Series: Advanced Coloured Pencil techniques. PART 1: How to draw stylised animals. | Jennifer Hawkyard | Skillshare

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Series: Advanced Coloured Pencil techniques. PART 1: How to draw stylised animals.

teacher avatar Jennifer Hawkyard, Artist, Illustrator, Creator and Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      Refining Your Sketch


    • 5.

      Exploring Pattern and Detail


    • 6.

      Class Wrap-Up


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About This Class

This class is part of a 3 part series on using advanced coloured pencil techniques to create unique and intricate animal themed artwork.

In this 3 part series I'll teach you how to use coloured pencils to create unique and eye catching artwork. If you've seen my Totem Project artwork you will see a wide range of mystical, colourful and oftentimes cute critters created using primarily coloured pencils on a dark background. This project will take you through how to sketch a rough draft, start your drawing and master the techniques of coloured pencil to create a truly unique artwork. There are no hard and fast rules in my class, I like to use intuition in a lot of my work, to select colour and to define pattern so be prepared to explore your intuition and let it flow out freely onto the page!

In this class you will learn the first steps to creating your own unique animal themed illustration. You will:

  • Learn how to find and use reference imagery to research your new illustration
  • How to break down the form of an animal into simple shapes
  • Explore stylization and form
  • Explore pattern and details

An example of the end result of this class:


The end result of the series will be to create an artwork something like this:






Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jennifer Hawkyard

Artist, Illustrator, Creator and Teacher


I'm an artist and illustrator working in rural west wales. When I'm not stalking the countryside looking for inspiration with my long legged hound I'm hunched over my desk drawing whatever critter has dropped by to say hello.

After a successful career as a Graphic Designer and Art Director working in Ontario, Canada, I took the leap and quit my day job to move back to my homeland and pursue a full-time career in my first love - art and illustration. I now work full time as an artist and illustrator selling and displaying in local galleries and arts fairs as well as working on commissions that come my way.

I'm looking forward to sharing the little tricks I have learnt along the way that have helped me grow as an artist and show some insight as to how I create my work. 

Check out my website to see what I'm working on at the moment!

