I am well known for my pet portraits, but I do paint other subjects too!

This portrait of a child was recently commissioned by a returning customer of his son.

Rendering skin tones in a human portrait in coloured pencils is incredibly difficult to achieve, and a completely different method is used from rendering fur. To achieve the smooth, almost porcelain-like skin of this young child I blended skin tones into an initial first layer of white, to keep it pale and uniform. Very small circular motions were used, laying down very light layers, to eliminate any harsh pencil marks.

I have used artists quality prismacolor pencils on a light grey thick card which takes many layers of pencil. The card needs a little texture or ‘tooth’ to be able to take layers of pencil which fill the tiny bumps in the card. If the card is very smooth, there are no bumps to fill in and fewer layers can be placed onto the card.

The customer had taken some photographs by a window to get good lighting on the face. As anyone with children knows though, they very rarely co-operate, and on this day he was not in the mood to have his photograph taken!!!! This lead to quite a thoughtful expression on his face, making a nice change from the usual cheeky grinning kids!!!

As with all portraiture, whether animals or human, a good photograph with good lighting is key to getting a great drawing or painting.The key to getting a realistic portrait is realising the three dimensional shapes or ‘planes’ of the face, and paying attention to where the light falls and which areas would be in shadow.

I will be practicing more human portraiture soon. If you wish to commission a portrait, please do not hesitate to contact me! I love what I do, and strive to create something you will treasure for years to come.