Skin tones

I know that there are many difficult elements to creating a beautiful portrait. In this posts I am going to help you overcome one of the elements in a portrait: the skin tone. A good place to start is with two clean palettes.  Then what you need to do is squirt out your palette. I recommend that you have the follow colours : cold yellow, warm yellow, brown, cold red, warm red, blue and black.

Now you have your palette prepared it is time to start mixing the colours. Start with a bit of yellow then add a tiny bit of the red (use all cold or all warm don’t mix). Now set aside this orangey hue. To make the tone lighter add white and to darken add blue and black. A good way to prepare yourself is to mix a repertoire of skin tones and lay them out in order. Like this….



To experiment and develop your understand you could take pictures of skin and try to replicate the skin with your palette

Photo of my hand
Small painting of skin

After painting a few samples I went on to paint a portrait

Portrait focusing on skin tone

There are many artists you can look at for further development in the area. For example: Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville and Stanley Spencer are all relevant artists to this subject. Here is a painting I did based on the works of Stanley Spencer

I think that you can achieve great contrast with some palettes but with others the tones are quite similar. Experiment and have fun!!

Proportions of the face

It is very difficult to create a proportionally perfect portrait. In this post I want to inform you of how simple it can be to draw the facial proportions. These proportions are only a guideline though so there will be variations.

#1 start with the head. Draw a shape that fits that of the person you’re drawing. 

These are all samples from my sketchbook

#2 the eyes are half way down the face. Split the line across the Centre into five. From the side the eyes will fill the 2nd and 4th sections. Remember that the eyes aren’t as big as you think


#3 the bottom of the nose is halfway between the eyes and the chin.


#4 the mouth is halfway between the mouth and the chin. A tip to make the mouth more realistic is to only draw the upper lip and just draw the shadow beneath the mouth. Usually the sides of the mouth are between lines drawn down from the inside of the pupils.


#5 the ears will be between the level of the eyes and the mouth.

#6 the hair will extend above the head and on most people will reach down to the ears


I hope this has helped. Get creative and start sketching. Please like and comment if you like and please follow for frequent posts.

Thanks for reading I hope you found this useful


The best Pens/ Pencils

Today I was looking at my pencil case. It was annoyingly cluttered with awful pens I never use. They all have no ink and are scratched, bent and generally in very poor condition, so after some time rummaging through my art supplies I came across 2 quality pieces of stationary and I thought I’d include my recently purchased Apple Pencil. There will be links to all of the pens mentioned in this post at the bottom so please feel free to check them out.

Also, If your new please follow for frequent posts

#1 the Lamy Al-Star

I like the Lamy Al-Star because of its design and quality. Lamy sell a cheaper plastic version of this pen called the ‘safari’ but in my opinion it is quite poor quality plastic and that it is well worth paying an extra luxury for the metal body. It will last longer and it feels SOOOO much nicer !!! Also the design is very ergonomic in the hand but most of all it just looks great. It’s hard to Compliment a pens aesthetic but they have definitely managed it. Finally, it is a great pen to write with. I have the Lamy brand ink and it is really smooth to write with. Here are some photos

Lamy Al-star photo collage

#2 the Apple Pencil

I was sceptical at first with the £99 price tag but since purchase I have been really impressed. Firstly, the body is very well built despite the plastic finish. It feels solid in the hand and easy to hold. The only issue I can see is the magnetic cap on the top falling off but I guess I’ll just have to be careful! I have enjoyed making pictures on pro create but have mostly found myself using for taking notes in lessons on notability. For these tasks it performs very well because of its pressure and gyroscopic sensors. Here are some photos

Apple Pencil photo collage

#3 The Koh-I-Noor Versatte

I picked this pencil up from the Tate Modern last year for £5. I was astonished at the amount of pencil you get for the price. Again though, its main body is plastic but the mechanics are all metal and this improves the aesthetic. The Pencil is nice to write with because the graphite is so soft so it floats across the paper nicely. I also like how the wide graphite area is as it means you can achieve excellent shading and on the contrary you can sharpen and achieve precise graphic sketches. Here are some photos

Koh I Noor photos

This is my new pencil case. I hope you have enjoyed reading. Please leave a comment with any posts you’d like me to do. Please follow to get access to all my frequent posts and please leave a like to help support my blog.

Here are links to the products featured in this post

Koh-I-Noor Pencil: http://amzn.to/2tm1c6E

Apple Pencil: http://amzn.to/2tlUQEm

Lamy Al-Star: http://amzn.to/2tmhSes
Thanks again for reading

GCSE art annotations 

Annotations can be a great way to inform your examiner of what is on your page.

A great way to effectively annotate your work is to: describe, justify and explain. What this means is, you need to 

1-describe what you have done. 

2-Say why you have done it and 

3-expain how it will further your project

Also, you need to be using the correct vocabulary. He is a word bank you can use to create insightful annotations: 

Here is an example from my sketchbook

Sample from Agnes Cecile response

I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for reading!

Please FOLLOW for frequent upload and useful resources.

I edit my blogs using this iPad: http://amzn.to/2uKfQCH

Here is some more of the equipment I recommend 

Some nice pencils: http://amzn.to/2sq6XNT

And a good rubber: http://amzn.to/2uKsD7Y