Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
EASY Fairy Drawing in Watercolor Pencil with Karen Campbell [Week 2 #50FunFabFaries Challenge]
Wanna create this EASY fairy drawing with me? If you've never worked with watercolor pencils, you're in for a treat! Adding a touch of water to the lines you draw will create magical face shading and turn your beautiful fairy drawing into a painting!
Never drawn a face before? This fairy drawing tutorial is EASY enough for beginners! Don't have a watercolor pencil? No problem! I'll show you a variety of common water soluble pens, pencils and markers you may already have lying around at home!
Click the button below to join me in my FREE 10-lesson, 20-week fairy drawing challenge for artists of ALL levels. The amazing classroom I have waiting for you at Awesome Art School includes expanded information and resources with full-length fairy drawing lessons not available on YouTube!
Wanna become a better artist? Do today's lesson (and every lesson of the challenge) five times, making a few creative alterations of your choice, and watch your skills soar as you practice fairy eyes drawing, fairy ears drawing AND fairy hair drawing 50 different ways!
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support.
Before we get into today's project, I want to reiterate how FEW art supplies are needed to participate in the #50FunFabFairies drawing challenge (and in basically any tutorial I share)!
Starting with paper, I basically only ever work on three types of paper: white cardstock (or Bristol if you prefer - I just love the Hammermill cardstock because it's cheaper and feels the same as Bristol to me!), tan toned paper (or grey- whatever floats your boat!), and watercolor paper (or a watercolor journal).
Why watercolor paper for my YouTube drawing channel? Because I LOVE drawing with water soluble pens, pencils and markers!
In case you're new to my world, or the term water soluble... if something is water soluble, it simply means it "melts" when you add water to it. Stay with me for the demo I'm about to share so you can see this in action!
Today I'm working with a water soluble pencil (Derwent watercolor pencil) for week two of the #50FunFabFairies drawing challenge.
To get started, especially if you're just learning how to draw faces, I recommend using a plain old pencil so you can erase whenever you want. In the interest of time, I'm diving right in on my hot press watercolor paper (that means the paper has a smooth texture), with my watercolor pencil and hoping for the best, LOL!
Even though I'm drawing with watercolor pencil and I can't erase, my face drawing guielines are my go to for step one, no matter what kind of face I'm drawing. Even if you've never drawn a face before, you can TOTALLY participate in this fairy drawing challenge because everything is step by step and the FREE #50FunFabFairies classroom over at Awesome Art School is stacked with cheatsheets and resources to help you along!
Once you've got your fairy face outlined, it's time to think about face shading. If you're new to my world, and don't know how to shade a face, I've got a cheatsheet for that too, so don't sweat it!
Looking at a face drawing reference for shading guidance can be intimidating for beginners just learning how to draw. This is why my face shading guide is so helpful! It cuts down on the "visual clutter" in a reference image so all your brain just needs to focus on is choosing a face shading pattern from my cheatsheet, and copying the pattern you've selected onto your own paper.
When I'm shading a face, I'm not using much pressure at all to start, (especially if I'm using a water soluble pencil), because as you'll see - the shading will REALLY pop and darken, as soon as I add water.
After you've finished shading your fairy face, it's time to add a little water. You can either use a water brush, or a watercolor brush. It's totally up to you!
When I'm traveling, I tend to bring a water brush because it's simple to pack and carry on the go. When I'm at home in my studio, I prefer to use my favorite watercolor brushes by Polina Bright. If you haven't tried these before- they're stunning, and now the only thing I use. (Side note: If you want to order one for yourself, Polina has extended a special discount code to my followers! Just enter my name in all caps KARENCAMPBELL at checkout on her website to receive 10% off your order).
If you've never activated watercolor pencils or a water soluble marker before, be aware that the more water you use, the more your drawn lines will run.
I prefer using a "damp" brush, because then wherever I add water, the effects won't be so shocking.
I typically get my brush super wet and tap it on a paper towel so it's just damp. Then I run my damp brush along the lines I want to smear and run in my drawing.
HOT TIP! Did you add a shadow where there shouldn't be one? Simply blot that spot right away with a paper towel to lift the color.
Be sure to watch the video to see this trick in action!
Once I've activated my watercolor pencil lines the way I want them, I use a hair dryer to make sure my paper is completely dry, so I can add a second layer of watercolor pencil to intensify the face shading.
See how the features pop even more once I add that second layer of pencil on top of the activated layer? I LOVE how that looks!
I'm purposefully not activating my second layer of watercolor pencil, because I love that contrast between the activated and non activated layers. In my second layer of shading, I darken the lines that feel most important in my drawing to add greater depth.
When I'm happy with my second layer of shading, it's time to glam this fairy up by drawing eyelashes with my secret weapon, the pentel pocket brush!
Once I've carried some soft black lines throughout my fairy with the pentel pocket brush to tie the drawing together, it's time to add her headpiece.
Click over to the video to see this in action. And by all means, PLEASE join me in this FREE fairy drawing challenge! We are having a blast sharing and commenting on each other's fairies over in the Facebook group.
Make sure you join us over at Awesome Art School for the full blow FREE classroom with all the reference images, full length drawing lessons and more to help you enjoy the #50FunFabFairies drawing challenge to the fullest!
If you're OBSESSED with fairies and fantasy art like me, you might just LOVE the Celtic Collective over at Awesome Art School. It's an art membership my Scottish bestie, Lucy Brydon, and I run together!
You might ALSO enjoy our podcast, 1Scot,1 Not. We talk about everything under the sun to do with Scotland - whether it's historical, fantasy, whatever. Just a quick warning - we have a blast and are totally ourselves on the podcast, which means there is some drinking and swearing.
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Founder of Awesome Art School. Mixed Media Artist. Author of 18 Instructional Art Books!
"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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Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.