• Kevin Roeckl

Louie portrait in progress 5

Today I’m putting in the shapes of Louie’s chest.

Colored pencil portrait of a Doberman, in progress in Kevin's studio

I start by doing the black/shadowed areas first, to help guide me on the other shapes. The areas with the x’s in them are to remind me that those areas will be solid black, as I’m working out the lighter abstract shapes of his forechest - that helps me keep it all straight. I'll color in the solid black last.

Colored pencil portrait of a Doberman, in progress in Kevin's studio

Then it’s just a matter of putting in the light-colored pencil strokes first - the highlighted hairs, which is what you see here on the right half of his chest - then working darker, darker, darker to give it shape. You can see I’m adding the next-darkest grey on the right side of the chest. The 5 pencils you see show the progressively darker greys I’m using.


I work light-to-dark with the hairs of Louie’s black coat because light pencils over dark don’t work as well as dark over light - the lighter pencils just smear the darks around. Darker pencils cover the lights somewhat and darken them…so I have to allow for that by making the initial light strokes lighter than I want them to end up..

Colored pencil portrait of a Doberman, in progress in Kevin's studio

Now I’ve brought the shapes up to the darkest grey on the right half of the chest. The areas that will be solid black are now surrounded right up to their edges with the other grey. I want to keep my flow going with the lights and darks…at the end I’ll go back and fill in all the black areas by coloring really hard and solid with black pencil!

You can see that an area of Louie’s leg (his “knee”) on the left side of this pic is waiting for solid black too.

Colored pencil portrait of a Doberman, in progress in Kevin's studio

These are some of the other pencil colors I’m using in this portrait less often. I shove them to the side for when I need them…otherwise my entire portrait would be covered with pencils and I would never be able to find anything!

Colored pencil portrait in progress in Kevin's studio with pencil sharpener and colored pencils

The finished result.

This jpg was made by scanning the actual artwork on my high-end scanner. That shows the richness and true color much better than pics taken in the studio with my phone.

Colored pencil portrait of a Doberman, in progress

Here’s the whole portrait so far. Lots of shapes and detail in Louie’s black coat lit by the early morning sun. You may remember that this will capture the sweet memory of “Golden Morning Coffee with Louie” forever for Dean. This portrait will have Louie in a full scene.

Colored pencil portrait of a Doberman, in progress

Related Posts

See All
From the Studio Blog logo