An excellent article for Hints and Tips, many thanks Bonny Snowdon, you are an inspiration!
Tips for success
I created my first drawing in May 2016 - it seemed a natural progression from colouring books, a hobby I'd really become engrossed in since Christmas 2015.
Moving from colouring books to creating my own coloured pencil pieces was a real learning curve. I wanted the smooth paper that I'd been used to, but soon discovered that I much preferred a paper that took many layers. I experimented with a few papers and found I really loved Stonehenge, so many of my pieces were created on the white and toned papers until I found Clairefontaine Pastelmat which very quickly become my go to paper.
My goal was to create realistic animal drawings which meant I had to learn how to draw fur. I used YouTube a lot to try and find the techniques I needed. There are loads of videos, some more useful than others and I very quickly found my own style that I've been honing ever since.
I do think practice is the key, but having a passion and a want to succeed and improve are also key factors. The more you draw the better you'll get as long as you are continually reflecting on your work.
Without being detrimental to development, reflecting on and critiquing your own work, I feel, is incredibly important but not to the point where you're giving yourself a hard time. If you want to improve you've got to know where your strengths are and what you need to work on. Asking for critique from other artists is a great way to improve, but it's important to understand the value of critique and using it to your advantage rather than becoming upset and feeling your work isn't good enough. I've found this to be one of the major factors in my improvement - being open minded and self critical means I can work on the areas i find challenging.
Each piece I draw I learn something new, whether it's a quicker way to draw short fur or that's it's important to really know the subjects anatomy - photos aren't always accurate!
Advice I'd give to those new to coloured pencils: be patient, it can be a long process, use feather light pressure and don't be scared to use colour - I draw a lot of horses and dogs - bright oranges in brown fur and blues, purples and pinks in black fur might sound odd but it really helps bring the pieces to life. Find your paper - just because another artist raves about the paper they use, it doesn't mean you'll love it. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince 😉