Announcing a brand new colored pencil tutorial from pet portrat artist, Peggy Osborne. A new tutorial with a twist!
This time, Peggy has chosen a subject that I’ve never seen in a tutorial download before. A baby goat.
Her Baby Goat tutorial not only shows you how to draw eyes and fur, but gives you the opportunity to decide how you’ll finish your baby goat drawing..
“This little cutie is a purebred Nigerian Dwarf goat kid. Yes, baby goats are called kids.
“Goats make me happy, there is just something so unique and beautiful about them and they make really beautiful art.” – Peggy Osborne
If you, like Peggy, enjoy drawing subjects that make you smile, look no further!
Follow along with Peggy as she draws one of her favorite subjects, a baby goat. You’ll feel like Peggy is sitting beside you, guiding you through detailed descriptions, full-color, step-by-step illustrations and tips.
You’ll learn valuable skills like layering and blending, using different types of pencil strokes to create textures, and a blurred background. Peggy also describes how she blends with solvent, and how she mixes and uses Titanium White mixture with Touchup Texture.
But that’s not all. With this tutorial, you have two options for finishing your drawing. With or without a background!
Ready for a New Colored Pencil Tutorial?
This tutorial is perfect if you’re already a pet portrait artist who wants to improve your skills. Not yet a pet portrait artist, but hoping to become one? This tutorial is for you, too.
And if you’re just looking for a new project to draw, then why not give this tutorial a try?
Peggy is an accomplished self-taught artist living in Canada specializing in creating beautiful realistic portraits of pets and family members. She’s had an on going love affair with colored pencils, loving their simplicity, for as long as she can remember.
She started out using graphite pencil so it was an easy transition to carry on with colored pencils. Love of animals and art go hand in hand. Peggy is in awe of what can be accomplished with colored pencils.
Today’s post comes in response to a reader question that asks one of the most important questions any artist can ask: How to Light Your Art Studio.
I reviewed some of your newsletters I get but didn’t see any thing on lighting. I’m curious about desktop lighting and whether your have any recommendations on the best way to go for desktop lamps.
If you have any advice—or even resources you can point me too, I’d appreciate it.
Thanks so much.
First of all, I want to thank Tom for his question. It’s a fantastic question.
And he was right. As long as I’ve been writing about art in general and colored pencils specifically, I’ve never talked about lighting. It’s such a vital part of the art equation that I’m ashamed I didn’t think of it sooner.
So that’s the subject for today.
There are so many lighting options available, that the best way to answer Tom’s question is to share my lighting experiences.
How I’ve Lighted My Studios in the Past
For most of my studio life, I’ve worked with a combination of natural lighting through windows and standard overhead lighting. Usually 60 watt or higher incandescent bulbs in ceiling fixtures. To be perfectly frank, I just didn’t think about lighting. It was necessary, but not vital to what I was doing.
I worked that way for decades. The only variations were the clip lamps I used at horse shows and the floor lamp beside my favorite drawing couch at home. Those also used ordinary incandescent bulbs. Usually 60W or higher.
Then my husband and I were wandering through a local furniture store that sells new and used furniture, and came across a floor model OTT light. My husband (an engineer and someone always looking for the best ways to do things) said, “Would you like that?”
I’d heard of OTT lights, of course, and knew a lot of artists swore by them, and this one was inexpensive. So I said, “Yes.” It replaced the floor lamp beside my favorite drawing couch and I used it for years.
At some point, however, I noticed it was no longer seemed bright enough. The problem was no doubt aging eyes, but I gave the lamp to hubby and looked for other options.
How I Currently Light my Art Studio
I’m back to ceiling fixtures but now they have daylight LEDs in them. The rooms where I usually work also have large windows nearby, and during daylight hours, I make use of natural light. Natural light is my favorite way to light my work while I’m drawing, by the way.
I tend to look for inexpensive, easy to implement solutions to everything, so the current setup is perfect.
But there are other options.
What Other Artists Are Doing
Some time ago, I heard an artist comment that his lighting solution was a couple of clamp lights of the type mechanics use. They are inexpensive (under $10 usually) and you can put whatever type of bulb in them you want.
