The Making of "Wild Rose"
Color Pencil/Pastel Tutorial
Step 1 )

Image Hosted by
The first step in every artwork i do is begin with a sketch which i pre-sketch on a sketch pad usually on a 9x12
my favorite size of paper to work on-usually a sketch can
take me from 45-minutes to 2 hours (sometimes even longer) depending how
hard or complex the subject is, once I'm finished with my sketch i transfer it to my good working surface.
For this artwork i decided to use Strathmore Vellum paper it grabs on to color pretty well and it's a good paper for
mixed media artworks it can also take some water if you use it right.

Image Hosted by

Once my sketch is done-I pick out my colored pencil palette :)
i lay out out of my color pencils i have various
little collections of different brands,Prismacolours
(the regular leads and verithin),Caran D' Ache supracolor water-soluble pencils ,
Karat Aquarelle pencils,Loew-Corncil (one of my favorites) and I
even have some Crayola wood pencils :)

Image Hosted by

For this artwork I decided to begin working on the background first.
On a piece of paper (it can be any type of paper),i rub/scribble with my
fabrell castel pastel stick (a light blue color i picked) i dip in my paint brush (i use a medium fluffy one)
pick up some color and begin working in the Background I use a circular light motion.
I then wrap around my finger a piece Of toiler paper with
light pressure I blend the color softly.

Image Hosted by

With my soft kneaded eraser i start removing some color around the Background to give it a cloudy fluffy look.
I start adding my basic colors, light brown for hair, some pink/mauve for the
flower, green for the leaves /stem
and a base color for the skin using a
fleshy color from primsacolor,
my shading/strokes at this point are very lite And very close to each other in a vertical motion.
I once again take toilet Paper and blend each color very lightly.

I also keep a small brush at hand to dust away residue from the
and i always keep a small piece of toilet paper under my
Working hand so I don't drag the color all over my artwork.

Image Hosted by

I decided to start work on the rose since it will be the most Challenging part for me.
I pick out 3 main colors i will be using
for the rose a red/pink and a dark blue one for shadows-I also pick out a nice pink/red pastel stick and a dark blue One.

I use a very simple technic when using my pastels with my pencils-
I take a scrap of paper scribble
some color and pick up color with a q-tip and for small details i use a small paint brush,
carefully i start applying my pastel colors with my q-tip on the rose and over my color pencil work I
carefully blend the colors together
and at the end go back and work the details with my colored pencils,
his can be Very time
consuming and it needs a lot of patience.

Image Hosted by

Pastels over colored pencil brings
out the colors more and it gives The artwork an oil painting look.
At this stage my rose is complete i have used the same technic i mentioned
above to complete the stem rose and leaves.
I will know start work on the fairy, i won't be using any pastels for this only at The end in some areas and only if I feel it's needed.

The way i build up skintones it's applying different colors building up color
layer by layer, using my reference as a guide and having a color scheme in
mind i pick out cool and warm colors,pinks,blues,orange,yellow orche and
some blue/purple for shadows.

Having previously apply my base color on top of that i start shading in patches, what i mean by that is: where there is yellow in the skin i apply
yellow, where i see pink i apply pink where i see blue i apply blue, it may
sound strange and it may not look like much when you begin shading but
after a couple of layers you will see how this works and how well the colors Start to blend together and how natural they look.
Naturally our skin is made Off many different colors not just one. I start off shading lightly and then as
more layers get added i add more pressure to my shading especially at the Darker parts.

I have also added some red in the hair and i blend very lightly using a piece
of toilet paper - i also make sure not to add color where my highlights will be

-when coloring hair it's very important to leave highlights even if it's not
visible in the reference you may be working from,
highlights makes hair more Realistic and soft looking.

Image Hosted by

In this step i have added more color in the hair,
how i did this is using the same pastel technic I described in previous steps,
i used a brown and a dark reddish brick pastel and black color pencil
to go over the darkest parts i pull out some highlights with my kneaded

Eraser makes hair look shiny and soft.

Image Hosted by

In step 7 i started adding details on the face drawing/painting facial features
It's my favorite part,
I spend extra time going over details.
For the eye color i used a very light green one, for the eyelashes i used a
nice creamy soft purple color and it brought out the eyecolor for the lips i
Used 2 different pink colors
a light and a darker one. In this stage i only use My color pencils to build up the skintones.

I kept working building up color and layers slowly,
at the end i applied some pastel to bring out the color in the cheeks to bring out the blush color and to Make it shimmer.
I also pull out some highlights at the fairy's back to give the
Illusion of fairy wings and define them a bit with a blue colored pencil.

And this is the finished artwork :)
Completing this portrait/artwork took much more than 7 steps
and a lot of hard work and hours went into it,
which would be impossible for me to capture or describe all that in a small 7 step online tutorial but i do hope it was helpful to some of you
in some way and also shed some light how i go about creating my colored pencils artworks :)

Materials used in this tutorial :

Strathmore Vellum artist paper-

Colored Pencils (various brands)

Faber Castell (Pastel Sticks)

Paint Brushes

Toilet Paper(don't laugh,works great for blending! ;) )


Scrap Paper

Colored pencil Tips&Notes:

Start shading lightly keeping your strokes close to each Other.


You can also use watercolor, gouache and acrylics with Your color pencils artworks.

Sharpen your color pencils often while you are using them.

In the future I will be adding graphite and charcoal tutorials :)

This tutorial is copyrighted to katerina koukiotis

Return Back to Tutorials