When creating coloured pencil artworks sometimes we can get so “close or zoned in” on a particular detail or set in our own way that we can forget to step back and think about the “process” of what you are creating.

When struggling with an artwork or if have been working for awhile I will often pull myself back and remind myself of these points, I find they really help to push me along my path especially when I am in my “ugly stage” of working.

  1.   Be mindful of your values – try to think what is your lightest light and darkest dark
    TIP:half close your eyes and look at your reference do this at the beginning before you start and then do it again and again. Ask yourself these questions?
    Do you need one area darker than another? It doesn’t have to be exactly as your photo! This is where you have the artistic license to IMPROVE your artwork.  If you make your darkest area close to your lightest area it will really make your artwork POP!
  2. What sort of support you could use to HELP you create your vision? If your subject is on a dark background why not use a dark paper? This will aid you, no one says you have to start with a white paper. How can you create your vision easiest and quickest, with the most interest.
  3.  How is your stroke coming along? Altering your stroke direction can create some interest to achieve different textures can make all the difference to your artwork.  Remember to think about how an object appears in realife if you are using a photo reference. Is it round, don’t just colour the whole thing with the same stroke sometimes altering your stroke can bring a whole new direction. eg. Cross hatching, fast stroke, small circles, large circles, following the contour of your subject.
  4. Start with your background first your background will affect your foreground.  and if your are on white paper start with your darkest area  (as this will need the most layers of pencil) and viceversa if you are using a dark baground start with your lights first.
  5. TIP Remember to keep a sheet of clear plastic or paper under your hand to prevent smudging and brush away any debris this will keep your work clean throughout the whole artwork process.
  6. Values, values, values. Keep checking them!!  It takes practice to look in values, look at all sorts of artworks see whats happening with values.
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