My name is Jonene Ficklin, and I'm a full-time wife, mom, writer, and professional artist. I've been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I use colored pencils, oil paints, and watercolors. I love what I do!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lesson 18 - Prismacolor drawing of a Tahitian Girl

Are you ready for a full-blown art project, drawn with Prismacolor pencils? Well, if you're patient, week by week, we'll work our way through the portrait of a Tahitian girl.  This is my rough sketch. I used light umber (#941) to sketch in the basic drawing. The girl will wear a leaf lei on her head and be looking back over her shoulder toward the sunset and ocean, with a bit of island behind. I used white (#938) to rough in my highlights.

Today, we'll focus on the eye. First, fill it in lightly with white.

Second, use slate grey (#936) to draw a soft shadow on the upper part and right corner of the eye.

Third, use 10% cool grey to soften and lighten the slate grey.

Fourth, using black (#935), draw along the far left side of the eye coming down from the top and up from the bottom to start the iris and pupil area. Notice I left the left center untouched on purpose.

Also, I am not putting any other color over the white sitting just inside the iris on the right. That will stay pure so that we have a clear hightlight.

Fifth, use sienna brown (#945) to go over the whole left side of the eye, forming a varied iris.

Sixth, go back with slate grey and darken the shadows along the top, the right corner, and bottom of the eye. Soften the tone by covering it with 10% cool grey.

Seventh, along the far right side of the eye, curving from top to bottom, add a tone of clay rose (#1017) to warm up the very corner of the slate grey area. Now go over those tones again with 10% cool grey to soften and round it out.

I'm really tempted to put my eyelashes in, but I need to wait until I have all the skin on the face done. Eyelashes will be one of the final touches on the face. If you draw them too early, you'll have a fight drawing the skin around them. It's better to draw the skin first, then put the eyelashes over it.

Next week: We draw the lips.


  1. You are so amazing. You take my breath away. I can't wait to see it take shape. :)

  2. Leisha, thanks! Neither can I. Here is where the wonderful obsession comes in!

  3. WOw, Jonene, you amaze me. And I'm not sure if I'm ready to turn my pencil portraits into full blown Prisma. I see Rajacenna do her thing and I'm intimidated because I aspire to match myself to her ability. I know I'm not being fair with myself, but I have no doubt I can do it. I just need to watch her do it and I'm right there with her--know what I mean?

    Here's the drawing I'm talking about done by her:

    Impressive, isn't it?

    I have the entire set of Prismacolor colorpencils, but how do I make my stuff look so REAL? :(

    ♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

  4. Elizabeth, thanks for the link. Rajacenna is amazing! Prismacolors have so much potential. The trick is learning to take the layering to the burnishing stage. This is done by increasing the pressure on the top layers of color, but it doesn't get that perfect photo look unless your underlayers are smooth and even. If you want to try it, the Prismacolor apple lesson (Lesson 15) is a safe and easy way to learn to layer and burnish. There's a simple recipe to get great skin with Prismacolors. I'll be doing that lesson pretty quick here with my Tahitian girl.


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