Coloured pencil workshop with Artist Jane Lazenby

Here goes for my first blog post!

I am planning to show photos of the workshop I attended in the summer, this will be my second workshop on the medium coloured pencils. Okay I can hear you thinking ‘coloured pencils!’ thats what we used in primary school. My hubby Ian, always jokes to his workmates “Mrs B is off crayoning today” he just loves to tease me with this one, anyway you’ll be amazed with what can be achieved with this medium.

In my opinion its all about planning and layering up the colours on top of each other to produce other shades, almost like mixing paint really but with out the mess.  Jane Lazenby is a great tutor and artist, her workshops are great, great demo’s and very informative, oh yes I must mention the delicious lunches, especially the cakes and desert. I learn’t such a lot on my first workshop 18 months ago, basically I did not have much experience with coloured pencils but after the 3 days with Jane, I was hooked!

As I had not really used the coloured pencils in my paintings since the workshop last year, I decided to do the workshop again this year to push myself and to re iterate what i had learn’t. Also it was a good chance to catch up with the other artists as they to were keen for more punishment. Yes I did use the word ‘punishment’ as Jane is a hard task master for sure – her favourite phrase is ‘give it more welly!’ you can tell she is a northern lass.


So here are a few of the guys and myself working hard with our choosen piece of work, the next photo is one of me making a start and adding colour.



Now the following photos are in a series to show you how I got to the finished result, i will say it was not quick at all, CP’s are very time consuming but i think its  worth it.

helen-in-cp-1-lores helen-in-cp-2-lores

The top photo shows the sketch in white pencil, concentrating on the heavier highlight areas, then on to add colour in the other photo, this was quite scary, where to begin? Its a good to stick to the same colours through out the skin areas and to build the layers up in the same order, adding more darks where required.



It seems never ending adding the layers, then just a little bit more work and patience and it starts coming together, when you hit that point in the painting, you just do not want to stop – not even for a cuppa and a nice bit of cake!


Almost there with photo 5 but just need the extra touchs, extra colours you see when you squint your eyes a little – lilacs and cool blues in the hair and then ‘more welly’ on the dark areas in the hair, in the ear, on the shadows of the back and fingers.

I must admit when i first saw this photo reference, i thought to myself ‘this will be good one to start with, get me back into the swing of CP’s and then I could have a go at another piece’ little did I know then it would take all 3 days.

I am very pleased with the result and this has really got me excited about doing portraits with CP’s. I have since done 2 childrens portraits in CP’s, which are in my ‘portrait and figure gallery’ – I’m eager to do more but its hard finding the time. You can find a link to Jane Lazenby’s website in my ‘links’ page.