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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback With flaps
  • Publication: 16 September 2022
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782218630
  • Carton Qty: 22
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 350
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: $25.95
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Drawing Animal Portraits in Coloured Pencil


by Lisa Ann Watkins

Edelweiss Buy Now
Book Description

A masterclass in producing lifelike animals with coloured pencils.

Draw realistic animal portraits in coloured pencils with award-winning teacher and animal artist, Lisa Ann Watkins.

Animals are an eternally popular subject for artists but how do you capture the character of a much-loved pet or bring a favourite animal to life on the page? Lisa Ann Watkins has made a career of teaching her coloured pencil techniques, and in this magnificent book she will show you how.

A section on materials covers coloured pencils and watercolour pencils, along with supporting tools including PanPastels. This is followed by a chapter about composition and preparation: how to capture the best reference photographs from which to work, along with notes on digital tools that can be used to help with colour choice and tonal values.

Lisa's clear, simple techniques are presented through ten studies that demonstrate how to breathe life into your portraits by focusing on the subject's fur texture, bright eyes, and glossy noses.

They answer, in simple terms, common technical questions from students/followers that cover unique aspects of the medium such as the amount of pressure to use and make beautiful artworks in their own right. A series of five step-by-step full animal portrait projects then follows, ranging from cats and dogs to cows and horses.

Project outlines and reference photos are available to download for free from

Table of Contents

Introduction 6, Materials 10, Getting started 20, Markmaking 26, Composing your portrait 38

Golden eye: dog 54, Green eye: cat 58, Brown eye: dog 62, Pink nose: cat 66, Black nose: dog 70, Pink nose: dog 74, Clumpy fur 80, Long white fur 84, Short shiny chestnut fur 88, Black curly fur 92

Aura Step-by-step Norwegian Forest Cat 98, Milo Step-by-step Mexican hairless dog 106, SadieStep-by-step Shetland Sheepdog 116, Blue Step-by-step Gypsy Cob horse 126, Brandy Step-by-step Red Angus cow 136

Index 144

About the Author

About Lisa Ann Watkins

Lisa Ann Watkins is well-known in the world of coloured pencils as a multi award-winning artist and tutor. She held her first solo exhibition in 2014 and has been published in numerous magazines. Lisa enjoys a large and very loyal following on social media, you can follow her on Instagram and Facebook @animalartbylaw. Lisa launched her first digital tutorial in 2016 and now has a teaching channel on Patreon that contains in-depth videos and written tutorials for her online students every month. She tours the UK and US to teach workshops.

Visit her website


Leisure Painter

Lisa Ann Watkins is an award-winning artist and tutor who specialises in coloured pencil drawing, enjoying a large and loyal following on social media as well as face to face through her many teaching workshops throughout the UK and America. In this beautifully produced book, Lisa tackles the popular subject of animal portraiture. With clear, simple techniques presented through ten studies, she demonstrates how to bring your portraits to life by focusing on texture, bright eyes and glossy noses.

Building on her experience as a tutor, she confronts many of the problems students face when using coloured pencils and provides easy solutions. Five detailed step-by-step full animal portrait projects are included, with subjects ranging from dogs and cats to cows and horses.

Themes, subjects and media go in cycles, and coloured pencil is having its moment in the sun again. This is no bad thing, because its a medium that requires little in the way of equipment and is highly portable, meaning you can work almost anywhere. On top of that, as printing tolerances improve, its possible to reproduce on the page the fine detail pencils allow; this is a book that sparkles in that respect.

Lets assume, therefore, that youre on board with the medium and subject matter presented here. Youve also skimmed through the technical introduction because theres never not something interesting, and perhaps new to you, to be found. Given the level of work here, youre not a beginner, so the basic techniques are, even if not second nature, at least familiar. What you want now is to feel comfortable with your tutor and to get just the right amount of instruction to be able to follow the demonstrations and projects presented. As weve already cut to the chase once, we can do so again you wont be disappointed and should feel right at home.

This is not the first book on animal drawing, so we should look for individualities. In that respect, the word Portrait in the title is significant. These are head and shoulder images that capture the character of the subject. I really, really want to say sitter, but youre going to need a photograph for that. And, yes, Lisa does indeed work from photographs. The technical introduction includes some rather useful tips on getting the photo right in the first place and also on using software to combine images for dual portraits. She also suggests reducing a colour image to line to help with the initial outline drawing. I havent seen that in a book where its not the main subject before and its an extremely useful addition, especially when working from photographs is essential to the subject matter.

The drawings themselves include a good variety of creatures (although not the donkeys on the cover). Its worth saying that, although horses and cattle are here, dogs and cats predominate. Lisa goes into considerable detail about fur and hair (no feathers here) as well as features such as eyes, noses and ears. There are enlarged illustrations at all the points you need them. Lisa is a thoughtful teacher who has an excellent sense of exactly those points where a student is going to need help or a nudge.

In terms of style, as befits a portrait, backgrounds are largely neutral, but without the pitfall of looking like a blank card. The use of colour can surprise you careful combinations of greens and reds are frequently used to create realistic shades and shading. Highlights, in the eyes especially, add character as well as that sparkle I referred to earlier.

Production-wise, the book has soft covers that open easily and deep flaps that make it feel nice in the hand. Obviously, its the content that matters, but ergonomics have a strong part to play in the way we react to a book and this one ticks all the right boxes. A lot of thought has clearly gone into it.

Customer Review

This is one of the best coloured pencil tutorial books out there. The colours are stunning and every project well thought out and beautifully presented. My favourite art book by a mile!

The Artist

This thorough guide takes full advantage of the fine details that can be created with coloured pencils to produce lifelike and characterful animal portraits. What is particularly interesting is Lisa Ann's subtle use of non-natural colours to emphasize highlight, shading and contrast and, in some cases, to subdue the more obvious hues in order to capture specific characteristics.

After an in-depth study of the materials and working methods this style demands, the book proceeds by way of a series of studies and demonstrations that explain further aspects and considerations. Considerable attention is paid to features such as fur, eyes and noses. The subjects are all domestic, with a variety of dogs and cats, but also a horse and cow. This is, however, a book and an excellent one at that about animal portraits, so this is perfectly fitting.

Customer Review

This is by far the best colour pencil book I have and I own quite a few. There is so much information in it, plus the lovely presentation and the print quality.

I now fully understand how hard Lisa has worked on this beautiful book. The wealth of information is drawn from her experience both as an award winning pet and wildlife artist and as an art tutor. Includes a comprehensive materials guide, different techniques, studies and some step-by-step portraits showing exactly how they were achieved. This book definitely has everything a beginner needs to know to start their colour pencil journey and so much more for those of us with some experience under our belts. Something for everyone here.

Customer Review

Learning about the artist in the introduction was really interesting. Lots of detailed information throughout the book. Very helpful.

Customer Review

This book covers it ALL and realistically not in just a basic form. I have purchased a lot of books for new ideas or tips for techniques I'm not strong in to become a better artist. I pre-ordered this book sceptically because I like to read the reviews FIRST before I buy! HOWEVER... even if you're an advanced or professional artist, Lisa Ann Watkins doesn't hide or hold back in this book. "This is a must have" book and the best I own for tips, suggestions, ideas, you name it, it's in this book! I am so glad I took the chance and purchased this book.

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