The Process of Mandy

The current piece on the easel, well technically drafting table……is the colored pencil piece of Mandy from Safe Haven. Although she isn’t completed yet, I wanted to give you a short timeline of how she is going so far and how I am getting there. Before we start that a few things on the side:

  • A Shy Face II sold at Safe Haven, super happy this piece went to a loving home 🙂
  • I gave myself a challenge: To finish the shark drawing by or during Shark Week. Help me towards that goal!
  • Revamping my blog and newsletter, I feel a change is needed. Which is why I have been somewhat absent lately.

Now, let’s get to Mandy. Below is the materials I am using:

  • Colored Pencils (Mainly Prisma Colored Pencils, also Dewert Colored Pencils)
  • 11×17 Bristol Paper (Trimming it to the size I need, already have a wonderful linen mat to put it in!)
  • Putty Eraser & Electric Eraser
  • Electric pencil sharpener (Upgraded, using a  Dewert Pencil Sharpener in case you are curious)
  • Ruler (For mapping up the grid in the beginning)
  • Reference photo provided by Safe Haven.
  • Although not a “material” the most important thing to use anytime is: Passion & a Clear Mind

Mandy 1

Here is the basic outline along with the colors I am using (some were added since than), a color chart, and the reference photo. I kept the outline and the grid light, makes it easier to eraser when I need to. 

Mandy 2

I usually start with the eyes when it comes to animals, the gateway to the soul. I start with the lightest colors and use a “circular” motion to fill in the areas I need to. I switch between about 3-4 colors at this point, never pressing hard. The lighter you go the more forgiving the pencil will be if you need to eraser. If erasing is needed, I blot the area with the putty eraser to see if any color comes up. If it’s a stubborn area and I need a lot of the color out, I use to electric eraser. 

**If you use the electric eraser do a test area first. The thinner your paper the more damaging this will be. Get use to it before you use it on something you are working on.**

Mandy 4

I start filling out her face even more. Going back and forth from the right to the left side of her face to make sure the color is distributed evenly. Although one side is more in shadow than the other, I am not worried about that detailed aspect yet. Right now I am just building up the lights. Only around the eyes am I slowly (very slowly) building up the darks and the details. 

**You may notice the brighter portions where color is, this is where the whites are the most profound. I keep this areas as light as possible, later on I will go over them to add in darker hairs. This is were the fading of color comes into play. Practice this often, it’s a simple but effective exercise. **

Mandy 5

At this point, I start adding in more mediums and darks. The layers of color are getting thicker as well. I added in spots of black to guide my eyes better of  the contour of her face. More black and detail will be added later, closer to the end of the piece. The paws are also started on, to connect the bottom to the top of Mandy more.

**I am still keep my touch very light here. The only time I press hard is for the solid black areas, but I lighten my touch as I extend this area. **

Mandy 3

This is where I am at currently with Mandy. The paws, chest, and face are starting to connect more. Her thick fur is now becoming more visible as well. Just like with her face, I am using very light colors here. Her chest is the lightest area of her, which is tricky. I have to be careful of how I add in thickness so it doesn’t look flat or too dark. 

**I go back and forth here with lights, darks, and mediums here. This is because I want to keep the colors balanced and even. Fading is starting to come into play more as well, especially with her light chest area. Her face still needs more detailed work, but for now it’s just getting the shape into focus.**

Feel free to contact me if you think you may be interested in purchasing this piece 🙂


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