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This section gives some additional information on the types of medium I use, their advantages and limitations. The information is in no way a comprehensive commentary.

When it comes to choosing the medium for your portrait it is a matter of personal choice and there are no hard and fast rules. The following guidelines have been provided for guidance only.

Pencil/Graphite Pencil        Examples of pencil drawings prpared  from photographs and digital images

Black and white pencil drawings are fast becoming a very popular medium. Pencil can often best portray the soft and fluffy coats of animals and is a most expressive medium for children and adults. It is particularly appropriate for portraying the delicate nature of human hair. The medium can also be very effective for making shadows and light, stronger and more dynamic. The details of buildings and particularly trees can be brought out with the use of pencil.

Coloured Pencil        Examples of coloured pencil portraits from photos and digital images

This medium has been around for many years but was not generally used for fine art portraits. However it is now growing in popularity as a medium for portraits. It has all of the qualities of Pencil (eg it can be used for detailed and precise work) but with the added advantage of colour which can be used to enhance the visual and emotional impact of the final work.

In animal portraits it can bring out the colours of the coat, and in people this medium can be used to produce natural looking skin and hair tones. This medium can be softer and more subtle than pencil and graphite pencil work.

Sometimes an undercoat of watercolour is used with the more detailed work on top in colour pencil. This rendering can give a "glowing" quality to the portrait.

Pen and Ink       Click for examples of Pen and Ink portraits from photos

This is a very traditional medium. There is nothing quite like a pen and ink drawing. This medium is especially good for portraying buildings, houses and trees. It is more difficult to do a portrait of a person in this medium as you cannot get the subtle tones needed to bring form to a face. However I have used the medium to great effect in animal portraits with a light colour wash on top of the ink work to show the colour(s) of the animal's coat. Pen and ink is quite often used with watercolour property portraits to bring out details such as windows, doors, roof tiles, brickwork etc where necessary.

Watercolour       Click for Examples of waatercolour portraits from photos

This is the more traditional medium and can be used for all types of portraits. It is perfect for houses, gardens and buildings, bringing out the subtle colours of stone and brick work, trees, grasses and flowers As mentioned above I will normally use pen and ink to enhance and sharpen up details. With watercolour colorful skies can be created and "light and atmosphere" put into the picture.

In animal and human portraiture there tends to be less detail than with pencil drawing. However this can give a stronger and more solid looking "traditional" portrait. If more details are required in the final portrait watercolour pencil can be used on top of the painting to enhance detail.


I have tried to give you a brief overview of the mediums I use and some guidelines on choosing a medium. However when producing a non black and white portrait I will quite often use a mix of mediums to achieve the desired results. There are many examples of the different medium on the site. If you are still unsure as to which medium would suit you best please contact me to discuss your personal requirements.

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