Today’s submission comes from Andy C Villon. He has completed this portrait of Cris Martin from Coldplay using prismacolor colored pencils. His goals were photorealism. You can check out more of Andy’s work on his twitter page or YouTube

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Ahh this is so good! Your drawing is really accurate, I love the changes you made on his jacket too! The way that you’ve created the look of stubble for his beard is awesome! You’ve captured the look with his skin showing through that stubble beautifully.


Looking at a few things we can adjust to make this more realistic, first are his irises. They aren’t quite round. The eye on the left (his right) is off the most. By making that the size it should be it will be more obvious that the other iris also needs to be larger to match. His upper lid, especially on the left (his right) needs to be more rounded.


There is a little trick you can do with photoshop to really see variations in your work from your reference photo. This only works well if your drawing is really accurate in the first place. Layer your reference photo over your work, line them up as close as possible (make your reference photo partially transparent so that you can see where things line up, and use CTRL =T, hold down the shift button and resize the reference photo to match yours. If you don’t hold down the shift button when resizing this way, you will skew the image). Once they are lined up, click the reference photo on and off so that those differences are really obvious.


Besides the minor adjustments in the eyes, the other thing that jumps out at me is the color in his skin. You’ve gone a bit more orange in yours. Now this did hype up your contrast which gave him more dimension, but I would probably go with a more neutral tone.

My last tip os on his hair. It’s quite dark both on his head and eyebrows. If you take a cream or white color over those  it will tone them down a lot. On his hair, you can use that cream or white color to create more shine in the hair too. Compared to the work you’ve got on his skin, his hair feels unfinished.

For me, when doing portraits I find the Polychromos mixed with my wax based pencils (Luminance in my case, but your prismas will work fine) is perfect. The polychromos will get that tiny detail around the eyes and hair that the prismas have a hard time with. Adding some of the browns, greys and blacks of the polychromos to your prisma set should really help you out on the detail in your portraits 😀