Update (12/17/2013): Joined the art challenge again, for the month of November. Still didn't win, but it's okay with me. Always fun to take part in it, especially if it's for a portrait challenge photo! Hope the next portrait challenge photo will be soon, can't wait to join again... Anyway, clickie-clickie (here) to see my recent November art challenge entry... =^.^=
Joined the Colored Pencil Magazine's Monthly Art Challenge contest for March... First time ever to join an art contest since art school! The fun part was you have complete creative freedom with your entry as long as there is still some semblance of the reference photo provided. The reference photo for the March challenge is by Sally Ford. Materials I used are Canson 9" x 12" watercolor paper, a mix of Derwent and Faber Castell watercolor pencils and an 8B graphite pencil. And yeah, I deliberately left out the eyes, as usual... ;-)
I decided not to make my sketch look like the reference photo. Initial rendering with a light grey color... got this tip from one of the CPM's fb posts. Grisaille technique I think it's called... Maybe the grey wasn't dark enough. Anyway, gave it a wash with a wet finger. Could have used a brush, but using your hand/finger is just more fun and produces a different effect - soft and textured.
Here I added some light brown for the skin, a base of blue for the hair and layered on a darker brown... building on my color layers... Each color layer gets its own wash.
After the washes, I gave the color and shading a bit more definition with the more colored pencils but without any more washes. A final touch was with an 8B graphite pencil for the darkest darks, smudge it a bit to give the colors a slight "aged" tone...