I bought a clamp lamp for my H-frame easel. It has a 65W A1 flood light in it and it’s nearly perfect. I can move it from one side of the easel to the other as needed, or clip it to something else if I need to position it further from the easel. The only way it would be better would be to have another!
Goose Neck Lamps
I also recently heard an oil painter Andrew Tischler talking about his studio lighting. He uses several light sources for his painting area, including two goose neck desk lamps. They can be positioned side-to-side, up-and-down, and various distances from the painting he’s working on.
In addition, he puts a cool bulb in one and a warm bulb in the other so that the combined light is nearly white.
He talks about lighting in a couple of videos on his YouTube channel, including a couple that focus on budget as well as lighting. I recommend both.
The video I suggest first is Studio Lighting/How to Light Your Art Studio on a Budget. It even includes a shopping list! What could be better?
The other video is My Studio Setup – How to Create an Amazing Art Space (on a Budget). This video is geared more toward general studio setups, but it includes lighting.
NOTE: The big bonus with the second video is storage! I especially like Andrew’s comments on artistic hoarding. (Anybody else subject to artistic hoarding?)
If I Were Setting Up a New Working Space
If I were setting up a new working area, I’d look for the following things.
Flexibility is important if you work in a lot of different sizes. Look for a light or lighting system that allows you to focus the light on small areas as well as larger areas for big drawings.
If you do more than draw in your workspace, then take into consideration a light or lighting system that lights those tasks, as well.
I don’t have a dedicated work space for art. There are places throughout the house where I like to draw, and I also like to draw outside. That’s why overhead lighting and natural lighting play such big roles in my “studio lighting.”
If you work in more than one place, look for lighting that’s easy to move and set up in as many of those areas as possible. That way, you’ll have the same lighting in every place you most like to work.
The most important thing most of us need to consider is price. You can spend a lot of money for good studio lighting, but you don’t have to. Take time to look around and see what’s available. Talk to other artists and find out what they’re doing.
Then look for inexpensive alternatives. I’m not talking about cheap, here. Cheap will usually end up being more expensive in the long run.
Look for the best combination of quality and price to find the best value.
How to Light Your Art Studio: What Do You Think?
My thanks again to Tom for asking the question in the first place!
Do you have a question about lighting or anything else about colored pencils? I’d love the opportunity to answer it. Click here to send me your question. Who knows? You may ask about something I’ve never talked about before but need to.
I’m delighted to announce that a piece of my art is in CP Hidden Treasures Volume 6!
Ann Kullberg publishes an art book called CP Treasures every eighteen months or so. The purpose of CP Treasures is to provide a snapshot of the world of colored pencil art. Artists are encouraged to submit work for consideration and the best of the best is selected.
It’s a high honor to be accepted into CP Treasures because so many great pieces are submitted. I know what it’s like to be featured in this publication. The original Afternoon Graze was in CP Treasures Volume 2, when only 80 artists were selected.
This year’s edition, CP Treasures Volume 7, features 112 pieces. That’s 112 pieces selected from over 900 entries!
What About All Those Other Entries?
That’s where CP Hidden Treasures comes in.
Selected works from those that didn’t make it into CP Treasures are featured in a second collection of work called CP Hidden Treasures. This year’s edition of CP Hidden Treasures contains 208 pieces of artwork of all subjects and styles and by artists from around the world.
And that’s where my piece, Spring Storm, enters the picture.
Spring Storm is one of those 208 artworks featured in CP Hidden Treasures Volume 6. It’s my first piece on Clairefontaine Pastelmat, was the featured tutorial in the March 2020 issue of CP Magic, and is also the subject for an expanded, standalone tutorial. For a “practice” piece, it’s very well-traveled!
CP Treasures and CP Hidden Treasures
Both books are now available in either digital or print versions.
If you want to see cutting edge colored pencil work, these two art books are for you.
If you’re looking for something fun to do this month, I suggest a new virtual workshop with John Middick.
September 2020 Virtual Colored Pencil Immersion Workshop!
Presented live and recorded for you to view and download later.
In this workshop, you’ll be drawing on white Pastelmat paper.
The virtual workshop is on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
Saturday: September 19, 10:00am to 4:30pm (Eastern Standard Time)
Join instructor, and award-winning artist, John Middick, alongside your fellow classmates in this live, Virtual CP Immersion Workshop**.
