Colored Pencil Tutorial by Gary Rudisill

This project will be 2.5"x3.5" ACEO size on Strathmore Smooth Bristol using Faber Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils.  This will be done entirely in colored pencils.


Some information about colored pencils;  I used Prisma Colors for years and at times still do.  A few years ago I switched to PolyChromos.  Reason?  The PolyChromos held a sharper point.  PrismaColors are wax based and PolyChromos are oil based.   Both are equally good, it's just a matter of preference.

For this project I will be using Faber Castell Polychromos.

This is the line work taped down to a piece of masonite I made from an old clip board. (I cut off the clip and rounded the corners)  

First of all, when using colored pencils, go lightly. (I shade using small circular motions.)  Pushing too hard or burnishing will destroy the paper surface and cause the color pencil to bloom faster.  Blooming is when you have layers of colored pencil and it waxes over not allowing you to add anymore layers.  In this project, I am going to show you how I layer and show you some of my techniques to adding layers and layers without fear of blooming.

Here, I start with the background using a light layer of black.  You can still see the paper through the black, that's ok.  

Here I color overtop of the black with Geraniumrot Hell, Pale Geranium Lake 9201-121 (the red) and Preubischblau, Prussian Blue 9201-246 (the blue). Remember not to bear down on it, lightly so you can get plenty of layers.

Instead of just going straight black for the background, I wanted to add some color. Nothing too bright.  I want there to be hints of the color in the black.  I choose to use the blue around the top and around the back of her and using the red for the front of her. Suggesting warmth to the not yet colored flesh.

I lightly added about 3-4 more layers of black.  I want the background black with a slight touch of the red and blue.  I tried to keep the background consistent.  You can still see the paper through the pencil, that's ok. It's easy to rush the background, but take your time.  

Ok, now comes the fun part.  I will be brushing Odorless Mineral Spirits over the colored pencil using a No.8 Shader.  I also have a clean scrap of an old sweatshirt.  I put a little of the Mineral Spirits in a jar with a lid.  I dip the brush ever so slightly just wetting the very end. Then I wipe it on the scrap of old sweatshirt.  The dryer the brush, the better.

Brush time.  Dip your brush tip into the mineral spirits, make sure your brush is as dry as you can get it.  Then start to brush the colored pencil on your art.  I start at one side and work my way over.  I don't scrub too hard.  You have to be careful not to rub the paper's surface up.  At this stage, all I'm interested in is just flattening the colored pencil.

Brushing on mineral spirits will create a more matte look, it will also take the wax away, allowing for more layers of color to be placed on top afterwards.  Also, notice how it fills in the areas where you could see the paper through the colored pencil.  Now, at this time, I let it completely dry.  If you lay your hand on the paper and it feels cool, then it's still wet.

Give it a few minutes. No rush.

Adding another layer of the Geraniumrot Hell, Pale Geranium Lake 9201-121 (the red) and Preubischblau, Prussian Blue 9201-246 (the blue).  Lightly.

Brush again with the mineral spirits.  See how the layer darkens. You can stack layers upon layers using this method.  Now, let it completely dry again.

Another light layer of black.

Brush with the mineral spirits.  (Starting to get the idea.) Let it dry completely.

This time I gave it a little darker layer of black.  On this layer I pressed a little harder to get it darker.  But I still didn't press too hard. This layer will not be gone over with the mineral spirits.

Now, to start the flesh colors. There is a lot of colors to make up flesh so stay with me.  I started with Pompejanischrot, Pompeian Red 9201-191.  Carefully examining my reference picture, I lightly shade in the shadow areas and some areas that look reddish.

I now add Neapelgelb Dunkel, Dark Naples Ochre 9201-184.  You really have to be careful with this color.  My reference photo: her face has a yellowish tint and so does the blond hair.  Too much will make it look like she is jaundice. So use this color very sparingly or skip it all together.

Added in some Ocker Gebrannt, Burnt Ochre 9201-187 in the shadow areas.  Like I said, keep referring back to your reference photo.

Using Rotel Sanguine 9201-188 which is another reddish brown for shadow areas.  Just a note, I work the shadow areas and move toward the part of the face which is getting hit by the light.

Now in with some Siena Gebrannt, Burnt Siena 9201-283 which is very brown with some red in it.  I like this for the deep shadows.

