Demonstration 3rd March 2020 – David Lewry, coloured pencils

Report by Maggie Goodsell

David was a mine of information which he freely imparted during the evening – from the origins of pigments to the fact that the male mandarin duck is fairly drab for most of the year !!

As David works flat he came with his own set up so we could follow him on the screen.
As pencil is a slow process David said he would concentrate on doing the ducks head.
Working with Faber Castell Polychromos & Derwent Lightfast pencils on 300gsm HP paper, David lightly blocked in some colour.
David said to keep doing light layers to get intense colours & don’t press too hard as it flattens the tooth of the paper
He said it can take 7-8 layers of pencil to get the intensity
You should work hard areas like the beak in with small circular marks …
… and strokes for the feathers.
The eye was done with a strawberry red pencil blended with a touch of cream.
David said to give the impression of iridescence such as in the blue on the top of the head, you need to use variations of the same colour.
Building up layers of colour
Dark indigo sets off the other colours.
Close up showing how the layers add depth of colour.
Again building up layers.
The finished head. David said the whole duck would take about 20 hours to complete !!
David Lewry

An excellent demo by David. His camera/projector set up gave a far better picture than ours – but then it probably cost a lot more !!


David gave us a huge amount of tips and information of which a few are below.

Work on a good paper otherwise you won’t be able to get the amount of layers you want.

To get a really intense colour use similar colours

Always put another colour under black

A pencil blender is just a pencil without pigment.

Coloured pencil solvent or Johnsons Baby Oil will dissolve the pencil – good for backgrounds.

Pencils don’t mix well so you need a good range of colours. Aim for a minimum of 24 but the more you have the better the results.