You’ll be drawing this fresh cup of herbal tea with a lime wedge. If you’ve ever wanted to be challenged with textures, hard edges, and soft edges, all in the same drawing project, this project would certainly fill that need!
About the Project
In this live, virtual workshop John walks you through drawing a variety of textures to show texture, form, and value.
He’ll discuss how to depict glass objects and show reflections and transparency. He’ll also demonstrate how to create semitransparent layers of colored pencil to show reflection and to build up dark values.
Learn the drawing techniques used to create realistic artwork with this new art medium!
About the Workshop
In this 1-Day, Saturday (6.5 hours) workshop you’ll learn how the layering process works, the best pencil stroke techniques to use, several methods for erasing, how, and when to burnish!
You’ll also cover the following techniques:
How to blend on Pastelmat paper
Color choices and color matching
How to erase colored pencil
Creating your Line Drawing and the layout for your road-map
Composition considerations before starting the project
Creating texture and value structure
Attend live, on-line during the virtual workshop, and then watch the recording at your convenience afterward.
After you sign up, you’ll get the following:
Written Instructions workbook (delivered the day of the workshop)
The Recording of the event (a few days following the workshop)
** – You need a computer or iPad (or tablet) in order to participate in this virtual workshop. The workshop technology will be handled through Zoom meeting software and will work best on a large screen.
Last week, I answered a reader who wanted to know where they should begin a drawing. Today, I want to answer the same question from a slightly different angle by telling you how I usually start landscape drawings.
In the previous post, I talked about general starting points like base layers, dark values, and light values. I listed them as three separate options, but they really work together on most projects.
So this post shows you how that looks with a specific drawing.
How I Usually Start Landscape Drawings
Landscapes almost always begin with an umber under drawing. Why browns? Umber base layers naturally keep landscape greens from being too vivid.
My favorite under drawing colors are Prismacolor Light and/or Dark Umber or Faber-Castell Polychromos Raw Umber or Walnut Brown. I have a nice collection of Derwent Drawing earth tones, too, but haven’t tried them as base layers.
Landscapes tend to take on a life of their own as I draw, making complex line drawings unnecessary, at best. So I begin landscapes with a very simple, basic sketch on the drawing paper, as shown below.
Dark Values First
I start the drawing by shading the base color into the darkest areas first. As I mentioned in last week’s post, starting with the shadows provides an excellent point of comparison for the middle values and light values. Even on colored paper.
However, it’s still important to work with light pressure and build up the values layer by layer. Corrections and adjustments are easier to make, and you also avoid the hazard of getting too dark too quickly.
Add Middle Values and Darken the Dark Values
Once the darkest values are in place, I develop the other values with additional layers.
If a drawing has particularly dark values, as this one does, I use a dark version of the same brown. I added Dark Umber to the Light Umber to darken the shadows.
Continue Developing Values and Start Developing Details
As I continue darkening the values, I also develop the most important details.
What I want in the finished under drawing is an art piece that looks finished on it’s own. So I fine tune the various parts of the landscape to create balance, a visual path, and interest.
Contrast is also important. The lightest values in a landscape are usually in the sky, so it’s important to get your shadows dark enough to give the landscape depth.
When the under drawing is complete, then I start glazing color. Usually, I choose colors that are light versions of the finished colors, and glaze them over the entire shape, as shown below.
But there is no “right way” to select colors.
Why I Start Landscapes Like This
If a composition fails as an under drawing, it goes no further. I’ve probably spent a couple of hours finishing the umber under layers, so I haven’t invested a lot of time.
If the under drawing can be improved (or fixed as is sometimes needed,) then I fix it now, before adding color.
If it can’t be fixed or improved, I start over with no hard feelings.
That’s How I Usually Start Landscape Drawings
My preference is to work an entire drawing at the same time so I can keep the light and dark values well balanced. I used to finish colored pencil drawings one section at a time, though, so it’s a matter of whatever works best for you.
Are you looking for an informal group of colored pencil artists to join? A place for colored pencil artists of all levels to share their work, get help and be encouraged? Then Carrie’s Colored Pencil Club is for you.
There are no secret passwords, handshakes, or codes. All you need to do is apply for membership.
