Colored Pencil Detailing Techniques
Spiros' colored pencil artwork is known for its vivid details that are incredibly photorealistic. Once Spiros is finished with his subject's eyes ( If you missed out on how Spiros creates eyes, read that blog here), he moves on the lips and any jewelry. Each technique entails 4 steps: shading, blending, and detail work. To see a high-level summary of Spiros' process using Arteza's Colored Pencils, keep reading!
Starting with the lips, create an outline with the darkest shades you'll be using. Spiros uses a black colored pencil to draw the line where the lips part and the darkest shade of the desired lip color for the outline of the top and bottom lips. Next, Spiros creates the base of the lip color by using an EverBlend Marker to fill in the lips. Once the solid base is down, Spiros can start adding contrast to the lips. This includes the top of the cupid's bow highlighted with a white colored pencil and shadows from where the top and bottom lip meet with a black colored pencil.
Spiros then adds a reflective effect to the surface of the lip. To do this, he uses a white colored pencil and a lighter shade of the lip color to gently sketch over areas of the base color, careful not to cover the base shade in its entirety. This technique and attention to detail will create naturally defined ridges on the lip. As a finishing touch, he adds any more necessary highlights (with white) and shadows (with black). If needed, Spiros will also include strokes of additional shades similar to the lip color to add extra dimension.
Start with outlining the base shape and pattern of the jewelry. Depending on the jewelry, you may need to use a darker or lighter outline; in this case, the jewelry of the portrait is more subtle, so Spiros is using gray. Next, he darkens any shadows with a black colored pencil. Be sure not to skip this step, as it will only make the jewelry pop in the finished piece.
After the base details are created, Spiros uses a small paintbrush and white acrylic paint to create highlights. Using the reference picture for a guide on where the light hits the jewelry the most, he adds small dots of white where needed. Additionally, acrylic paint adds texture that cannot always be achieved with colored pencils. Lastly, Spiros makes sure to add finishing touches for consistency, like drawing shadows around any jewelry.
We hope you learned something new and that this Fuel Your Creativity techniques blog has provided you with new ways to elevate your craft. Try out some of Spiros' go-to techniques to create detailed and colorful portraits!