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Joanna-Vu's avatar

Tutorial:Realistic skintones with colored pencils

Hello everybody!

Finally a tutorial on creating realistic skintones with colored pencils. For all of you who asked. :heart:

I don't cover issues such as kind of pencils, paper etc because I honestly think that it doesn't matter. Use whatever you feel comfortable with. (For example, my favourite paper atm is decadry laser print paper, it isn't even supposed to be for drawing but I love it) I hope it will be useful guys!

Final drawing:

Legolas by Joanna-Vu
Image details
Image size
2372x2268px 2.7 MB
© 2014 - 2021 Joanna-Vu
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Excellent tutorial. Thank you. Love your work. 
Thank you so much for this tutorial! I've always had a problem with too much red in my skintones, now I know how to fix it.
michaelangelaii's avatar
What coloured pencils did you use for this ;-; it's beautiful
Thank you!!! So helpful the tutorial i been waiting forHug 
BethannNg's avatar
Thanks for this.  I am anxious to give it a try.  I've never had much success with color before, but I'm hopeful! 
Joanna-Vu's avatar
Welcome, and good luck! :iconcheerplz:
RazorXSketch's avatar
Someone wished me good luck because I needed to find a good tutorial for colored pencils to work on my Frozen OC.  You just saved me a ton of searching time.  Thank you!
Joanna-Vu's avatar
Hope it is useful! :aww:
the-midnight-fairy's avatar
Thanks for these tips... but still , these are the things I always do when I make a drawing (you can see my gallery, my pencil poirtrats)
I start with a light color, dont pressing too much on the paper, but the effect is always the same, like a 10 years old drawing... in a drawing, since the result was not a 'full color', I pass more 'hard' the dark tones, yet, the effect it's nothing like this one of your tutorial or general videos on youtube...
So there must be something that I dont understand... maybe how to pass the color, how to apply shades... the way to move the pencil tips on the paper.. I dont have idea... but Im very disappointed by ALL my drawings... I draw for years and years...
People keeps tell me is just matter of practice a lot. This is just in part true, after realizing I always drawing with pencil colors and nothing really changed, after 20 years.Lately I noticed there's a LOT of people who are brillant and simply use color pencils of Prismalo, the same I have. they move hands and add shadings the same way I do, yet, my drawings looks poor compared their. 
How is possible? I press my pencils first gently, then hard, as much as hard the color permit me to do it, still my drawing are not 'full' decise colors, but ended up to be all messy, not fine,the typical pencil color drawings, with that unrealistic effect. with all the lines directions of the pencil's tips still visible. 
How everyone are able to make fine arts that looks like oil poirtrats so fully colored and so realistic? 
See these videos: 
(they dont use brushes or water, or special tools, just pencils!) 

Im SURE there's some tricks and technique they all have in common, many of these 'incredible realistic' drawings are made by teenagers or young people, so its not even that they used drawings for 20 years. Theres definitively a technique. 
A thing very common is that often they create drawing starting from... nothing! They place an eye, and from that eye, keeps coloring and create the right proportions keeping add nose, mouth, etc, one after one, etc. 
can really tell me What technique is this? 

It's not just practicing... I love to observe a lot details and I like to 'work' on details... yet, after 20 years nothing come out similar those videos.. 
They are really young artists... maybe 16 years old too... so they didn't need 20 years before learn to coloring like that... there must be some tutorials that really help...

I wish someone could really tell me how to learn to coloring like that...
TyraElisabeth's avatar
I just quickly read through your comment and only looked at a few of your deviations. I'm not a pro, but to me it looks like you should use shorter strokes to make the colour fill more and more layers. With layers I mean go over with various colours to create life more than you already do. If the subject is supposed to be out in the sun, don't be afraid to put orange, yellow and red on the skin, or blue and gray if she's a queen of ice. Think of all the colours as layers you can't see, but you can see the effect of them. Meaning, you're going to need many layers to achieve the final effect/result.
the-midnight-fairy's avatar
Thank you a lot for writing me a review and tips...I think I understand what you mean, I'll do my best from now on... I want to improve by all means! :)
TyraElisabeth's avatar
No problem :) Good luck!
8Bpencil's avatar
very useful tutorial, I shall follow your guide once I am ready. =)
Kauthar-Sharbini's avatar
Yeay my favorite character in your amazing drawing !

Green!? Wow never expected it would  cancel the color! I would like to try this! 
Thank you !
Joanna-Vu's avatar
Yes green! :iconlovegreenplz: Hope it is useful!
PhilipMessina's avatar
Joanna-Vu's avatar
Thank you Philip! Of course you don't need it, your colored pencil works are fab! 5 seconds hug 
Joanna-Vu's avatar
Amanoobaricom's avatar
It's an honor seeing your works
Weegoddess's avatar
Thank you so much for this! <3
Joanna-Vu's avatar
You're welcome! La love 
Henu-Chan's avatar
Thank you this is just what I needed! :D (as I really suck at coloring)
Joanna-Vu's avatar
You hardly need any advice my friend, your coloring is awesome! 5 seconds hug 
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