Since I got asked quite a few question in the last time I though I would should share the most common asked questions and answers!!
Q: Can you recommend me some books, maybe instructional videos, or any other resource on colored pencils?
A: In general my answer to that would be that the best thing to do (especially if self taught) is to draw, draw and draw even more.
Actually that is what my teachers make us do. The first year it is all about live drawing classes and trying to really understand what shape and texture you are seeing before you put it on paper. This takes most often more training than it needs talent. I can just repeat what a lot of illustrators, painters and other creatives who inspired me said. You have to keep drawing, even if you have a bad drawing day.
This is a speech of Neil Gaiman about being creative.
About books.... there are MANY books worth recommending, but I would start out with these:
The first would be 'Die Gestalt des Menschen' by Gottfried Bammes. Actually MOST of the books by Bammes are GREAT, why I also recommend 'Der nackte Mensch' ....which I think is one of the few fully translated books 'The naked human'. There is also a book about drawing animals by him.
Right after that there would be two books by James Gurney. These would be 'Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter' and 'Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist'. Although the second one doesn't seem to fit in drawing realistic it still offers a lot of good insights, tipps and tricks.
And if it is just about colour pencils I have one book by Ann Swan which is called 'Botanical Portraits with coloured pencils'. If you need a guideline how to start with coloured pencils I think this book offers some good advise. Although I personally do also some stuff which I just came across while drawing.
Q: What materials do you use?
I personally use Polychromos by Faber Castell. I really like the feeling when I draw with them and for me it is the perfect mix of oiliness and pigments.
There are some other colour pencils as these ones (e.g. Prismacolor, Caran D'ache and some others) but I would just try what works best for you and what you can get your hands on (and what is not too pricey).
Q: What paper, do you use?
For the paper: I have the chance to use the paper we use in the academy which is Schoellershammer Duria 300gr (but I think they stopped producing that and now it is the 250 gr).
In the next entry I will present some inspirational blogs, website or artists :)