The Selfie: Create a Portrait with Colored Pencils | Lindsey Bailey | Skillshare

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The Selfie: Create a Portrait with Colored Pencils

teacher avatar Lindsey Bailey, I make things.

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.



    • 5.

      Coloring/Rendering I


    • 6.

      Coloring/Rendering Completed


    • 7.



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About This Class

1. Class Description:

In this class, artist and illustrator Lindsey Bailey will teach you to render a life-like self portrait using colored pencils. With endless color possibilities, colored pencils are an amazing medium for achieving photo realism and depth. Less messy than traditional painting, you will come to love the ease of use, flexibility, and control colored pencils have to offer!


You will learn to:

  • Pick your paper. Ditch boring white paper, and go wild with beautiful, toned papers!
  • Use the grid method to transfer an outline to your paper. This will serve as your guide as you color.
  • Use the colored pencils in layers for optimal color, value, and depth.

Along the way, you will also learn some of my favorite tips and tricks including the use of markers for increasing time efficiency. This class is perfect for students of all skill levels. Get ready to put your best face forward in this selfie challenge!

Meet Your Teacher

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Lindsey Bailey

I make things.


29. Artist. Graphic Designer. Photographer. Mommy.

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1. Introduction: Hi, guys. My name is Lindsay Bailey. I'm an artist and illustrator based in Memphis, Tennessee, a specialized in portrait's rendering the human form and faces one of my favorite things to do. Experiment in a variety of mediums have used graphite, charcoal, watercolors, oils, acrylics, and sometimes I mix them all together. I am particularly find of color pencils. I think they're very versatile and easy to use. And with the right technique, you can create great volume and form. In this class, you will learn to create a self portrait using colored pencils from start to finish. Along the way, you'll learn my tips and techniques from years of using this wonderful medium. So put your best face forward and let's get started. 2. Materials: for this section. I'll be going over the materials you will need to create your self portrait. Of course, the most important thing are colored pencils, and I use two different brains of color pencils. My favorite is Faber Castell Polychrome owes, and I have a 60 count set there. Very good brand on highly recommend, Um, they tend to be more expensive. I also use prison colors, and I have an assortment that I've thrown into this giant wooden box. I've had these Prisma colors and have been using them since 2006. Their mix of random prison of color scholars I've picked up some are prison color premieres , but I really don't see that much of a difference between the premiers and the scholars. I would definitely recommend the prisons over the favorite Casteels for beginners who were trying to save money. I use the Faber Castells in the prison colors together, but it is definitely not necessary. You only need to buy one set either favor Casteels or the prison colors. The next important thing is paper. I have this card stock paper that I picked up at Michael's, which is my local craft store, and it comes in a variety of different colors. I will discourage you from using bright white paper. We're gonna use a tone paper either the cream or brown or, if you're feeling adventurous, the black, which is more of a challenge but definitely a fun challenge for more advanced colored pencil users. Other paper brands that I recommend our Strathmore charcoal paper and cancer in me tainted paper. They come in a nice variety of colors, and they have a nice texture. You don't want to get a paper that's too smooth. You want some paper that has a little tooth to it. I also use markers for certain sections of my color pencil pieces. I use prison color premier markers. They have a fine point at one end in a chisel on the other, you also need a ruler. You don't need one quite as big as mine. A 12 inch wants should do, since our she is only 8.5 by living. Also, a color wheel is really helpful. You don't have to buy one of these. I'm sure it's available online. But even someone like me, who has been colored in rendering for years, I tend to forget what the complementary colors are, and this really helps me in a pinch. Next door pencil sharpeners I used these to. One has a little with skeptical in it for catching the shavings, and I love this little metal one. She'll need a pencils either to be or four B, a regular white eraser and a needed a racer. 3. Gridding: The next step in the process is shooting your reference photo. I will be using my iPhone camera to shoot my reference Twitter. Make sure you are in a well lit area for your photo. Since I'm in my studio, which doesn't have any windows at all, I'm using my studio lights. I didn't take my photo, and I pull it up in photo shopped to crop it down to the size and I need with the crop tool selected. Select with Tom's Height Times resolution option in the drop down menu, you will then in her eight inches by 10 inches at 300 pixels per inch. I chose to crop mine and a little bit closer once you have a composition that you're happy with printed out in color, then converted to black and white and print out a copy of that one, too. Now it's time to grit. Reading is a helpful technique for transferring your drawing at correct proportion insides . Next, we're gonna use our world to create a mark at every two inch increments. Some people choose to do it at one inch increments and even happen inch increments. But I believe that two inches is sufficient. Repeat this process, going two inches at a time on all four sides of your black and white reference bedroom. Here's a close up of the marks that I make You will then use your ruler place in the middle of your marks at the top and the bottom of your image to create a straight line. - In the end, you should have a four by five grid over your entire photo. Using an outflow numeric system, you will mark all for your grid. This will help you hone in on certain parts of your photo. When you're transferring to your paper, you will repeat this process on your drawing paper using your ruler. Measure out the same eight by 10 inches as your photo on your black and white reference for now, repeating the same process that she did on your black and white reference photo. Dude, you're too rich increments to Markel and then grid your drawing paper using your kneaded eraser. Go over your grid to remove any excess graphite. In the end, your grid will be fairly light on your drawing paper. In the next video, you'll learn how to take the basic shapes from your black and white reference photo and transfer that to your drawing paper. Thin outline will serve as a guide as your coloring with your colored pencils. 