The basic colored pencil technique involves layering colors, one on top of another—creating hues, values, gradations and textures that are further controlled by using paper surfaces of varying tooth or color. The tooth of the paper plays a major role in this technique, because the paper is allowed to show through the layers of color. All colors in this demonstration are Prismacolor, except when noted as Faber-Castell Polychromos (FCP).
Layer the darkest hue of the lightest color area first. Here the shadow areas are layered with cool gray 50%, 30%, 20% and 10%.
The yellow band is the second lightest color area. Layer hues from darkest to lightest—goldenrod to gold ochre (FCP) to ochre. Leave the highlight free of color.
The orange band is the third lightest color area. Again, layer hues from darkest to lightest—first burnt ochre and then terra cotta (FCP)—leaving the highlight free of color.
The red band is the darkest color area. Layer Tuscan red, dark red (FCP) and scarlet red, as you did in the previous color areas.
Gary Greene has been a full-time artist since 1967 and is the author of four books and videos on colored pencil techniques, including No Experience Required: Colored and Watercolor Pencil. This demonstration is an excerpt from his article “Uptight is All Right” in the November 2008 issue of The Artist’s Magazine. Click here to order your digital copy.
Colored Pencil Demo: An Orchid by Gary Greene
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