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Pencil Drawing by Jade Celgow from Splattered Art

Art by Jade Celgow

Materials Utilised:

  • Staedtler coloured pencils
  • Prismacolor coloured pencils
  • White Gel Pen
  • White coloured pencil
  • Eraser
  • Clutch pencil
  • Fabriano paper


Step-By-Step Process Outline:

  • I began with sketching a rough outline of the balloon animal in order to map out the desired shape. I ensured not to press too hard while using my HB clutch pencil, as the lines need to be faint and light, as they will be later erased throughout the process. Erasing of the lines minimises the drawing from having a harsh, outlined effect, which needs to be avoided to achieve a greater sense of realism in the piece.


  • I then proceeded to work in sections of the sketch, and as I isolated a space to work on, I would take my eraser and lighten the sketched lines in that specific area to once again maximise the realistic effect and take away the grey pencil lines.


  • I started off on the hind leg, using the lightest blue I have, and further progressed in hardness and darker shades as I went along. This ensures the correct build-up of tone and correct colour mapping in the piece.


  • It is important to note that the piece does not consist of one shade of light blue and one shade of dark blue, but rather the variety of shades of blue that achieve the ultimate sense of realism when placed together and blended seamlessly.


  • Mapping of shadows and highlights is essential, in which after I placed down my light blue foundation, I ensured to map out and plan where I wanted my shadows and highlights to be placed.


  • The shadows are more important than the highlights in the beginning phases of the drawing, as highlights can be added after the colours are placed down using a white gel pen, while shadows need to be built up through a variety of tones and layering.


  • For each section I did, I used the Staedtler coloured pencils first followed by the Prismacolour coloured pencils, as I feel the Staedtler colours give a sophisticated, substantial base and foundation layer, while the Prismacolours, being oil-based and thicker in pigment than the Staedtler colours, gives more depth and colour intensity to the already placed down colours. Therefore, I use the Prismacolours after the Staedtler colours.


  • After the hind leg, I moved onto the tail, followed by the second hind leg, and then the abdomen section of the animal using the same technique. I then moved onto the front legs, the neck, the ears and finally the head section of the animal. All of which use the same technique.


  • A white coloured pencil may be used to lightly rub on top of colours in order to achieve seamless blending and mixing of colours; however, I usually leave this step to complete at the end unless there is an area that is specifically not blending well. The white pencil brings the piece together and effectively mixes the array of colours in areas of the piece to avoid sharp contrasts and rather achieve realistic blending.


  • I finally took my white gel pen, and in true realism style, added the white highlights on areas of the balloon animal to capture light reflection and achieve sophisticated realism. This brings the piece together and captures the true essence of what realism is all about, by assessing where light would hit in real life and placing it effectively onto the artwork.



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