3 Tips for Elevating Your Coloured Pencil Drawings

Sep 01, 2023
3 Tips for Elevating Your Coloured Pencil Drawings

There are so many people who want to create more realistic coloured pencil drawings but perhaps are unsure of what steps to take to get them there, which is why I wanted to share my 3 tips to really help you elevate your drawings and really set yourself up for success!


1 - Removing Limiting Beliefs:

We all have limiting beliefs and it’s important to work out what they are so that we can change them to more positive ones, and this is done through self-reflection. Self-reflection is actually quite a hard thing to do and you might be thinking, “Bonny, what on earth do limiting beliefs and self-reflection have to do with realism?” Well, actually an awful lot! If you can get into a really great mindset, be able to approach your drawings with the thought that no matter what happens you’ll be able to sort it, you’re going to see success like never before.

Creating new habits is not always simple, and I am completely aware that changing your mindset is certainly not a quick and easy task, but I find rehearsing is a good way of helping to create new habits. Keep mentally rehearsing how you’re going to be drawing, how you want to live, how your business is going to grow and get that image ingrained in your mind. You want to and are going to get there!

Lots of practice! Keep practising your art as often as possible, make sure you’re making it a priority, and make sure you’re setting aside time to really work on it. If you find yourself procrastinating because perhaps it feels like a bit too much effort to set up your drawing area, you can also create a bit of a ritual around it and make it part of your routine. It could be that you light a candle and grab your favourite drink before you start getting yourself set up so that you’re not just sitting putting off getting your pencils out, just picking something that is going to help you to stay consistent.


2- Identifying the Most Important Factor for Realism:

This comes down to the conversation of Values vs details. Values are your lights and your darks, so all your different shades and shadows. You can have details galore but if your values aren’t there your drawing won’t be realistic, as it’s the values that are going to make your subject look 3D and like your dog can just jump right off the page at any second.

Now I am certainly not saying that details are not important because they are and it’s important to still focus on them in certain areas but if you’re drawing beautiful silky black fur, actually adding in all the texture of the fur and trying to do every little hair stroke can make it look less realistic than just focusing on the values and the amazing lighting. I go into this in a lot more detail in the video at the top of this page, so make sure to go and watch that if you want to hear more and see some examples.


3 - Your Plan of Action:

What are you proud of? This is such an important question to ask yourself and take the time to sit down and think about everything you have done well. Have you learnt a new technique with your most recent drawing or did something go wrong but you were able to figure out how to correct it? Did something go wrong that you didn’t know how to correct but your mindset meant you were able to look at it as a positive learning experience? It can be so easy to only focus on the negatives but I can guarantee there are always so many positive things that you can be proud of.

Next, you need to identify what needs some development. This could be that you want to build your confidence, perhaps you need to work on your pressure or work on how to get the correct values. Because from there you can think about how you’re going to work on that. If it’s mindset you can find some great self-help books, listen to some wonderful podcasts, or join a supportive community that is going to really help you.

If you’re looking for some great book recommendations, I have some here and I have a supportive and generous community on Facebook that you can join here.

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