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  • Amie Hill

Finlay's Colour Pencil Portrait

The handsome Finlay was commissioned as an A5 Portrait in colour pencil, he was a joy to capture and I loved re-creating the texture in his tabby stripes! I have broken down his portrait creation into the stages I wok with when piecing together my commissioned portraits.

The first stage in a colour pencil pet portrait is to lay down the guide lines in very light graphite pencil, this is a very important stage in the process as I need to know how to piece together the face structure, along with working out where the shadows and highlights fall.

The second very important stage is creating the eyes, paying particular attention to the multiple colours within and the pupil highlights, these are essential things to pay attention to in order to breathe life into the artwork and capture the resemblance.

As they say 'the eyes are the window to the soul'.

I also like to start with laying down the main characteristics of the pet at this stage, such as his lovely tabby stripes. I never go into too much detail with the coat texture at this stage, instead I lay down block colours of the tones within the fur.

I continue with laying down the main colours within the coat in colour pencil throughout the pet portrait, these are then blended together with a blender pencil to remove any spots of white from the paper showing through. It is also here that I start to gradually build in more detail, such as the fur texture, the lines within the eyes, the nose outline and shapes within the ears.

In this final photo you will see that after I have built up many layers of texture within the coat it starts to look very furry and realistic. This is achieved by using the pencil to create highlights and shadows within the air lines. I will also put heavier layers of pencil within the shadow areas to help emphasise a more three dimensional, realistic style of portrait.

The final stage is drawing in the whiskers and white hairs with a white gel pen, which is fantastic at covering over the colour pencil and making the portrait pop from the page.

If you would like to order a similar colour pencil pet portrait to Finlay here, please send me a message through my contact form.

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