Jen’s Picks: FREE DEMO: Create a Magnolia with Colored Pencil
The Ultimate Guide to Colored Pencil by Gary Greene, with over 300 pages of tips, techniques and step-by-step demonstrations, plus a bonus 55-minute DVD showing how to paint a gorgeous yellow rose. This is Gary’s 10th North Light Book, and his name is synonymous with colored pencil paintings that are so realistic you’d swear they’re photographs! But don’t worry if you’ve never worked in colored pencil before—Gary shows you everything you need to get started, including what pencils to buy, how to use them, and how to create your own designs.
Pre-order your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Colored Pencil at NorthLightShop.com
Meanwhile, here’s a preview of what you’ll find in the book. Enjoy the following FREE colored pencil demo, courtesy of Gary Greene, who shows you how to create a lovely pink magnolia blossom in 6 easy steps!
Layering: The Quintessential Colored Pencil Technique
The layering look is unique to colored pencil. Depending on how the color is applied, it can have a soft, airy look when more paper is allowed to show, or it can have an almost painterly look with additional applications of color. Color is gradually applied, or layered, dark to light (on a white or light-colored surface), building increasingly complex values, hues and textures. Although every colored pencil type works well with layering, harder pencils have a slight edge over the softer varieties because the points maintain their sharpness longer.
This magnolia blossom is a classic vehicle for the layering technique. The darkest shadow areas of the petals are painted first, then each area of lighter values is added on top of one another. Here the background has been left out in order to concentrate on applying the technique to the subject. If you wish, add a simple out-of-focus background for an extra dimension to this study. This painting was done on a sheet of 3-ply Bristol vellum, regular surface.
Sanford Prismacolor: Apple Green, Burnt Ochre, Chestnut, Clay Rose, French Grey 50%, Green Ochre, Light Umber, Limepeel, Magenta, Mahogany Red, Marine Green, Pink Rose, Raspberry, Rosy Beige, Sepia, Tuscan Red
Faber-Castell Polychromos: Fuchsia, Light Purple Pink, Pink Carmine
Caran d’Ache Pablo: Green Ochre, Khaki Green
Step 1 Create the layout or drawing using pink pencils for the blossom and green ones for the leaves.
Step 2 Using small, circular strokes, layer the darkest shadow areas with Raspberry, Magenta and Clay Rose. Layer mid-value shadows with Clay Rose, and the lighter shadow areas with Rosy Beige.
Step 3 The mid-tones are layered over the darkest shadow areas as well as the middle value areas with Pink Carmine and Fuchsia. Layer the lighter shadows and lighter mid-value areas with Light Purple Pink.
Step 4 Layer the lighter areas with Pink Rose, leaving the highlights free of color. Adjust as needed by re-layering dark and mid-value colors to define shapes.
Step 5 Layer the leaves’ dark values with Marine Green and Green Ochre (Prismacolor); mid-values with Khaki Green, Limepeel and Green Ochre (Pablo), leaving the highlights free of color. Lightly layer highlights with Limepeel. Layer the pink area of the bud with Tuscan Red, French Grey 50% and Light Purple Pink. Complete the green portion with Marine Green, Green Ochre (Prismacolor), Light Umber, Limepeel and Apple Green.
Step 6 Finish the magnolia painting by layering the light brown portions of the branches with Sepia and Burnt Ochre. Using short, horizontal, semi-circular strokes, layer the branches with Sepia, Chestnut and Mahogany Red.
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