4. Outline: in this section, I will show you how I transfer the basic shapes in my black and white reference photo and put it on my drawing paper. This process in total took me about an hour, maybe a little less. Take your time with this part tickets, Much time as you need. It's really important that you nail the position of your facial features and proportions of everything using the alpha numeric system that we set up earlier. Choose one part of your drawing you like to start with. I chose to start at the Chan area where I wanted to begin, actually fail in the sea column and the fourth row. So C four is where I began my chin. So I began at the bottom of the chin, measuring out using the grid where the chin, the bottom of the chin, started in respect to the square that it occupied in my grid. And this is me marking off where the top of the chance last jaw is meeting the top part of my box. It's all about using landmarks of your face and your body and how they reside within each bucks on the grid. So where does my chin sit in the box? Is it halfway in the boxes in 1/4 way in the box? Think of everything as shapes and lines. Don't think oven I as an I think of the I as a series of shapes. Think of your mouth as a series of shapes. Think of your face as a Siris of shapes and lines. Here I realized that my glasses were a little off to me already. So, using my ruler, I lined up my black and white reference photo with my drawing paper exactly by the grid and measured where the bottom of my glasses on my left lens ended and corrected that this is also a helpful tip, especially with eyes. If you can't get the eyes lined up right, line your papers up together and use your ruler as a helpful tip for lining these things up for you. Speeding things up a little bit, you can see me going over again. He's my ruler to measure where things line up, using my pencil to measure the within the height of things, correcting, correct and correct and going back correcting. And I'm continuing just to use the lines of my grid to position things where there's a tip of my nose and oh, there's a line that passes right to the left of the tip of my nose. Using landmarks like that will help you nail proportion and placement. And as you're drawing Mawr and Mawr facial features, you can start using those as references for other body parts, like with my ear. I knew that the top of my ear was just slightly below the bottom of my left eye. Here's my finished drawing. I'm just gonna use my white eraser to erase all the lines that run through the drawing. Keep the bounding box the eight by 10 bucks around your drawing. Just delete all the lines within that box. I also went over my outlined with my kneaded eraser a little bit so that my lines aren't too dark in the and you'll be left with a nice clean outline of your basic shapes, and we're ready to use our colored pencils now 5. Coloring/Rendering I: Now that all the prep work is done, we can begin the fun part, which is coloring and rendering using your color pronoun of your photo. You will use that to pick the colors. Have a scratch sheet of paper on the side to use to test your colors to figure out which ones you think will work best. I started with my forehead, so I looked at the colors in the area around my forehead to determine which variety of my pencils in combination would work. This when looking at the colors, think about the temperature of your skin. Are you yellow based? Are you read base? Since I'm more red base, I picked Brown's that had more red in them. But as I move into the shadows, the temperature will get cooler, and as my skin gets more into the light, it tends to get warmer, maybe more yellow due to the color of my life. Keep all this in mind when you're picking your colors. Also, you can use your black and white reference photo to help you decide. Um, the values. What's in the shadow? What's light? What's mid tone? Also take advantage of your actual paper color. My paper is in the mid area, so I can pretty much push my dark s'more with this darker paper and not have to work so hard with my mid tones. Here I am testing out an initial color that I wanted to start with my forehead. I worked on pencil in small circular motions, but if I'm covering a large area on my just, sweep it back and forth in a diagonal or it depends on what shape you're trying to color. It's very important to think of all your values and your colors in the form of shapes. Don't just go in there and throw in a flat color that you've been pressing down super hard on your pencil. It's all about layers and shapes. Once you've found an initial color you're happy with, just lightly began applying the color to your area. Keep in mind the shape of the color area that you want to achieve for this next area. I switched out to a warmer, more orange brown color for the edges around my forehead and the top of my eyebrow. Again, I'll be working in light layers with the soft pressure on it. in this section unnoticed a shadow. So for shadows with me as you get oh, cooler away from the rid, you're gonna get more purple. That's where the color will can come and help you to decide where you should go with your colors for shadows and highlights. It's also helpful to look back at your black and white reference if you're having problems in your color photo, determining what the values are here. I moved over to the lighter side of my forehead again, looking at the photo, determining what the colors are within that section of the floor head and blending it into the other side of the forehead. That's darker side. I