Colored Pencil: Painting Portraits by Alyona Nickelsen is an in-depth look at how to draw close-up pictures of people with colored pencils. With plenty of photographic examples from her own work as well as classical paintings and contemporary artists, Nickelsen gives step-by-step technical direction for drawing faces. She begins by addressing materials, work surfaces, and tools to use. From there she addressing methods and techniques to use with pencils, how to control color and pigmentation, and advice for drawing specific facial features.

I would recommend this book for people who have had a bit of artistic experience and want to explore creating portraits with colored pencils. Nickelsen does not address beginners in how to start. Her writing assumes a basic knowledge of artistic jargon as well as some experience. The book is filled with pencil-drawn portraits that look almost like photographs, which would be daunting for a beginner to try, but are fascinating to look at none-the-less.

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