Heads Up: Colored Pencil Project

Beastie Boy Lemur © by Andrew Cygnan
Beastie Boy ‘Mike D’ Lemur © by Andrew Cygan
Merlin © Kylie O'Connor
Merlin © Kylie O’Connor

Scratchboard illustrations from my sophomore classes gained nearly 200 views on day one. So here’s a gallery of their colored pencil projects.

 Big Bad Wolf © by Austin
Big Bad Wolf © by Austin Haas

Animal Head on Human Body

I have been using this assignment for years, getting imaginative combinations. Back in the day, students found three different photos: a head, body and background.

Tiger Dude © Taylor Van Kouten
Tiger Dude © Taylor Van Kooten. Colored pencil with white paint for stars.

Lately I’ve seen students actually google the words “animal head on human body” on their phones. I think of this as a crowd-sourced substitute for individual creativity. Some use Photoshop’s lasso tool to put an existing head on a body, then use the Artograph projectors to copy their Photoshop collage. Still, I must admit, I am getting good work.

“Weston Sharadin, art student & Highland bull” © Sierra Fry

Sierra Fry’s art student bull is brilliant. His last name is Sharadin, which is the name of the art building here. Note the museum sticker on his sketchbook is from MooMA, not MOMA.

“Kip the Space Dog,” © Kaylyn Gustafson

Kayliyn Gustafson based her image on her dog, Kip. I beefed up the contrast as I scanned this image to make her pencil marks in outer space less apparent. It looks stunning with this slight adjustment. I am all about using the computer to make drawings pop. Of course, you can’t do much unless the underlying drawing is excellent, like this portrait of Kip.

Slugger © Samantha Fusco
Slugger © Samantha Fusco

Samantha Fusco’s slugger looks like a Kutztown U baseball card. I told the students there is a university that has a slug for a mascot. Some found that info hard to believe. We leave you with an ambitious image below. It is tough to draw a motorcycle, let alone one ridden by a bulldog.

I suggest students use ordinary marker layout bond. Some prefer smooth bristol board. Recommended pencils brands are Prismacolor or Derwent. One tip with colored pencils is using a bit of isopropyl rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to blend colors. If used everywhere the alcohol can make the colors mushy, but in moderation it’s a special effect worth trying.

Bulldog motorcyclist © Christian Debuque
Bulldog motorcyclist © Christian Debuque

You may see odd advertisements on these pages. We neither endorse nor profit from these ads; they are WordPress’s sponsors. I have added a link to my Toon Book, We Dig Worms! If you buy it, I will make a small profit, thanks! We Dig Worms! is available wherever books are sold. If you’d like to order from Amazon, click the image below.

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