See full profile

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1. Introduction: I'm Jen, This is Luca. Welcome to my skill share class on advanced covering pencil techniques. I'm an artist living and working in West Wales. Andi. I work in a wide variety of media, from digital to traditional, basically anything that lets me explore my imagination. My latest project, a totem project, has allowed me to explore two of my favorite things drawing animals and using colored pencils. So this skill share cost. Siri's is going to take you through how to create a similar unique composition using coloring pencils. Um, first class in this series is all about sketching, researching your idea, developing that idea into a unique concept and also a little bit about how to break with the animals form into simple shapes so that we can create a unique composition. After that, we'll get into the more advanced techniques of using colored pencils for a final composition and creating some really amazing artwork. So follow along. I hope you enjoy. And I look forward to seeing what you create at the end of the class. 2. Research: welcome to the first class in this skill share project. Um, this class we're going to learn how to sketch your animal of your choice on research it on , basically, break it down into simple forms to make it very straightforward to draw. There's just a few examples that you're seeing there on the screen that I've done in the past, and this is the kind of thing that we're gonna come up with in this class. That will be the end project. Um, some of the materials you need. It's just a simple sketch pad or no powder in just piece of paper, pencil or penn. Whatever you prefer to work with Andi highlight edges. It's really nothing special. Nothing. Expenses. So my first animals that I'm going to draw here is going to be a bear on a lot of request to do a bear, and it's in series. So what I've done is I just went online, going to Google images or interest, whatever you prefer, and I just downloaded a bunch of images. This restaurant shots basically a way for me to get familiar, holds the animal that I'm going to draw so easy. Number of shots from different angles, different sizes, even different types of there. I want to do, if a face on shot. But you could do a full body shot if you wanted to. I like kind of getting into details, so really, the face that I'm interested in So now we have a collection of images to reference. What a recommend you doing is just taking a few notes about the animal that you're going to draw. So when I'm thinking about bears and taking that, they're quite fearsome. Bears a very strong, very big Um, I put down the word loyal exim she's thinking of as a mother. You know, they're very protective over their cubs. They hibernate, which is interesting for such a big metal on there. Also Omnivores. So that those air sort of just some seed words that I was thinking about when there was thinking about There's And then he added, cuddly because we have attendance suggesting ever since cute, cuddly. So those are the kind of words and thinking about just sort of brainstorming about the animal you're going to draw. Next, we're gonna take the highlighter on. If you printed out your images, you could do this on a tablet as well. If you wanted to. You I'm just drawing over some of the shapes that I'm seeing in the bear images that I've gone. So if you're new to drawing, this is a great way of identifying breaking down the shapes off a complex animal. So but some of the interesting shapes happening here with there is a lot of diamonds, lots of rounded shapes. It's interesting. How their eyes is so close to their nose gives him quite unvisited. Look, and as you see with each other, you get different effects. Depending on the type band, weight of the shot is taken. I would like to create a sense of symmetry in my artworks, especially this color pencils Aires. So often that middle line is sort of growing me a central point to work around. And obviously, if your work doing a face on view than animals tend to be very symmetrical, so he can kind of see how that wind on the middle is helping anchor on some of the identifying elements off the animal. And it's just very interesting to see as you look closely how an animal breaks down sort of identifying the shapes of the nose there they have quite a is, um Stout knows this picture with the flowers I've decided I want I want to add some floral and it's you. It's about some something that I was just taking note off there. Yeah, we have a black bear, which compassion grazes got quite a different look too. It's much more sleek and streamlined. Um, I think I'm probably going to go with more greasy look with mine, but you can sort of see how the shapes changed in this one. So not too many of those diamond shapes on more of the committee teardrop shapes. Actually, um, it's again you could do. It's for body shop. If you really want to just give you what Scripture entities to try something new. This big image is really good way of seeing how the hair lies on an animal, which gives you so many opportunities for patterning and texture when you get into the details of doing your pencil drawing, Um, so it's great to have a close up shot. Lightness, even if we're not gonna work this big kind of pick out the individual hairs and the way they slow round body, and they imply this long is it? So you showed a study that was finally working on Just to see how this has are moving on, and they really help your artwork surges look more realistic, even though it's very stylized, great texture. Again, we got that side shot here helping inform the 7th 3 D shape of a bear. So even if you're gonna do a face on shot, sure to look at the other slides of the animal to help you understand how to draw that they're and what shapes are going to be coming into it based off. Let's from a side of back. I think this is a great shot, we really see. So that was sort of teardrop diamond shapes that were coming doing here sketches, and you will see it just the have. Always. Hair is lying on the muscles in the neck. The bears have interest seeing them. It's like a double chin effect happening, So there's lots of shapes that you work with, huh? To draw dressed in your composition. Again, the snow really plays a huge part. It's a bad um in the tiny little eyes so useless exercise to really learn what's going on with your animal. Um, what closely at the way the hair lies different elements together. So now you should have a collection of images, whether it's on your tablet or just printed out that are drawn on good here, sense of the shapes that you're working with. Do you understand how the for flows of the feathers flow? Maybe you give you a sense of the composition that you want to work with, where, whether it's a full body shot or just a face shot on, um, hopefully have some nugget ideas, some key words that you want to sort of bring into your composition. 