Colored Pencil Art: Bringing Portraits to Life

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At Paint Your Life, we don’t just offer you oil, watercolor, and acrylic paintings. In addition to beautifully painted works of art based on your family photos, you can get masterfully drawn renditions of your precious memories. 


The gifted artists working at Paint Your Life are proficient in numerous drawing mediums, including black pencil, charcoal, and colored pencil. Any of these mediums is an ideal option for turning a photo that you love into a masterpiece worthy of hanging on your wall at home.

Your Guide To Colored Pencil Portraits


From this article, you will learn everything you need to know about colored pencil art and why it is an excellent option for displaying in your home. If you are struggling to choose between the variety of types of art offered by Paint Your Life, this article will help with your decision immensely. Colored pencils can be used to create an eye-catching work of art that stands out among the other decorative pieces in your home. It’s well worth your consideration.


What Are Colored Pencils?


Colored pencils are steeped in rich history. These unique tools are loved and favored by many artists for their versatility, ease of use, and potential for combining vibrant hues to create a colorful piece of artwork. But what are colored pencils, and how are they made? 


The commercial use of colored pencils dates all the way back to the 19th century when the German company Staedtler began selling oil-based pencils in various colors. Staedler’s original intent for the colored pencil was a tool for making simple marks on documents. However, the design of the colored pencil was refined after the turn of the century, evolving and developing to become more suited for use in art.


As the use of colored pencils began to become more common, more companies started selling them specifically for artists. Artist-grade colored pencils differ from the ones you may have used in grade school. Lower-quality colored pencils that are commonly used in classrooms are typically made of hardened, dyed wax covered with a wooden outer shell. These colored pencils are instantly recognizable, and if you have children, you may have some lying around your house and being used for art projects. 


How An Expert Artist Uses Colored Pencils


Student-grade colored pencils differ from artist-grade ones in several important ways, but one of the most notable is the difference in what is known as lightfastness. Lightfastness is a term used to describe a color’s ability to keep its pigment even after prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays. Lightfastness is often viewed as an indicator of the quality of a colored pencil. 


Student-grade colored pencils are not fit for use by professional artists and, as you might have guessed, are not used by Paint Your Life’s artists!


Instead, when you commission a colored pencil portrait from Paint Your Life, a skilled artist uses the finest colored pencils available to get the job done right. When professional artists work with colored pencils, they use higher quality, oil-based colored pencils that can be expertly blended and layered on top of each other to create unique tones. 


This process is far more similar to traditional painting than use of student-grade colored pencils. An artist working with high-quality colored pencils is working hard to blend and layer colors for the sake of a smooth, true-to-life color palette that makes a portrait look incredible. 


How An Expert Artist Uses Colored Pencils


When an artist chooses to use colored pencils to make a piece of artwork, they will primarily be employing two key techniques called layering and burnishing. Layering comes before burnishing and lays the groundwork for what will eventually become a colorful masterpiece. 


In the layering stage of creating colored pencil artwork, the artist uses their colored pencils to create the base of a picture, blending colors based on the three primaries – red, yellow and blue. In the burnishing stage, the artist further blends the colors and often layers a smoothing agent over them, giving the artwork a “painted” look.


Using their years of practice and training, a skilled artist can use colored pencils to replicate the intricate details of a photo. When you commission a portrait from Paint Your Life based on one of your family pictures and choose colored pencil as your medium, you can count on a detailed piece of art. With intense precision, an artist can take colored pencils and create a beautiful combination of eye-catching colors and unique textures. The colored pencil medium gives artwork a unique look that appears both drawn and painted. Colored pencil portraits have a stunning amount of detail that makes them perfect for replicating photos.


Why It Is Worthwhile To Preserve Your Family Photos As Art


Memories are precious. They have infinite value, reminding us how important the people we love are to us. It is an undeniable blessing to live in an age when precious memories can easily be preserved and documented with the push of a button thanks to cameras and smartphones. However, thanks to Paint Your Life, you can take the preservation of your most cherished memories one step farther and turn them into beautiful works of art!


Displaying a family photo on your wall is always a great idea, and so is hanging a masterful piece of artwork up for display. But what if you could do both at the same time? With Paint Your Life, you can. 


Colored pencil is just one of six mediums that Paint Your Life’s gifted artists specialize in, which also include watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings, as well as black pencil and charcoal. If you have long been looking for the perfect piece of artwork to hang in your home to represent what you care about most, look no further. 


When you hang a piece of art based on a family photo in your home, it sends the message to visitors that your loved ones mean the world to you. In addition, personal, meaningful artwork can make a house feel like a home, inviting others in and welcoming the making of new memories. When you aren’t sure what to decorate your home with so that people feel comfortable and at home when they visit, using a piece of artwork based on a family photo is a perfect option.


How It Works


When you commission a portrait from Paint Your Life, there are just a few steps to go through before it arrives at your door. You begin the process by selecting a photo to use as the basis for your personalized artwork. This part of the process can be great fun for you and your whole family, providing an opportunity to look through photos and reminisce.


In addition to painting and drawing beautiful renditions of family pictures, Paint Your Life’s artists can also expertly recreate photos of your home or your beloved pets. When choosing the photo to serve as the basis for your artwork, you have plenty of options. A favorite picture from your wedding, an adorable baby photo, or a cute photo of your dog or cat are all great ideas.


After you have selected your reference photo, you are then free to select your medium of choice. Your artwork can be completed as an oil, watercolor, or acrylic painting, or as a colored pencil, black pencil, or charcoal drawing. 


As you’ve learned while reading this article, colored pencil is a fantastic option for your portrait, but each of the others is excellent as well. Make your decision based on whichever medium looks best to you and your family. There are plenty of examples of each art form on Paint Your Life’s Website!


Next, select the dimensions of your painting or drawing. There are numerous options for sizes, ranging from small enough to hang in a small space on the wall to large enough to cover a wall in its entirety. Depending on the amount of free space you have in your home, any of these sizes is a perfect option. Differing dimensions also mean that there is an option that fits with any budget. In addition, you can even add a beautiful frame to your order to pair with your artwork.


Finally, you’re ready to place your order. The process of commissioning a portrait, whether colored pencil or otherwise, from Paint Your Life is simple, rewarding, and fun. Use it as an opportunity to look back on fond memories with the people you love most while looking for the best photo to turn into art. If you are not sure where to start, recruit some help from your family! Turning your memories into artwork is more fun when you include everyone in the process.