What You Get When You Join Carrie’s Colored Pencil Club
When you join the club, you instantly have access to live chats among members, group discussions and group challenges. Members can also post works-in-progress if they need help.
Members also help me decide which tutorials to publish next. How? When I’m ready to start a new project, I’ll post the subjects I’m considering and members vote on their favorites.
I’ve also created an album filled with photos I’ve taken and which members may use free of charge.
Regular Q&A chats and art crits are also in my plans for the group.
How to Join
Joining is easy and takes only a few minutes. Click this link to request membership and answer three simple questions. I review all the answers and approve new members, but don’t worry about getting the right answers. The only real “wrong answer” is not answering the questions. Requests that do not include answers are considered spam (yes, it really does happen,) and are automatically deleted.
So answer those questions!
You must have a MeWe account to join, but it’s easy to open and use and FREE! If you aren’t already a MeWe member, join here.
Never heard of MeWe? That’s okay. A lot of people haven’t. MeWe is a social media platform founded in 2012 and which does not collect or sell personal data, runs no advertising and offers both free options and a paid version. It’s like Facebook used to be.
So far, it’s proven to be a great platform and, as one of the club members said, it’s a fun place to be. I hope you’ll join us there.
If you have problems finding the club, click here to visit my MeWe page and let me know. I can then send you a personal invitation.
You’re new to colored pencils, and eager to get started. Your first project is on the drawing paper, your pencils are at the ready, but you’re stumped. You don’t know where to begin a colored pencil drawing.
I’ve been there and stared at that blank sheet of drawing paper wondering where to start more than once. So afraid of doing the wrong thing, I do nothing at all.
Knowing where (and how) to start gets easier with each drawing, but even with your first drawing, it’s not an insurmountable obstacle.
Where to Begin a Colored Pencil Drawing
You may be looking for One Secret to answer all your colored pencil questions. Let me burst that bubble right now. There is no such secret.
But there is hope.
You see, the beauty of most art forms is that there are as many ways to make art as there are artists. Look for artists whose work you like, then learn how they make their art. Try their methods. If those methods work, great! Use them to make your art.
If those methods don’t work for you, don’t worry. Look at how another artist works and try those methods. Keep trying until you find the method that works best for you.
That’s what I did. When I found things that worked for me, I used them. I discarded the things that didn’t work at all, and when I found things that sort of worked, I adjusted them until they did work for me.
That’s probably what you’ll end up doing, too.
Now let me share a few tips for starting a colored pencil drawing, starting with the most basic. Base layers.
The first color you put on the paper is called the base layer.
A lot of times, the base layer is smooth color and is meant to shade the area you’re working on. Usually, it’s also the lightest value in that area. I usually select a color that’s the same value as or lighter than the brightest highlights if the brightest highlights aren’t white.
Another good way to begin a colored pencil drawing is by starting with the darkest value first, as I did with this study of a cat’s eye.
Establishing this value first gives you a point of comparison for all the work to follow.
Look closely at your reference photo to determine the darkest color. It’s not always black!
Then outline the shape, then shade it. I used a variety of strokes in this illustration, starting with small, circular strokes. But I also used other strokes to fill in more of the paper holes.
Many artists begin with the lightest values. Some lightly outline those values so they don’t accidentally shade color over them. That’s what I often do because I often accidentally shade over highlights. So I draw the highlights as well as the shadows from the beginning, as shown in this line drawing.
I know a line drawing like this is overwhelming to some, but it helps me preserve those all important highlights. Even if I don’t transfer every mark, I do transfer the shadows and highlights, as well as the outside edges.
You can also actually shade the highlight color over the highlight areas. Even if the color is too light to see on paper, it acts as a “resist” so that any color you put over it isn’t quite as dark as shading it over blank paper. The waxier the light color, the more it acts as a resist.
If you use medium pressure or heavier (or work on a softer paper like Stonehenge,) you also impress the marks into the paper. When you color over that area, the marks show up, as shown below. I drew the eyelashes with a very light color, but I also pressed the marks very lightly into the paper.
As I shaded color over that area, the new color did not cover the previous color. The impressed marks also began to show up because the new color didn’t get down into them. As I darken the eye, the eyelashes become more and more obvious.
The illustration above is also a good example of base layers. I selected the lightest color in each area and shade it lightly over the area.
