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!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lesson 21 - Tahitian Girl - Hair with Prismacolors

Win the first print when this drawing is finished!

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Here are the details:

Now, let's learn how to draw hair with Prismacolor pencils.

Since the hair overlaps the skin, we need to do that first. I've chosen my colors to represent dark brown hair with warm highlights. Just a note, but pay attention to the color of the highlights in the hair you are drawing. Look to see if the highlight is warm (with red or yellow tones), or cool (with blue tones).

Step 1: Start with Yellow Ochre #942, putting in a thin layer over all areas that will have any highlights.

Step 2: Lay in the shadows with Dark Umber #947. I've gone up and added some Dark Umber into the shadows of her Lei Headdress also.

Step 3: Lay in the main tone of the hair, which is Sienna Brown #945. Go over all areas except for the brightest highlights.

Step 4: Take your Colorless Blender #1077, and smooth the hair. Be careful not to push too hard or you won't be able to add more layers on top.

Step 5: Go back with Sienna Brown and intensify any areas that seem too bland.

Step 6: Now, using Warm Grey 90%, which is #1058, lay in some serious shadows, both in the hair and in the Lei Headdress. I've also gone over the leaves in the Lei on the far right, so they disappear into the shadows a bit.

Warning: Avoid using Black as much as possible. There are several reasons. Black makes it look like there's a hole in the picture unless you really know what you're doing. Black is also a flat color, so to have a colorful shadow, use dark brown or dark grey, but with color under and over it. It's good to note that there are VERY few things in nature that are truly black (like pupils, hair, fur, volcanic rock). Black is generally absense of light. Most professional artist use very little of it, if they use any at all.

To finish off the hair, go back with White, Yellow Ochre, and Sienna Brown and touch up the highlighted areas.

I'll see you next week for Lesson 22!


  1. She's going to be gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the whole process with us. :)

  2. Leisha, you're welcome. It's fun showing the drawing step by step.

  3. This is so fun. It's like looking over your shoulder while you work. Only you don't actually have to worry about that weird hovering sensation behind you...

  4. Lydia, ha ha! Now that I can take. My nerves kick in when people actually watch.


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