.

To tell you the truth, it is easy if you know the correct steps on how to begin doing it. The most important thing to know to create a realistic portrait is to learn the basic anatomy of the face.

Be familiar with the facial bones and muscles and its relationships with the shadows and light when the skin covers them. Knowing this will help you draw the face perfectly and realistically. Especially if you are sketching the picture from a photograph you will find drawing it easier because you have mastered the facial anatomy.

If you learn the facial anatomy and apply this while you practice rendering correctly, creating colored pencil drawings of faces will be easy. Remember practice is the secret to be able to draw a portrait beautifully using colored pencils. Practice makes perfect!

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how to use colored pencils for portraits


One of the greatest thing that gives happiness in life is the expression of yourself through painting. Imagine yourself creating a beautiful portrait of your friend or finding yourself drawing and painting a landscape very spontaneously. You have seen drawings by pencil created by great masters and you wish that you painted like them. However, not all these can’t be achieved if we don’t know how to do it correctly by means of knowing the relationship of values and color.

You probably did a few strokes already in your pencil portrait project or perhaps you are just beginning to learn the first steps. Whatever stage you are in, it is very important to know the process of drawing by means of creating lines and adding value which is also referred to as “tone” and understanding how value translate to colors which you will experience mostly in drawing and painting.

When you start rendering the portrait, let the artist within you do its creative work by knowing first how to do the basic skills in whatever you are drawing. As you progress you will begin to know the importance of value by means of rendering light and shadows. Through this, you will eventually begin to identify colors to your portrait drawings. The best way to keep in mind is to always see value as colors.

You will know this once you have learned the relationship of light and shadows from light to dark tones that is mostly use in drawing. This will be an effective guide for those who want to succeed in drawing and adding colors usually is experience in painting. This is the way to put colors into your drawings.

Five Steps To Find Colors In Value

1) Sketch your subject matter which is the portrait. Do all the line drawings of each part of the face using a dark lead pencil.

2) Identify where the light source is coming from. You can have it coming from the upper right side corner or left side corner of the paper. This light source is very important because through it your subject will be formed by means of shades, which is value, and from value to colors.

3) Using a pencil draw the shades and shadows of each facial parts of the face from the lightest to the darkest tone depending on how the light distributes them.

4) Each shades from dark to light, which is called value, signifies a particular color tone. From the darkest shades to the medium to the lightest will translate a color tone. Example: yellow will fall in the lightest shade, orange will be in the medium shade and brown will fall to the darkest shade.

5) Dark shades will signify a darker color value like for example the dark shade of a hair would be the color of a dark brown hair. Light blue eyes would be in the medium dark shade tonal value. A light shade tone would be the color of a fair complexion of a facial skin tones.

The best way to render colors is the ability to see colors as different shades of value. You will know this once you become familiar with the relationship of light and shadows in drawing. This is the effective way to succeed in drawing and applying the colors in painting.

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