Those are Three Ways to Begin a Colored Pencil Drawing
They aren’t the only ways to start a drawing. In fact, they aren’t the only starting point I use.
But they are the most common and, I believe, the easiest for new artists to learn quickly. Try them out and see which one or which combination works best for you and gives you the results you want.
The latest issue of CP Magic is now available and waiting to inform, entertain, and inspire you!
What’s in The Latest Issue of CP Magic
Artist, author and art teacher Cynthia Knox is the featured artist for September. Cynthia not only shares the story of her art journey, but offers fellow artists a healthy dose of encouragement for staying the course AND trying new things.
She also provided a lovely tutorial featuring a bird and cherry blossoms.
What are you really doing when you draw? Unless you’re sculpting or creating nonrepresentational art, your goal is creating the illusion of space on flat paper. You want the things you draw to look real. Right?
It sounds easy, but how do you do it so your drawing looks real? Learn three secrets to success in creating the illusion of space with every subject.
The Great Art Adventure
Part of the Great Art Adventure is finding the best images to use for reference photos. But whose photos are safe to use and where can you get high-quality images without either paying large fees or running the risk of legal problems?
Does using any kind of solvent on colored pencil artwork make the artwork a fire hazard? Have you ever wondered about that? If you have, then Carrie has the answer for you and for the reader.
About CP Magic
CP Magic is a monthly digital publication written by a colored pencil artist—yours truly—for colored pencil artists at all levels. That’s you!
Each month features an artist interview and tutorial so you can meet the artist and see how they work. Other columns include the Great Art Adventure, CP Clinic, Making it Better reader crit, and a featured photo.
All of the original five cats still live with us. Basil, Bing, Bob, Bud and Lou have grown into fine, handsome cats. They are all healthy and happy, staying indoors at night, but getting outside as they wish during the day.
It’s been so hot the last few weeks that they’ve spent most of their days sleeping in cool, shady spots, but I have seen some chasing flying insects and hunting grasshoppers.
In other words, being cats.
We rescued poor Basil with bad infections in both eyes. His mother hid her kittens in a hollow of a tree, and dirt and debris was stuck to Basil’s left eye. When we cleaned the eye, the third eyelid appeared permanently closed. The eye eventually healed, but sealed itself, and we were never able to determine whether not there was actually an eye in that socket.
Basil still has a unique “air” due to the lack of a left eye, but that hasn’t hampered him. Much. He did have difficulty learning to climb and jump, requiring us to rescue him from high places a couple of times. But once he learned how to judge distance, he was fine. He now makes routine visits to the second story windows that overlook a low roof.
He’s grown into a lean muscled, long legged fellow, that doesn’t back down from opponents (even big dogs,) but is affectionate toward us.
One thing he hasn’t done is grow into his ears. They still seem too large for him!
Bing is a small dog in a cat’s body.
And a chatterer. He often greets us as the back gate when we’ve been away and escorts us to the house, talking all the way.
Pick him up and he automatically rolls over to have his ears rubbed. Sit down without him already on your lap, and he cannonballs into your lap. He is definitely not an old lady cat!
Bing went missing for two weeks in September 2019. We have no idea where he went or what he did, but he was in good shape when he returned. Maybe just a little lighter.
He now weighs in at around eleven pounds, which makes his floor-to-lap cannonball routine all the more startling for the unwary!
Bob, the first member of the Kitten Posse, looks a lot like his littermate Bing, but is much more reserved. He still has the dreamy-eyed expression that made him the subject of an old email drawing class.
He spent about a week as the only orphan. When the next two came into the house, he looked a little dismayed at having them in his overnight bed. Sometimes, he still looks that way!
Reserved or not, he’s still friendly and often comes inside to help me clean litter boxes even on nice days. Quiet he may be, but he likes being outside and is quite often the last one to come in. Most of the time, I have to go and get him.
Once or twice, he spent the night outside after mysteriously disappearing at evening.
Bud was the smallest of the original five and had persistent respiratory problems. Despite that, he was playful. I have photos of him tussling with the others, playing around the keyboard while I worked, and napping with the younger kittens.
He was “best bud” to Ember, a young adult female about two years older than he. She was never well, and usually ate best when Bud ate with her. When she died early this summer, Bud seemed a little lost.
