This drawing is not typical for me....
horses are not the main subject.
There is only a row of distant saddle horses in the background.
The paper I am using is a nice textured watercolor paper called
hot press. Not too rough, not too smooth and it takes a lot of
After transferring the preliminary sketch, I start with the shadows
This way I define the parts and it gives me a 'base' to start from.
From there I put in
my "'underpainting" or the colors that I will build upon.
As I layer
they work with each other to create a richer look than
merely laying in
one basic color.
Even black created by layering browns, blues and
greys will have a deeper,
richer look than
filling a space in with a black pencil. Also,
with acrylics or oils,
you mix the colors you
want on a palette but with colored
pencils, you achieve this by layering
colors over each
other right on the paper.
You can then burnish (or work the colors
into each other)
with a colorless blender.
It's good to keep in mind that the last
color applied will be the
The first pencil I start with is a Prismacolor
Verithin Black to define the
dark areas such as the hat and lightly fill in the shadows. Next I layer Prisma
70%, Derwent Blue Grey and Prisma Black over the darkest part of the
hat. Burnish with a Colorless Blender. For the
sunlit parts of the hat I used:
Prisma Sienna Brown, Burnt Yellow Ochre
and a light layering of
Prisma Warm Grey 50%. I burnished this with White in the lighter
The vest is created with: Prisma Indigo Blue and Violet, burnished
in the lightest areas.
The shadows are created with Derwent Blue Grey,
Prisma Violet and Black,
burnished with a Colorless Blender.
The halter is: Verithin Scarlet Red, Prisma Poppy Red, Terra Cotta
Grey 10% with a light overcoat of Derwent Gunmetal in the shadows.
The halter rope is: Prisma Warm Grey 10%, Derwent Brown Ochre and White
Derwent Gunmetal and Bronze in the shadows.
The jeans are: Prisma Indigo Blue and Cold Grey 90% in the shadows, Prisma
Blue and Cold Grey 10% for the lighter areas. Except for the skin tones, I
everything else with either White or a Colorless Blender (or the same
color for more
intensity). Also, never burnish cloth. You
will lose the soft look of
the fabric, let the texture of the paper help create the
look. The exception
here was the vest which is made of a shiny nylon. Plan ahead for light
highlights. It's hard to get them back if you accidentally layer too much
At this point I have a good start on the skin tones and finished
most of the vest. The halter is more defined and the shadows darkened.
I still have a few details to finish. Sometimes while working on a piece,
it's good to
move around as you work. Concentrating on one small section with a lot of
can become tedious and varying where you work can give it a better sense
of unity. Keeping track of the colors you use in the drawing
is also a good idea.
The colors used in this step are as follows:
Prisma Light Peach and Peach for the sunlit areas of the face and hands,
Prisma Terra Cotta and
Dark Brown in the shadows.
No burnishing is necessary.
Nearly finished. I've added the horses in the background.
There were none in the actual reference photo but were needed to add
"story" and "interest"
to the overall composition. The horses are lightly drawn with Prisma
Sienna Brown, Cold Grey Dark, Cold Grey Light and Derwent Burnt Yellow
they were burnished with white (highlights) and a Colorless Blender.
More layering on the vest, shirt, jeans and skin tones, except for
fabric and skin, I don't like the white of the paper to show.
In the finished product, the last step was putting in the grass
undercoat of Derwent Brown, Derwent Burnt Yellow
Prismacolor Dark Umber and Prisma Dark Green.
Highlights and individual blades in the grass are painted in acrylic.
The piece was
then sprayed with a UV protective fixative to prevent
bloom and fading, then matted and framed.
The Littlest Cowboy
Limited Edition Print
$60 postage included