Here are several progress photos that showed how I created this blue monkey drawing! 

This is a 5" x 7" colored pencil drawing on white 300lb Fabriano hot-pressed paper.


I started by sketching ideas in my sketchbook, then carefully transferring my outline to my drawing paper. My goal was to create a whimsical piece with a background inspired by Indian miniatures.

First I drew my main subject, a blue monkey playing a sitar while sitting on a branch, with a little yellow bird watching:

Then I started on the background. I needed to show that he was high up in the tree, and I wanted to make it nighttime.  The blue smudgy semi-circle is a partial outline of a full moon. I decided it was not quite the right time to work on the sky yet, better do the leaves first:

More leaves and vines added below. The trick was to make the top layer of  foliage look like it was brightened by moonlight, with the layers underneath in shadow.  I studied some Indian miniatures to see how they did this, and gave it my best shot.

Next I added some more leaves and branches, and starting coloring in the dark blue night sky.  You can see how it takes multiple layers of blue colored pencils to full in the sky :

And here is the finished drawing!

Comments, feedback and questions are always welcome on everything I post. :)


Tags: drawing, monkey, tutorial

Views: 185

Replies to This Discussion

Hello Thaneeya,


Thanks for sharing. I often get overwhelmed when using colored-pencil because I am not very good at achieving layers. I guess the only way I will get there is by practicing. Thanks a lot!



Thanks, Carla. I plan to upload more tutorials and works-in-progress when I have time. I use a lot of layers in my colored pencil art, because it is only with layers that I can achieve the look that I want (of very thick color, almost painterly).

You will indeed get the hang of layering with practice. :)  It took a lot of practice before I got to the point where I learned just how many layers, and how much pressure, to apply.  But it's different for every artist - some like more layers, some like less, so it's all up to personal preference.

Another technique I've heard about to achieve that painterly quality is to use solvents. There's a thread on it in the Colored Pencil forum: I plan to try it someday.

I've had issues achieving the right layers with colored pencil as well. This tutorial really helps with this and gives me more of an idea of what to do. And, I'm madly in love with the leaves and vines!



I, too, am in love with the leaves and how she gave the illusion of the vine to "pop" forward.

Thanks, Whitney and Carla! I'm pleased to hear you both like the leaves and vines.  The tricky part was making some of the leaves appear to be in shadow with other leaves on top.  I'm most happy with the way it looks in the lower left clump of leaves - probably because I did that clump last, and learned a lot while coloring the other two 'clumps'.
That's the fun and the annoying part of art isn't it? You try something new in a piece, and by the time you get to the end you know how you would have done it differently. You can't now because the piece is done, but it was the doing that taught you how, right there in the middle of the creation. It's kinda cool to learn while you work like that, but it's also aggravating because nothing you ever do is 100% perfect in your opinion, even if it is to everyone else!
Lol, I certainly know what you mean, Whitney.  I guess that's all part of the process.  It is nice to know that our skills do build as we create, and we are constantly learning, even when we are not aware of it.  That's why I think it's a good idea to keep artwork - either the real thing or a digital copy - so that you can look back and see how much you've progressed without even realizing it!
Oh, I agree. Always keep at least a decent photograph of what you create before it leaves your hands! For most of my work I don't sell the originals, but when I do, or when I give the originals away, I at least keep a high-res scanned copy to look back on and remind me of where I've been and show me where I'm going. I've even taken small details of works I've done in the past and created full works out of them, which is a LOT of fun. (:

thanx thaneeya for ur tutorial....its really very nice work,i luv all colors in ur know i am very fond of whimsical art n want to do it.....i did it but not sure about it



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