Today’s submission comes from artist Marco Stefano.   You can view more of his work over on Marco has worked in several mediums but is brand new to colored pencil. What an awesome start!  I don’t have your reference photo but everything looks very well drawn out. You have great contrast. The eye looks amazing, and I love that you got the texture in the beak as you have!


Your technique is beautiful! It looks like you’ve done most of the blending on the feathers by burnishing, or adding a lot of pressure to the pencil. Just remember when using this technique that it flattens out the tooth of the paper so it limits how many colors you can add on top, so save your burnishing for your final layers. On the shadow around the birds face, you’ve got a grittier look which normally I avoid, but I really like how it looks here, so I wouldn’t change that myself, but if you wanted to, either more layers or blending with an ordorless mineral spirit will help to get a smoother look.

My main tip for this piece is for the positioning of the eagle. Right now it is a bit unbalanced having so much space above his head. On a side note, I probably would avoid signing your work on top of the subjects head. If you’re unfamiliar with the rule of thirds, I have a video explaining how that works here

It’s not something that you always have to follow, but it’s a good guide when you’re getting started in figuring out how to position your subject.  Essentially, if you break your paper down into 3 sections both horizontally and vertically, the points that intersect are your sweet spots. These are the spots you really want your  focal points to fall, like the eye.



Look what happens when I crop your piece to fit within the rule of thirds. The whole piece has SO much more impact on the viewer.



Your work is amazing!! Keep it up!!