3. Sketching: welcome to the second class in this skill share project. After the first class, you should have a selection off reference and Majoras, whether it's on your computer, on your tablet or printed out on you should have some sort of drawn over sketches off the things that you've been studying on. The animal that you've chosen to draw seeing see the selection of images we've got here and now it's time to pick up that pencil and start drawing what you've learned from the shapes that we've discovered. So the key point here is is we're not creating the final composition to this point. We're just exploring the shapes and familiarizing ourselves with the the form of the animal that we're working with. So I'm actually referencing each image that I'm working on right now. Um, just keeping it pretty loose and where with shapes doesn't matter if it comes out wrong. At this point, we're just sketching and even we're just warming up. So don't panic. It comes out looking weird all up sided. That's absolutely fine. Every artist has to warm up before they get into the good stuff, so let yourself loosen up. Don't worry about um, things looking strange at this point. The key point here is that we're trying Teoh built muscle memory on how these animals look on how to transfer that to the paper. Even though I know I'm not going to likely be doing a side shot, I'm going to explore that few anyway, because it's going to help me understand the shape a bit more. As I mentioned in the last video, um, it also could lead to a happy accidents where actually created composition, where I think gradually maybe I will look into, um, doing a side view. You could use that for later artwork for examples. So this sketching say it is really about exploration. Don't throw away any ideas. There are about ideas at this point, another way to explores to, um, work on straight lines instead of fluid lines. So on the first image that I sketched, I went quite loose on work to those teardrop shapes. With this one, I'm working more with the square lines that we're seeing in this particular image, so exploring a more boxy shaped than within what I normally draw again, it's it's doesn't really match up the stage watch comes out. It's all about expiration on trying out new things and seeing what happens knows will all unfold the final drawing. If you want, you can work on separate sheets of paper. At this point, I'm just sort of noodling around on the same piece of paper just to sort of stop myself from getting too serious. Um, just working within the shapes that I have on the one piece of paid their kind of confines me into one space and means I don't get too stuck on the details at this point here. We've got the full body shot that we looked at earlier. I'm sorry I'm exploring that one. Just out of interest issues found there's anything there that I want to explore later, um, lots of overlapping teardrop shapes that we saw happening. And, as you can see the spacings wrong on this image in the years that you post together and things were a little lopsided, it doesn't matter. That's all about just exploring the shapes and the lines in this section of the class. So if you if you want to drawing, don't be intimidated by things come out wrong. It's all a matter of just practice makes perfect and trying things out. A lot of the drawings that I've done, a sort of starting to center around a certain, um, composition. So going without central look, with the chest coming down to a point, the front nine with the middle of separating line. So just exploring the way that the eyes were positioned or the nose comes out, is it square or as it rounded? Um, exploring those little details and maybe putting a officiating in because I just can't resist it. Um, hadn't getting the little beady eyes. And so this is really an opportunity for you to look closely at the animal that you're working with, really get to know it on, understand? What are the identifying factors that make their a bear or whatever animal you work, what makes it unique. And then, with this sketch, maybe we're gonna tilt his head on a side and try something a little more quirky. It really doesn't matter at this point, what we explore zone because it's just trying things out and testing the different shapes and lines. By the end of this class, you should have a selection off sketches about 5 to 7 or more. If you like off your animal of choice, or even a number of animals and rejoice, it's up to you if you like to post your images up on the project that please do. Let's get some feedback going. And I would be wonderful to see what you're creating as you work through this class, so post them up and don't be shy. 4. Refining Your Sketch: Welcome back to the next skill share class in this class, we're gonna be learning how to refine Well, sketch that increases in the last class. So you should have 5 to 7 different sketches or thumbnail sketches in your sketch part on. Now just get yourself a nice clean page and basically choose one of your favorites off the sketches that you created or you can create a sort of melding of them all. If you want. I've decided to sort of focus on that head shot that I was working on on. So I'm now sketching something that's larger gives me more detail room. Um and I'm gonna work through some of the problem there is that, but I run into so agencies no problem with racing. Um, starting over. It takes a little bit of warm up time. I find to me anyway to really get familiar with shapes, um, and work out some those details that perhaps weren't with some hailing stage. So this is the opportunity to finalize the composition on Make sure that we really know some of the detail areas that we're going to get into because it's much better do it now than when we're working on the colored paper with the colored pencils, which are a lot harder to race. Um, at that point. So we want to make sure that our position is looking pretty good. And that will be our map. Basically, our guidance slow at the final final had colored pencil, please. Um, so again, don't worry about during a number of sketches here. Just refine as you go along on. If you're feeling like you're stuck in a rut, then move on to the next page and then start over. Um, no losing anything here. It's all excellent. Um, gaining of skills on this sketch, I'm looking at trying a slightly around or composition using a shield shaped that I was exploring in my thumbnails. A bit, um, sort of inspired by some of the the colors that these bears have. Um, so again, just exploring a slightly different composition in a bit more detail than what some nails it off for me and trying out some of the options here As part of the total project, I've bean using some unique elements that keep the projects consistent throughout. So it might be a design element that I use generally on most of the art pieces to sort of make it a cohesive project. One of these elements has been sued, the use of spirals and almost like tribal decorative elements, and the other is having a kind of gold necklace or armor around the animals. So that's what you can see on this bear here, just exploring how that might fit in with the composition so we can start to think a little bit about me. Some decker developments way might want to use on composition and how that might sit into your drawing. Now I'm a little warm job. I'm gonna work a bit larger and create probably my final sketch for this composition. So again, um, don't worry about during numerous sketches. It's so part of the process. If you need to warm up, that's fine. On um, it's OK to create number of pieces because you might have a happy accident, might discover something better. Third down, started time down the line. So keep pushing yourself and keep trying, trying new things. I'm feeling a little more confident now with the shapes that I want to work with, so I'm sort