This is my favorite color Fleischearbe Mittel, Medium Flesh 9201-131.  I use this in the shadows, in around the shadow area of the nose, the jawline and to highlight the makeup on the cheeks.

Now a little Van-Dyck-Braun, Van-Dyck-Brown 9201-176 to hit some of the shadows and midtones.  Remember, lightly.

We're getting there. Now I take Fleischfarbe Hell, Light Flesh 9201-132 and go over all the skin areas lightly.

Guess what we do now?  Yep, get out those mineral spirits.  Remember, dip just the tip of the brush and dry it.  A little goes a long ways.

Now those are flesh tones!  Let it dry completely before moving on.  The Flesh tones alone took me about 40 minutes.  Don't rush it.  I would rather have one really good card over several "Ok" cards, even if it took me all day.

Here is an enlarge view.  On the left is before using the mineral spirits.  On the right is after the mineral spirits.

Using the same Burnt Siena I start shaping the hair.

Using Umbra Natur, Paw Umber 9201-180 I continue shaping the hair.  I use this color in the eyes to add shading.  Then using Chromoxydgrun Stumf, Chromium Green Opaque 9201-174 I lightly shade the eye color. Then using Cold Grey IV 9201-233 I shade the lighter areas of the eye and the eyelids. 

Using Rotel Sanguine 9201-188 I continue with the hair, shading in the reddish areas.

Using the Walnut Brown, I hit the dark part of the shadows and around the face.

Now last but not least, we go in with the black. I use the black on the eyes too, in the pupils and the lip of the eyelid.

Ah, yes! Now the mineral spirits.

Now we let it dry completely.  Next we start to tighten everything up.

At this point I will not be going into a lot of detail.  Main reason is I really don't want to bore you to death.  I basically used the same colors in the flesh, just keeping it light and layering.  I did a slight burnishing with an off white cream color.  Again, I don't bore down on it hard at all, just lightly using the small circular motions.  I added in the black for the lashes as well.  Lashes can make or break.  I sharpen the black to a point and ever so lightly draw in very fine and few lashes.

Using the same colors as before for the hair,  I really just darken the shadows and tighten up the detail.

Using Liquitex Titanium White Acrylic paint, I brush in the white highlights in the hair and on the lip.

Ok, I'm calling this done.  

Here's a enlarged photo of the final after being cut.

Hope you all enjoyed my tutorial.

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Jack O'Neill Stargate SG-1 Sketch Card Progression

I have done more sketch cards than I can even remember or counted.  When I decided to do this one, I felt it would be nice to post some progression (WIP Work In Progress) Pics.

Sketch Card Progression by Gary Rudisill

I will even do better than posting the pics.  I will even give you a little information on what I did in each Progression.


Jack Pic 1 by Gary Rudisill

Jack O'Neill Stargate Sketch Card - this is the painting of the base colors.  I used Acrylic paint washes.  I did several layers of the wash to build of values.

Jack Pic 2 by Gary Rudisill

I apologize for the lighting.  The pic of the washes was during the day and the rest where at night with the most god awful bulbs in my dining room. 

Here is another progression. I started from the background, this being Outer Space. Using colored pencils (I used Faber Castell PolyChromos) I blend the background from dark blue to light blue to a touch of white around the figure.

Jack Pic 3 by Gary Rudisill

Here I start working on the lower part of the Stargate, concentrating on the detail in the symbols and texture.  At this stage, I am using only colored pencils.

Jack pic 4 by Gary Rudisill

Here I continue to work on the Stargate, this time the upper part. I'm using colored pencils at this stage. I won't use anymore paint until the end when I highlight.

Jack pic 5 by Gary Rudisill

Here I went in with black to draw in some of the jacket and vest that was lost in the under painting. I also started on the face and flesh tones.

Jack Pic 6 by Gary Rudisill

Working on more of the flesh tones. There's quite a few colors in the flesh tones. I used Dark Naples Ochre, Rotel Sanguine, Venetian Red (who comes up with these name?), Walnut Brown, Raw Umber, Light Flesh and white.
Also, worked on the texturing of the vest.

Jack pic 7 by Gary Rudisll

working on the mid tones of the face and adding more detail to the eye see. Even adding some blues and black to the cap and vest.

