Iris in Colored Pencil

Layering and blending colored pencils builds rich colors and values. Combine this with embossing and outlining the drawing with a hard Verathin pencil to precisely control detail. Outlining the drawing at the start helps to contain the subsequent pencil strokes, making it easier to make a crisp and clean drawing. Detail is the last step. Had it been applied early in the process, it would have been smudged by the Odorless Mineral Spirits and lost beneath layers of deepening color. Click on the first image to start a step-by-step slideshow.

5 thoughts on “Iris in Colored Pencil

  1. Lauren Fouts says:

    This is a marvelous lesson! Adding the use of the embossing tool has made a huge difference. I primarily use Polychromos and Luminance for colored pencil work (I have never mastered Prismacolor, so the results resemble crayons). We all find the tools that work best for our personal preference, but most of the techniques can be used universally. Your use of a variety of techniques give my work that extra “punch” that makes the process a delight! (I bought your book immediately upon availability and refer to it quite often.) Thank you!

  2. I will have to get OSM. I substituted a blending pencil which was okay but doesn’t give the watercolor-like effect. I used watercolor paper and was happy with it. The embossing tool is fun, that’s the first time I’ve tried it since you demonstrated it in a YouTube tree video. One thing I’ve noticed: I have several Prismacolor pencils and 24 cheaper store-brand pencils. I’m seeing a big difference! From now on I will only buy Prismacolor pencils; they are worth the extra money. I don’t have any Verathin pencils but wonder if I can find them locally. Thanks for the iris tutorial and the tree workshop on YouTube.

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