3 Tips for Drawing Realistic Wood in Coloured Pencil | Top Tips

Oct 20, 2023
3 Tips for Drawing Realistic Wood in Coloured Pencil | Top Tips

Today, I’m going to share 3 useful tips and techniques for drawing wood in coloured pencil so that you can feel confident adding wood features, whether that be in the background or as part of your subject, into your drawings.

1) Go with the Grain

My first tip is to make sure you’re going with the grain of the wood. This may seem obvious but any pencil strokes you make must be going in the direction of the grain to ensure you end up with a realistic result. Make sure you’re also using gentle pressure as you don’t want a load of strong dark lines in your wood. You just want to gently add the tones in with your strokes in the correct direction of the grain.

2) Less is More

My next tip is to remember that less is more! If you’re a fellow pet portrait artist, the wood isn’t likely to be the main subject of your piece so you don’t want it to draw your eye too much or end up being the main focal point. You can choose to spend as much or as little time as you like but my tip would be to be careful not to over-egg and end up detracting from your beautiful drawing. You may choose to avoid any really dark texture or bright colours in the

wood for this reason.

3) You Can Interpret the Photo How You Like

My third and final tip is to acknowledge that you can interpret the reference photo however you like. You are the artist and you can draw the image however you feel would be best. If you feel that means to draw every single detail, then that is what you should do. Likewise, if you feel that your drawing would look better if the wood wasn’t as bright in colour or less detailed than the reference so as to not detract from your main focal point, then draw it that way.

When it comes to realism, many artists feel they have to draw their piece exactly the same as the reference photo but this isn’t the case and I don’t want you to feel you have to do so.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to feel a little more confident when it comes to tackling drawing wood, and if you want to see how I have drawn the blue-flaked wood in the image above, make sure to watch the video at the top of this blog.

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