petals and feathers - colored pencil drawing by VixMaria
Art,  Fine Art

“Petals and Feathers” Colored Pencil Drawing

petals and feathers - colored pencil drawing by VixMaria
“Petals and Feathers” – colored pencil drawing by VixMaria ©vix·ph

I made this colored pencil drawing in 1998. Hidden and nearly forgotten inside my dusty suitcase.  A clear influence of my ornithology class.

One of the ways to learn biology is by observation. And while you are doing your observation, you might need to put on paper what you are perceiving — what you are seeing… how it felt when touched… its odor… or its taste if you must.☺️

I remember in my biology class,  we were to look through a microscope and draw the structures pressed well between the slides and coverslips. Well, yes, most of them were cells, those circular minuscule bags containing various what-nots… 😄 Then, we also drew birds in ornithology (biological study of birds). That was better than the parasitic worms we drew in parasitology (biological study of worms and all the parasites on Earth, and nope, not including the person you’re thinking of). But don’t get me wrong.. all creatures are beautiful. But as you see, birds have that beautiful display of colors. Just as strikingly vivid as the petals of many flowers.

This drawing, though, was not a real-time event I personally saw. The inspiration came from a magazine and I just loved how the birds were complementing the plant’s pompous flowers. It would have been a wonderful sight if I saw this for real. ☺️

Now, for some tips on how to color with pencil, go ahead and read below.

Colored pencil drawing techniques for beginners

Yes! You probably have seen a colored pencil art that looked like a painting. It would really be nice to do one like that. Here are some of the techniques you can use to start your colored pencil drawing masterpiece.

  • Paper. Find the right paper. A stunning colored pencil drawing will also depend on the paper texture. How the colors will look on the surface will depend on the texture of the paper. In the colored pencil art above, I used an illustration board. Being solid and sturdy, it worked well with the multiple layers of colored pencils I applied.
  • Pressure. Are you into a lot of pressure lately? You probably want to make use of those pressures onto your art piece. You can release a bit or you can let it all go. The amount of pressure you release through your pencil will make a huge difference. If the pencil pressure is slight, expect the color to be lighter. If heavy, the color becomes darker.  The important thing is color gradually until you achieve the intensity you like.
  • Layers. Probably the best example to portray color layering is your computer screen. When you see a pumpkin, it doesn’t mean the computer turns on the orange light on the screen. Rather, it turns on the red– and green-emitting light sources to make orange. (Source) In the same way, we layer various colors to come up with the colors we want. If you are seeing red, for example, you probably need to take a closer look. Some parts will have crimson red and others, carnation pink. If you will just use one color, your drawing might look pretty dull. So, consider adding one layer after another to make your colored pencil drawing look more life-like.
  • Blend. You may want to make a smooth finish so that your colored pencil drawing will look like a painting. To do that, you can use blending tools or solvents. Use a white pencil or a colorless blender to smoothen the texture. I read rubbing alcohol is a great solvent for colored pencils.  It is applied on the surface of the drawing using Q-tips. However, before you do that, try it first on a similar paper with a colored pencil art to avoid ruining your masterpiece. Find the right pressure and sweeping technique that works best. Then, apply it to your drawing.
  • Highlights. If you are using white or a light-colored paper, draw a barely-there outline to remind you where the heavily colored areas are as opposed to the highlighted areas. On a darkly-colored paper, start with a light-colored pencil, like cream or light peach. Then, add a layer of white shade. If needed, use a white crayon or apply a white gouache or acrylic paint with a tiny paintbrush.
  • White lines. Drawing animal fur? … scratches? … or thin white lines? To achieve that, the indenting technique could help. You will need a transparent paper, like tracing paper. Place it on top of your drawing paper. Using a ballpen or a 2H graphite pencil,  apply pressure while drawing the lines. Then, apply a color apart from white. There, you have white lines!  If you want to see a demo of this technique, view this.

Once you’re satisfied with your colored pencil drawing, you may want to add an outline now. But hold back on the black color unless you are creating animes or comic arts.

You may want to see the recent colored pencil I made: Angel’s Welcome. Thanks for reading. Be sure to share! ☺️