Tag Archives: pencil

Eliza – a Colored Pencil Powder Blender Portrait

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At our recent beach vacation, our family met in Destin for our annual beach retreat. What an awesome time when all 15 of us can get together…kids, grandkids, son-in-laws, and the entertainment – our family dog Minnie! While there, I took some wonderful photos of our family and grandkids including several of the girls and ladies getting their hair braided by Abigail (13), one of our granddaughters.

This is Eliza’s portrait from from the photos from that day. (less the green wall and ceramic fish hung all over it!) I did it on Uart 800 Sanded Paper with Colored Pencils using the Powder Blender system developed by Alyona Nickelsen at brushandpencil.com. I read her book “Colored Pencil – Painting Portraits” cover to cover and used her step by step recommendations on pages 100 and 101 to create this portrait. Here is a time-lapse recording of the process  edited to show the key steps, materials and techniques for other colored pencil artists to follow. I hope you enjoy the video and portrait. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and give me a like if you like it!

Eliza – Colored Pencil 8 1/2″ x 11″ on Uart 800 Sanded Paper with Polychromos, Caran d’Ache and Prismacolor pencils – using Powder Bender system by brushandpencil.com
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Meet Hurley! A graphite pencil portrait of a German Shepherd mix

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Coda – halfway finished…using Darrell Tank Five Pencil Method (fivepencilmethod.com)

I’ve been taking a course by Darrell Tank on the Five Pencil Method using 5 different hardnesses of graphite pencils (4H, 2H, HB, 2B and 4B), a camel hair brush, a “pencil like” eraser called a TomBow eraser and a kneaded eraser. Using just these few tools you can do amazing things! He suggests a rather inexpensive paper – Strathmore 300 Bristol Vellum available in tablets or sheets. (I used Strathmore 500 on this) I was working through the course and posted this drawing I was doing of “Coda.” I was halfway through the 8 week course and was contacted by one of Carol’s childhood friends about me doing a portrait of Hurley, her daughter’s dog, for her birthday about a month away. I said I’d be happy to try! Here are the reference photos and the final drawing. All reference photos were captured from iPhone screen captures and texts.

This is the final drawing – 8″x10″ graphite pencil on Strathmore 500 Bristol Vellum paper.

Hurley – 8″x10″ Drawing – Faber-Castell Grafwood Graphite Pencils on Strathmore 500 Bristol Vellum paper

Reference photos:

Screeenshot of Hurley in his relaxed mood!
A screenshot of Hurley
Original photo screenshot of Hurley


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