He continues to have respiratory problems, though they seem to have settled in his sinuses now. It amazes me that he remains so friendly after all the treatments he’s put up with it. He’s like a bucking bronco to medicate, and hides if he sees us with a pill popper or syringe (even if they’re not meant for him.) But through it all, he remains affectionate.
Lou is still the biggest of the five and tops out at twelve to thirteen pounds in the winter. During the hot summer months, he slims all the way down to about eleven pounds.
Despite his size, he’s pretty mellow with us. Definitely an armful when carried.
He behaves toward the non-posse-members as though he’s boss (or wants to be,) so he sometimes spends afternoons inside to prevent his running the older cats off.
Like Bud, Bing, and Bob, Lou suffers lingering respiratory problems, though nothing as severe or persistent as Bud. A little face cleaning now and again is all he requires.
As of the date of this writing, I’ve been unable to get a good photo of Lou as an adult, but will add one when able. Just imagine Bing mostly white, and you have the idea. They are built a lot alike and no wonder. They are litter mates.
Later Posse Members: Pee Wee and Her Siblings
After the original Kitten Posse was settled, we took in four other kittens. Pee Wee and her three siblings; cousins to the original five.
One of them, Brummel, is no longer with us, but the others are doing well.
Pee Wee is the smallest member of the Kitten Posse, though she’s grown more than I expected, given her poor health as a kitten. If there’s a “teacher’s pet” among them all, she’s it. At least in her own mind. If I happen to lean against the kitchen counter while talking to the chef (Neal,) it isn’t long before Pee Wee is as at my feet, gazing lovingly upward. If I pay no attention, it isn’t long before she takes matters into her own paws!
She also loves jigsaw puzzles, especially rolling around on partially assembled puzzles (while I’m working on them,) and loose pieces. She’s a good companion, but not much help.
Rebel has grown up to be as big as Lou, which is a surprise since he wasn’t remarkable for size as a kitten. He’s not the bravest cat in the pride, preferring to be safe rather than sorry. He gives the older neighborhood toms wide berth and sometimes also retreats from the three older females. He’s also cautious around strangers, though he’s friendly with us.
Make friends with him, though, and he’s all kinds of affectionate.
I’ve tried on several occasions to photograph Rebel as an adult, but he’s shy by nature and photographing a black cat in the shadows is challenging, to say the least!
Sorrowful is next in size to Rebel. She would like to be an outdoor cat, but is confined to the inside, because the outdoor cats simply don’t like her.
She also had one scare with a car (which I saw.) When she manages to sneak outside, she stays away from the street, but we keep her inside for her own safety.
Maybe, once the other Posse Members accept her, she can spend time outside. Until then, she gets time in her own upstairs room with an open window. Complete with all the amenities.
So That’s the Kitten Posse Update
Those orphaned kittens not only survived my mothering, but have grown into big, mostly healthy cats. For the most part, they grew up better than I could have hoped, given the rough starts a lot of them had.
Colored Pencil Tutorials is now the official source for CP Magic, all my tutorial downloads, Peggy Osborne’s tutorials, and all new future tutorials.
One-to-one distance learning classes are also now available through the new store.
The grand opening includes a new issue of CP Magic and two new tutorials, open from me and one from Peggy.
Just the Beginning
I’m hoping this is just the beginning. Plans are already in the works for annual subscriptions to the magazine, and I’m currently exploring the possibility of memberships through the store.
And of course new issues of CP Magic will be published each month and brand new tutorials.
Does this Seem like a Huge Ad?
In a way, I suppose it is a huge ad.
But I’m excited. I’ve wanted to open a standalone online store for a couple of years now. That was my original plan back when I started offering tutorials from the blog. Somehow, it took launching the magazine to get me off dead center.
Now it’s a reality!
The Fine Print
I’ll be taking down the tutorials and magazines from this website over the course of the next few days, so I encourage you to visit ColoredPencilTutorials.com and bookmark it. You can also sign up for the store newsletter for free to make sure you don’t miss new releases or store news.
Anyway, ’nuff said. This is your personal invitation to take a look around the store, and see what you think.
To celebrate, I’m giving you 20% off all purchases made between now and August 15. To get the discount, type the word opening in the coupon box when you check out.