Continue To Layer The Skin Tones And Shadows

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Deepen the skin tone around the eyes with Henna. Add this color into the corner membranes. Notice the ridge of reflected light above the eyelid crease of the right eye.

With Seashell Pink, add a slight shadow to the eyeball in the corners. Also add it below the eye on the left to enhance the look of roundness.


Continue to build the color of the skin tone. Use quick strokes with Black to create the eyebrows and eyelashes, tapering the pencil stroke at the end. Study the length and direction of the different types of hairs, and practice drawing them on a separate piece of paper. It requires a very short, quick stroke to make the line taper at the end. Keep a very sharp point on your pencil, especially for the short, sparse lower lashes.

drawing hair

You saw in the previous exercise how important the pencil line is to creating eyelashes and eyebrows. It is the same with drawing hair. The pencil lines represent the length of the hair, and they must be drawn in accordingly.

It is very important to establish the skin tones of the face before beginning on the hair. The skin will show through the hair and around the hairline.

Study these close-up examples. You can see how they were created by applying different types of pencil strokes.

Pencil Strokes

Close-up Study of Curly, Dark Hair

To create this type of hair, use your pencil "on the flat" and very small, light, circular strokes. The hair is much thicker in the middle of the scalp, and becomes less dense toward the outer edge where it meets the face. Begin with the lightest color, then layer on top with darker tones.

Colors Used

Terra Cotta, Black

Close-up Study of Long, Dark Hair

To create long hair, make long, quick strokes in the direction that the hair grows. Strive to taper your pencil lines at the end of each strand. Because hair is multi-colored, work from light to dark as you are adding the tones to make it look realistic. The dark tones will reinforce the shadows of the layers of hair and the curls. Repeat many applications of color, layer after layer, to build volume. Hair is made up of thousands and thousands of hair strands—it is impossible to create the look of thick hair with only twenty or thirty pencil strokes!

Colors Used

Peach, Terra Cotta, Dark Brown, Sky Blue Light, Black, White

Skin Colored Pencil Color

Close-up Study of Short, Gray Hair

Hair grows in layers that overlap to create patterns. With wavy hair, each area has both light and dark areas, and it must be built up with multiple pencil strokes. Study this example, and you can see how the dark pencil strokes are placed on top of light pencil strokes to create these patterns.

Colors Used

Cool Grey 70%, Cool Grey 50%, French Grey 70%, White

Long Hair Coloured Pencil

Close-up Study of the Band of Light

Long, shiny hair has a band of light that reflects the light source along the curve of the head. This is where the roundness of the head is illuminated much like the full-light area of a sphere. Leave the highlight area the white of the paper and build layers of color around it from light to dark until it looks thick and smooth. Find more detail on creating blonde hair on pages 136-139.

Colors Used

Dark Brown, Goldenrod, Sand, Canary Yellow, Light Umber, White skin tones

The paper you use can help you create realistic skin tones. If you are drawing a rosy-cheeked baby, select a pale pink paper. If you are drawing a darker complexion, choose a deep peach or brown paper to enhance the natural skin tones. Before you begin, you must decide what your ultimate goal is, and figure out the best way to achieve it.

Martin Luther King Color

Enhance Skin Tones With Colored Paper

The color of Martin Luther King Jr.'s skin is enhanced by the peach-toned drawing board. Some of the board shows through the drawing, enhancing the rich tones. I used many layers of Black in the background to make the portrait pop from the page.

I created his hair using the side of my pencil with tight, circular strokes. This technique makes the hair look full and richly textured.


Combine Techniques in Portraitures

I love this portrait of Ray Charles because of the many rich colors. Notice the combination of artistic methods, from the circular strokes depicting his hair to the reflective color and light used to show dimension. Combining effects is a good way to achieve realism in your work. Remember, portraiture requires practice, skill and, above all, time!

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