Jack Pic 8 by Gary Rudisill

overall just tightening everything up. I jump from doing the face to working on the jacket. Truthfully, even though I've done quite a few f these, I'm still uneasy about working on the face. One wrong thing like overdoing a shadow or not having the pencil point sharp enough when working around the eyes and you're starting all over again. So, I work on the face then jump to the cap or jacket until I build confidence to work more on the face

Jack Final by Gary Rudisill

Here is the final with the painted white highlights.  Ready to be cut.

Currency Art.

For many years you would see writing and little doodles on those dollar bills.  Mustache drawn on George or Abe.  

Well, my goal is to take currency art to a new level.  

I can't count the number of times someone has tried to educate me on the crime of defacing currency.  Is it a crime? That's a chance I will just have to take.

Anyways, let's get into some of my latest works.


Harley Quinn Currency Art by Gary Rudisill

Harley Quinn Currency Art by Gary Rudisill

Harley was a close all time favorite for me.  I am a really big Harley Quinn fan.  This sold in less than 60 secs on a BUY NOW on Ebay.  I posted it and was getting ready to post it on Facebook and before I could even get to my Facebook page, it sold.  Which was cool.

Nancy Callahan Currency Art by Gary Rudisill

Nancy Callahan Currency Art by Gary Rudisill

Now, Nancy, she is my all time favorite.  I'm a huge Jessica Alba fan and a Sin City Fan.  This was my second Nancy Callahan.  The first one was drawn in charcoal on a $2 bill.  It came out nice, but I like the colored pencil better, so I went back to that.

Negan from the Walking Dead by Gary Rudisill

Negan from the Walking Dead by Gary Rudisill

Negan was a fun one to do.  I'm a fan of Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  When I heard he was going to take on this roll, I was curious how that would go.  So far, not bad at all.

Negan Currency Art Certificate of Authenticity

Negan Currency Art Certificate of Authenticity

After a slight mix up or should I say a typo on Ebay and some crazy customer giving me a hard time on a technicality, I decided that Certificates of Authenticity with the currency's serial number and title along with my actual signature, will now be included (as it should) with each and every bill sold.

Negan in BCW Currency Slab Acrylic Case

Negan in BCW Currency Slab Acrylic Case

Here is Negan again, this time it's to show the BCW CURRENCY SLAB acrylic case that comes with him.

The Certificate of Authenticity for Negan is in the case on the back side.

The Certificate of Authenticity for Negan is in the case on the back side.

This picture shows the backside of the case which shows the Certificate of Authenticity.  I like these cases, it give the customer a little extra for the money they pay plus it allows them to be able to handle it and show it off knowing that it is protected.

I also have some new cases for my sketch cards along with some new certificates that go with them.  They are awesome and I'd like to show them to you, but you're going to have to wait.

Until next time, but in the meantime you can follow me on Facebook (Hell you can friend me on my regular account if you would like, but still LIKE my Fan Page CLICK HERE also you can follow me on Instagram @garydraws and finally please subscribe to me on YOUTUBE a lot of good things will be on there soon CLICK HERE

Sale on PSP Tubes

This week (Dec 30 until Jan 8) I will be having my first ever sale in my new store.  All PSP Tubes will be a $1.  Even the Multi-Layered ones.

Please feel free to Share the sale on your Facebook page or group.

Digi-Stamps! What the hell are Digi-Stamps?

I sell some of my work as downloadable digi-stamps.  

What the hell are they?  Digi-Stamps or Digital Stamps are images you buy and are able to download, print out and color.  They are for personal use under the guidelines of an Angel Policy. (they are like Terms of Use) Some (like mine) also allow the use allowing the sale of certain hand made items, such as cards, scrapbooks and crafts.  Or you can just color them.  They are used by craft makers and scrapbookers.  Enjoyed by many as just Color Me Pages.

Do you need some high end fancy printer to print these digi-stamps? No, but the better the printer the better the quality.  I heard some ink jets bleed when colored with alcohol markers.  I read in order to set the ink, some use a heat gun.  I also read that people using laser printers weren't experiencing this problem.

How do you color a digi-stamp?  Some people use copic markers (or similar alcohol markers), some use colored pencils and some use watercolors.

Do you need special paper?  No, it depends what you are using to color them with.  You can check at your local art supply or craft supply store.  Also, before buying paps check first to see if it's compatible with your printer.


I've seen some really cool things done with digi-stamps.  The best thing about them, is they allow for creativity.  I seen some people make some really cool crafts with them too.  Like cards and even candles.