of refining things as I go with this piece on, uh, just sort of remembering some of the lessons that you learned from the very first class. We were looking at the different shapes in the animal than how they all with a teacher. So I'm getting to a point now where I'm quite comfortable with the composition that I have about some interesting shapes to work within the next class on dumb looking for Teoh adding some details. So head on over to the next class where we're gonna be adding some detailed to be they're finding it texture and adding some sort of picture all elements to it on symbolic elements as well. So be sure to poster and progress shots on, um, seen us. 5. Exploring Pattern and Detail: welcome to the fourth video in this skill share class project. Um, in this video, we're going to look at adding the final details to your sketch, adding pattern and texture. So one of the great things that, um, I like about colored pencils, this ability to add vibrant patterns, textures, details into the composition and really give it a unique feel. A Z I mentioned in the previous class. I've always been inspired by some of the ancient art forms and tribal art forms that we see from all over the world. Basically so. Some of the places where I find inspiration, for example, is, um, ancient Celtic Ott, such as the Book of Kells, um, artwork or murals and mosaics from ancient Mediterranean Greek Roman, not Acela's. Some of the Siberian tattoos on Haida AJ from the ancient world. There's also inspiration that could be found in modern art as well. So I absolutely love the recent animations called Brendan Kells or some of the sea. It's just got some really interesting combinations of simplifying animals forms, as we are doing here, uniting pattern and texture to them as well. So, um, perhaps a bit of research before you start adding textures and details supes on, just maybe see what you might want to bring into it when it is any inspiration you can draw from the world around you. So now we're gonna take the sketch that you have in the last class on start bringing in some of the textures. And that means that you've been exploring from nearly a search. I would also have your photos off your animal on hand just for reference. See, you remember something shapes that you were saying in the Yeah, Not to me of the animal on gun. Basically, just explore the shape start awnings and guidance lines in. It's okay if you race them and you don't need them anymore, but it's always interesting to see you. I should draw lines onto shape, how that affects the composition and what sort of happy accidents happen. So this is where I find there's a lot of intuition happening here where it's low, something from that great. Or maybe try something Alison might works. You erase it, so that's absolutely fine. To have this stage happened like this, I knew that I wanted to have a floral element to the bad Trojan because some they do. They are Omnivores and into raison flowers and what not when they first come out after hibernation. So I've decided to add a sort of floral band around his neck. Uh, so I'm just roughly blocking in. This shapes him about focuses comes in spring while in secrecy, so it's very loose. It's still unnecessarily perfect throwing of appropriate buying, especially imagination. But this is just a reference for me is that when it comes to final gruesome, remember Teoh for those flowers and again, Houston references or not. One thing to bear in mind when you adding lots of patterns and textures into a piece is to try and mix it up a bit. So if you're gonna have a section off the flowers, for example, then maybe the next section of the composition is in the a little simpler life here on the neck. Um, so trying to sort of balance is the areas with quiet areas, so that the eyes and completely overwhelmed with what's going on in this picture and not really having any resting space at all. So remember to if you have a working on a hairy animal look at those reference shots on bond. See much really have for lies. And make sure you're getting that. That means your story. I really love using spirals in my artwork. Um, I end up doodling them all the time. So, uh, there was quite easy to draw in the sense that basically, you can work from the curve of the face or whatever it is that you're drawing. Andi, just sweep the curve up and around in in either direction and build your spirals like that . And then from that, you can then build more s so they sort of grow out from each other one after the other. Um, so they it's another really interesting opportunity, Dad, Texture and Patton to the space. Andi. Then when we're using the color colored pencils, we can really play with colors in the different sections of the spirals on use blending and all kinds of catches to make it really interesting. If you're struggling to come up with ideas for how to patent your animals and think about the environment that the animal lives in, whether it's a forest or the ocean or maybe a meadow on, bring some of those elements from the environment into the animals. So, for example, with my dolphin has bringing in some wave patents. Um, with the Ram, I really focused on the Patton's off the well that you would see. Yeah, and sort of exaggerated it in his coach. The same was a bison, and then with the B, I was thinking more about, um, obviously the environment that he lives in and, uh, where he spends his time, as well as the importance that the B hands for our world in general and politicking flowers and such. So just think about what what an animal might mean to you and the environment that lives in . So I've added spirals into the face of the bear on DA. So, as I said before, instead of keeping with the, you know, spirals throughout the whole face, I've decided to keep the just the hair texture around the eyes and the nose. Um, it will help with the realism off the animal as well as, um, just keep that balance nice between decorative elements on duh, some resting space and simpler textures that would be easier to process on the eye and just make the whole composition a bit more balanced. So by the end of this clock, she should have a lovely sketch off your animal flushed out with details. Patton's textures And if you want even some maybe notes on color scheme or things that you wanted to keep in mind for when we move on to the colored pencils stage off this Siri's so post your finished Goering's up. Doesn't matter if they're a bit rough. Um, this storing here is still quite rough, but it's exactly what I need to move on to the next stage on gun. Use it as guidance for final composition, so uploaded into the projects on before to see what you've created. 6. Class Wrap-Up: by the end of this class, she should have a finished sketch of your animal of choice with patents and details throughout. That is going to help you with your final pencil crayon drawing that we will move into in the next two parts of this three part series. I'm going to try and get the following section created in about two weeks. So follow my skill share class and full on my account so that you can be notified when my next class is up on, we will start. Um, transferring your sketch onto the colored pencil paper on show you lots of tips and techniques for how to get started using the coloring pencils. Okay, I remember to upload your project in the class on Don't look forward to seeing what you created.