A Peek into the Process.

A 24 pack of colored pencils can be as daunting as it is exciting. Here is just one approach from beginning to end. You will see you can stop anywhere along the way and have different color styles. Let’s get started.

leaves step1With just one color you can create a lot of form. Think of the brown pencil as a regular no.2 yellow school pencil you are using to shade. This example series is created with the Crayola 24 pack. Step 1 done entirely with the “Brown” color.


Build up form.

Build up form around the veins and leaf edges. Using the small tight circle motions and the pressure of the pencil, smoothing out the brown from the lightest lights to the darkest darks. You can also add more dark at the end of your process.

Leaf3As you go, add more darks to the leaves in the background. The shadowed leaves are very important to give your foreground leaves the pop and push they need. (Please note: the color is still the same brown. There is a slight variance in the photos.)

leaf4“Golden Yellow” is added to the highlight areas. Place the yellow everywhere the light would kiss the leaves or branch.

Now it is coming to life.

Remember to guard your light colored areas. Don’t overwork them or they will get muddy.

leaf5The mid-tone is added with “Orange”. The “Yellow Orange” would work fine too since the next step is red. The orange is placed next to the yellow, using it to blend into the brown.

“Red Orange” is added next to the orange and brown. There is no place now for the red orange to be place by itself. It is simply a tool used to blend and enhance the colors beneath it. Feel free to add a lot more red if you want the leaves to have an overall red look. But still keep some of that yellow shining through for highlights.

leaf6Lastly the cool colors are added for a richness in the depth. You can use them more subtly than I have or even place them on top of some brown. I used “Blue”, it looks like navy in this box and “Green”. The colors don’t get more basic than those in this box. These all come in their 12 pack too. I say shoot the moon and get Crayola’s 64 pack, or any brand that is available.

Additional smoothing of the layers can be done by coloring additional layers overlapping some colors.

leaf7finalAnd there you have it, the final piece. Edges cleaned up where the occasional rush went outside the lines. The lines make it easier, but there is freedom in free draw. Down the road we will try some free draw together. For now have fun exploring different color applications.

Your color skills will grow faster with a more limited box, forcing you to learn the blending and color wheel properties. Oh, that is for another day.

It is a glorious sunny day here in the midwest, a perfect day for coloring.

Pass along the passion,


Disclaimer of Material Connection: As of this post I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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