A lot of mine are a little more grown up, in the sense they are pin ups.  I plan on creating more and more art that is specifically design with digi-stamping in mind.  

So please check out my site at and CLICK the Digi-Stamp Menu on the far right or just

and Sharing is appreciated :)

PSP Tubes added to the Store

A few years back, I was approached to sell my work as PSP Tubes.  I had no idea what they were.  The easiest way to describe it is, it's like digital scrapbooking.  The artist image is sold as a digital download to be used for personal use, not commercial.  I think at the time it was a 50/50 split or 40/60 split.  Last I checked, some stores were giving artists as high as 90 percent.

I got out of it a few years back, but now that I have a site with a store, I decided to start selling them again.




I will be uploading the PSP Tubes a few at a time.  Actually, if you are a collector of my PSP Tubes, you might notice that not all will be making a come back.  I will only be uploading a choice amount of my older ones.  So, if you were lucky enough to get those, hang on to them.  But don't worry, there will be NEW ones in the near future.

Most PSP Tubes are sexy but safe.  Kind of like PG 13.  A few will be Mature. They are clearly marked so that you will know before you buy them.

I will be using my GR0000 number from when I attempted to be independent once before by launching my first store CherryGurlz.  In order to purchase any of my PSP Tubes you will have to punch in your GR0000 number.  If you don't have one just email me at with subject "Request for GR License" and I will send you one.  

In fact, you don't need to purchase in order to get a number.  It will come in handy if there is any give aways.

Please feel free to them out by clicking on PSP Tubes.  Remember, they are for Personal Use only and NOT TO BE USED FOR COMMERCIAL USES.

Princess Leia Step by Step by Gary Rudisill

Princess Leia Step by Step

Line drawing.  Darkening some of the shadows.  This drawing is on bristol board.

 I went a head and did the midtones in the background.  Doing this helps me get a nicer contrast with the shading.

I went right in to the hair.  Normally, I wait until the end to do the hair, but this time I just dove right in.  I also darkened the eyes a little.

Some more of the hair and midtones on her face.

Some more of the hair and midtones on her face.

Working on the hands and completing the hair on the other side.  It’s time to start on her face.

Working on the hands and completing the hair on the other side.  It’s time to start on her face.

Adding some shadows and midtones starts bringing her to life.  She is starting to look like Leia.

Adding some shadows and midtones starts bringing her to life.  She is starting to look like Leia.

Working on darkening the midtones before darkening the shadows.

Working on darkening the midtones before darkening the shadows.

Starting to go dark on the shadows. I like my darks almost black.  I love contrast.

Starting to go dark on the shadows. I like my darks almost black.  I love contrast.

Here’s te final.  I threw in a stylized background.  I like the viewer to see it’s a drawing and this rough style depicts that.

Here’s te final.  I threw in a stylized background.  I like the viewer to see it’s a drawing and this rough style depicts that.

New Studio Development

I am currently between studio spaces.  I was above the Adams County Arts Council. Then I decided to renovate the garage for my embroidery shop.  The garage also has a second floor loft in which I decided to renovate that into my new studio.  With a few yard sale and craigslist listings and a number of trips to the garbage, I clean out the loft.

I decided instead of putting up dry wall and boxing everything in, I would try to incorporate shelves between the studs to have in the wall shelves to try and utilize space.  I started by stapling up rafter vents against the roof and then insulate.  Then I will put up the dry wall, which will still box it in, but with the insulation against the roof on that side will provide a warm storage.


Now, I had to deal with the electric.  There were 3 outlets on the ceiling rafters which there were shop lights plugged into.  I took the shop lights and put them in the shop for additional lighting.  I have 5 ceiling lights from the old shop I will use for the studio.  But there wasn't any wall outlets.  So, I had to install some.  There is an old wall fan, the motor was burned out of it for years, I cut the electric cable going to that to use for the wall outlets since it was already there and had plenty of wiring.


Next I will put the insulation up on the walls with the outlets.  So stay tuned :)

New Additions to the Webstore

Slowly, but surely I'm adding more and more to the online store.  My biggest problem lies in organizing not to mention the learning curve of building the store.

My recent addition is the sketch card commission.  I currently have available AP Cards (Artist Proofs)  I have quite a few sets still available and hopefully another as soon as I unpack and find them.