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How I create my images

All of my colored pencil work is created from various images I have found and collected over the years of all kinds of creatures. One may have a really good wing but the eye is too dark, or perhaps a huge leaf is hiding the tail feathers. So I clip and paste together the perfect image. I request permission from the photographer if I can find out who shot the photo. Mostly I use Creative Commons images. I don’t happen to have any birds or creatures to draw from life just sitting around the house!

I start by drawing the image lightly in pencil on my paper. I add the basic shapes, feathers, placement for the eyes and where the shading goes. If the detail is extreme, I add more detail in my pencil drawing. Then I work in reverse.

I get my colored pencils out and slowly start to erase the graphite pencil and add colored pencil in it’s place. I find if you color over the pencil it will either smear or the colored pencil will slide over it, so might as well get rid of it. On some of the darker browns and grays it doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem drawing right over the pencil. I also have some extremely fine line black pens that I will use on the tiniest details of the images like around the eyes, if I can’t manage to get my black colored pencil sharp enough to make those marks.

I have recently started to teach “Drawing in Colored Pencil” classes and I’m having a great time sharing my secrets. Enjoy!

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My images are drawn in Prismacolor, FaberCastell and Caran d Arche colored pencils.

I start by lightly drawing in the image in pencil and slowly erase that as I add the colored pencil. Each piece takes from 20 to 40 hours to complete.

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