Skintones in Pencil

Are you struggling to find the perfect colour of pencils for your portraits? Don't worry anymore!

Skin throughout our Universe is made up of so many different tones of pink, brown, grey, green, purple and yellow. And orange, blue and red! Red? Well, of course... maybe your portrait is sunburnt? You never know! Besides, its art :) People can be any colour you wish, even lime green!

Other than go back to the shops to buy even more pencils, check out what you already have. Whether you have a set of 12 or 150, you're sure to have something; its just a matter of layering, blending and mixing! 
You only need a few basics to get started :)

I suggest getting a big piece of blank paper and colouring little tall rectangles, one for every single pencil you have.

Use a white to lighten the bottom half of each square, then a dark grey (black will cover too much of the base colour) for the top part, leaving the original colour in the middle :)

In my example, the middle of each is the original with the tops and bottoms overlayed with another colour. It will take some time if you have dozens of pencils, but it will help dig out the colours you need and maybe show you ones you hadn't noticed before :)

Then using the colours you like, create more samples, mixing and layering as you go. 
Pressing lightly with the pencil will give you paler colours - keep layering lightly to darken your colours.
You can also use the white to blend. You'll find the more layers you add, the greater the depth of light and contrast you will achieve, which brings your art to life.

My photos are just examples and may look different on different screens. Experiment and have fun discovering even more colours to use in your colouring!

Sing out if you need help or have questions. 

Happy Creative Day!


  1. Hi Jenny,
    Just popped over to say Hi!
    Love your blog!

  2. Lovely work and great reference for working in pencils Lee :)


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