Colored Pencil Painting Portraits

Master a Revolutionary Method for Rendering Depth and Imitating Life

About the Book

Colored pencil painter Alyona Nickelsen reveals how to use the medium to push the limits of realistic portraiture.

Colored Pencil Painting Portraits provides straightforward solutions to the problems that artists face in creating lifelike images, and will prime readers on the intricacies of color, texture, shadow, and light as they interplay with the human form. In this truly comprehensive guide packed with step-by-step demonstrations, Nickelsen considers working from photo references versus live models; provides guidance on posing and lighting, as well as planning and composing a work; discusses tools, materials, and revolutionary layering techniques; and offers lessons on capturing gesture and expression and on rendering facial and body features of people of all age groups and skin tones.

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Praise for Colored Pencil Painting Portraits

"Get ready for a revolutionary way to use colored pencils!"
—Sally Robertson, editor in chief of Colored Pencil Magazine

"This is a must have book for all colored pencil artists--not just those interested in portraiture but those looking to really understand and master the art of colored pencils."
Ivor Harrison, The Art Gear Guide

"Colored Pencil Painting Portraits is a wealth of information and instruction, and it is a joy to watch how Alyona brings her rich, beautiful portraits to life."
—Australia Colored Pencil Association 
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Colored Pencil Painting Portraits

From the Introduction:

The colored pencils in my studio are amazingly resilient. They have successfully outlasted the many temptations presented by paints, pastels, inks, etc., and, umpteen years later, still hold the preferred position on my work table. I have used the vast quantity of accumulated knowledge about the properties of other mediums and incorporated the more useful ones to further advance and extend the benefits of the colored pencil painting process.

Through continuous research, experiments, and testing, the exceptionality of the colored pencil medium has become clear to me. Their precision and flexibility allows artists to achieve practically any desired effect. We simply need to understand their much overlooked properties and use them to our own advantage. As a result, even the sometimes cumbersome task of covering a large background is no longer a chore. If you know how, you can overcome such challenges in just a fraction of the time you may have come to expect.

In this book we continue the discussion started in Colored Pencil Painting Bible about the colored pencil painting process. However, this time it will be based on the example of the portrait genre. Since the publication of my first book some of the techniques I use today have been updated or modified, some tools were added and others abandoned, and some ideas have been adopted or rejected. But the fundamentals of my approach remain the same. I continue layering colored pencils onto a white surface producing finished artwork that resembles a painting rather than a drawing. We will be discussing all aspects of these practices in detail throughout the pages of this work.

About the Author

Alyona Nickelsen
ALYONA NICKELSEN is an award-winning artist whose work has been featured in numerous national and international exhibitions as well as in most of the country’s major art magazines, including American Artist, American Artist Drawing, The Artist’s Magazine, International Artist, American Art Collector, and Art Business News. Ms. Nickelsen is a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, the International Guild of Realism, and the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. Her work is currently represented by galleries in Carmel, California, and Reno, Nevada. She is the founder of the Online Colored Pencil Painting School. Ms. Nickelsen lives with her family in Southern California. More by Alyona Nickelsen
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