Finley – My First Portrait!

After my last blog post on my Craftsy’s class project, I went searching for a subject for my own colored-pencil portrait. I just so happened to come across a picture of Finley, the most adorable boy of one of my students, Vanessa. Children are much easier to draw than adults – pigmentation and wrinkles require a lot more work! πŸ˜‰ With Vanessa’s approval, I immediately dove in, especially since I just received my new set of Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils!


I think I am ready to draw an adult next! …


Colored-Pencil Portraits

I have been drawing since I was a little girl. In high school and college, I always had a sketch book with me and my favorite subject was pencil portraits using photographs in magazines as a base. I can’t tell you how many times I have drawn Brooke Shields!

After intense drawing and painting classes in both undergraduate and graduate schools, my love of drawing was cast aside by life’s other more pressing matters. Once in a while though, I’d still dust off those neglected pencils and did a few sketches but the urge never lasted.

Then came the Craftsy’s class Step-by-Step Photorealistic Colored Pencil Portraits with Karen Hull. I first discovered Craftsy classes for knitting and then expanded to jewelry making when I started doing metalsmithing. I also love that Craftsy is not subscription base so I can go at my own pace as well as go back and watch the video classes as often as I like.

I have always wanted to work with colors – did acrylic and pastels in school – and although I really would love to get into oil and watercolor, colored pencils are more suitable for my lifestyle at the moment due to its ease of use. No set up or clean up – just open the box and go! And “go” I did!

Karen recommended Faber-Castell’s Polychromos and Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils for their light fastness but I couldn’t wait and just used what I had old Prismacolor and some Derwent. I did take advantage of the sales and purchased some Polychromos and Luminance for my next project! πŸ˜€

Step-by-step I followed Karen’s detailed instructions on drawing a girl named Katie…

As soon as I did the first lesson on her left eye, I was hooked! I did the right eye the same time as her left (yes, there’s a lesson on the left eye but I have never been good at following instructions in sequence!)


I skipped ahead and did her lips next (did you expect otherwise? ;0)) …


Then her nose… Karen’s instructions on seeing different hues and layering the colors to shape are invaluable!


And finishing her face


Even though Karen said the lips were the hardest, I was most worried about her hair.


With the potential wax bloom of the Prismacolor, I decided to not worry about covering the tooth of the paper and called this drawing complete – for I am anxious to try my newly learned skills on a subject of my own!


Sibylle Shawl

Sibylle Shawl is a large deep-crescent shaped shawl based on the Herbert Niebling’s pattern of the same name. Sibylle is worked from the top down with increases throughout the body. The original pattern, in half, is a half circle. I added patterns to the two edges for a softer deep-crescent shape. I hope to continue modifying these amazing designs – Sibylle is the fourth one after Quadratische Decke (QD), Pfingstrose (Peony) and her sister, Simply Peony, and Blattkranz (Leaf Wreath) – into a shawl shape with well illustrated charts and clear instructions so more knitters will discover and enjoy the magic of Niebling.

Sibylle uses approximately 985-1020 yards / 900-930 meters of heavy-lace-weight yarns. It may also be knitted in lace-weight yarn (765-820 yards / 700-750 meters) for a more open look, or fingering-weight yarn (1095 yards / 1050 meters) for a denser fabric, and even larger shawl. Sibylle may be knitted with or without beads.

Join us in our Ravelry group, enVision, for a Sibylle knit along this month!


Test knit by Tish