remembered a layer layer layer layer as you build more layers. You can start pressing your pencil harder and harder to solidify those colors. But remember, once you press down hard enough, it becomes harder for you to add more layers. Here. I've moved on to my eye. It's very important that you save your darkest darks with dark areas like your eyes and deep creases. Using full long black in your shadows will make everything look flat. Your shadows are not black. Their combination of lots of colors together could be reds and purples and blues mixed together that could make a shadow. It could be complementary colors, meaning that makes a shadow. So pretty much is is a rinse and repeat process. You find the base color and build your layers on top of it. Use your reference photo the color version. Two. Really squint and find those variety of colors that you see just like when we were drawing . Using the grid. Initially, the only color what you see. You only draw what you see. Don't assume that one area is just a peach color. It might not be. You might have green in your skin tone. You might have orange in your skin tone. You might have purple. The beauty of this project is creating a life like combination of colors that create volume and depth, and that could be achieved by pulling out the true colors that you would see in real life. Here's another tip. The whites of your eyes are not white there, never just bright white. So take the time to really zoom in and squint and concentrate on the whites of your eyes to determine what the true colors in there are for me the colors I found where this yellowy brown color a little pink at the edges and this medium grey. It did not hit full bright white in the whites of my eyes at the top as it got closer to my light source. It got slightly brighter, but not completely white. Here I dove into my eyebrows or just one eyebrow, and I laid down a fine layer of my base color that I used initially. And then I went in first with not the darkest dark part of my eyebrow, but more of a medium dark. So this medium dark gray here. And while I'm not drawing each individual hair, I am drawing or coloring in short little scribble Lee strokes, little masses of short strokes. And here I switch out to my darkest color, which is a pure black because I have black hair. And now I'm being more conscious about making little individual hair strokes, especially around the edges of the eyebrow, throwing in stray hairs here and there. Just this kind of attention to detail gives the piece more realism. As you continue coloring, make an effort to go over what you think you've already finished and really evaluate those values. Can you push the darks a little bit darker? How can you make that darker? Not with black. It's not with grave, with maybe a purple or blue, depending on your skin tone. Always plan ahead for the next layer in the layer. After that, you're building and building and building and creating this form. 6. Coloring/Rendering Completed: Now we're just going to continue on coloring and rendering, keeping in mind everything that you learned in the previous lessons. Using layers, light layers don't push down too hard with your pencil. You'll create a wax buildup that will prevent you from adding more layers as you become more confident in the colors and the values that you picked out can start pressing harder to sort of solidified that layer of color you have there. I'm constantly checking my color photo reference and my black and white reference what you can't see in the frame to check my values to make sure I'm in the right color range. And the colors don't have to be perfect there. There's just not enough colored pencils in the world for you to get the exact right color. You're just getting the closest and the best you're creating the right amount of layers, in contrast, to make the illusion of realism. Now, this is where, uh, use my markers. I will lay a layer of the mid tone value of my hair with the markers just one layer, and I do the same with the darker parts of the flowers in my hair just laying this flat base color for the shadows under the flowers and again using the same warm medium gray that I used for my hair on my shirt. And what this does is it'll expedite your process, especially for big areas like clothing and hair. With the markers, Aiken lay a nice flat base so that I won't have to put so many layers of colored pencils on top. Last but not least, was my flower crown a defenseless and really light layers. I really didn't build the layers too much because I wanted it to be a little more abstract , a little out of focus. I didn't want it to be the focus of my piece. Once I finished, the crown was happy with the entire piece, trimmed it down, using an Exacto, my ruler, to eight inches, 10 inches. 7. Closing: So now we're all done. I hope everybody had fun and learned something new. If I had to say how long it took me to make a mind map mind probably took about 15 to 20 hours. Make mine, so you have to be patient. Doing on these layers is a process. Pace yourself. Don't be afraid to sit down rolling an hour to work on it. Do you see my hair changed? Suits up began my piece. Don't be afraid to experiment with your colors. Sort of make those colors pop more than they may look in your reference photo. One of the hardest things about being an artist is deciding. When is the work done? Am I finished? See, I'm already feeling like I need to push some of this back. Never know where you can keep going in and adding layers to protect your work. I would recommend workable fixative. You can get this at any craft or art supplies store. Great thing about this stuff is it's workable fixative. So even after you reply layer and let it dry, you can still keep working and add another layer later. Draw some or add another layer. The important thing is to work in layers. Be patient. Don't rush. Don't push down your pencil too hard. Too early. Post your progress on your project page. I'm happy to help with any questions. You might have anything I didn't address. Just remember to have fun and explore the colors in your skin and the colors around you. You might be surprised what pencils you pick up and use. It already mentioned working lanes that already saying that it's really important working layers. I can't say that enough.