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Create DREAMY Skin Tones with Caran d'Ache Luminance Colored Pencils for Your Mixed Media Portraits!
Today I'm trying Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencils for the first time to create a mixed media portrait ("Hot Dog Style"). I'm not normally a colored pencil artist because I prefer art supplies I can work quickly with, but YOU HAVE to SEE the DREAMY skin tone effects these colored pencils create - especially when burnished with a Derwent Drawing Pencil in Chinese White. SO glad I tried this idea on page four of my FREE HOT DOG SYSTEM packet from my talented artist friend, Sharon Holmberg!
Click the button below to download this FREE 32-page stack of ideas just filled with "Hot Dog System" tried and true mixed media art supply combinations created by myself and 20 of my artsy friends!
Today I'm trying some new colored pencils recommended to me from artist, Sharon Holmberg. Her favorite mixed media art supply combo is shared on page four of the FREE 32-Page Hot Dog Packet. Sharon loves to combine Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencils with watercolor and a bit of collage for the mixed media faces she creates in her Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal.
Instead of drawing a girl's face from scratch today, I decided to save a little time, and cut out one of the female faces from the coloring pages packet in my Skin Tone Secrets book.
Before I start shading this face in, I need to swatch out my colored pencils so I know exactly what colors I'm working with.
Even though the swatch sheets in my coloring pages packet (you can download this for free if you buy my Skin Tone Secrets book), are from a book all about using alcohol markers- the swatch pages can be used for ANY art supply, and honestly, the shading patterns presented in this book can also be used with any art supply - as you'll see in today's video.
This is my "I -hate -my -life -right -now -and -my -hands -hurt -face." LOL. If you've been following me for a while, you likely already know I kinda despise colored pencils because they honestly just take too long for me and it's very detailed work, which I'm just not that into. I think I stuck it out for like 5-6 layers of face shading, and had to move on with my life. HA! That's just me.
If you have the patience for working with colored pencils- you do you!! I know they can create some absolutely gorgeous portraits, even from the little shading I did with them today!
The part that really makes Sharon's faces flawless (and something I tried today!) is "burnishing" - which basically means blending the skin tones shades and layers together to create a smooth, finished look. Sharon's favorite tool for this is a Derwent Drawing Pencil in Chinese White. Watch the video to see how beautiful this colored pencil blending technique and tool are in action!
I finished off my girl's face with alcohol markers in the lips, hair and eyebrows because I had to give up on the colored pencils. Even though colored pencils in general are NOT my favorite art supply, they seriously do create a dreamy look for skin tones so I'm super glad I tried it!
Next, I used a simple adhesive spray (shown above), to secure my mixed media face to a sheet of watercolor paper so I can watercolor a background around her. I used two watercolors by Daniel Smith to create my watercolor background: Ultramarine Turquoise and Sap Green.
After my watercolor background is fully dry, I cut some cute flowers out of scrapbook paper I had lying around and glued those down with matte medium ( another STAPLE in my mixed media art studio).
As you'll see in the video, I had a little mishap with my cut out flowers while my watercolor was still wet and it made a tiny drop of green watercolor land smack dab in the middle of my poor girl's nose! Not to worry- I'll show you exactly how to fix a watercolor painting mistake.
First I tried adding a little water on top of the spot to lift the color with a paper towel. That didn't work because this particular color is very staining. I decided to try white gouache because this is super opaque and I know will do exactly what I need it to do. Luckily the watercolor mistake I need to fix is located right on the nose of my portrait where a highlight would naturally go anyway- so it's all good! The gouache worked perfectly.
Since I was already using a bit of gouache on the nose of my colored pencil portrait, I decided to use more to tie the piece together by pulling a few streaks of white through her hair, to enhance her eye shine and make her lower lip pop. So fun!!
What I LOVE about this whole Hot Dog System, is that it encouraged me to reach out to other artists in my community to ask them about their favorite supplies and processes. If I hadn't done that, this exact project and video wouldn't even be happening!
So a huge thanks to Sharon Holmberg for sharing her secret, gorgeous process for shading adorable mixed media faces using only 4 art supplies! I totally love how this project has turned out.
SO stinkin' cute!!
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
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