A time lapse painting of a quail and mountain in colored pencil

Working with colored pencils is a new medium for me and I needed to start somewhere so why not tackle a 14 by 17” drawing of a volcano and the most common bird in the area. Sure, no problem.

Watch the time lapse or skip down for more.

Problem, No Problem, Wait…

mt-shasta-skySo right away there were a few problems. I didn’t have to worry about all that white paper because I had transferred my drawing to it and bad a basic outline to stare at. The problem was where to start on this daunting outline. The background always seems like a good place to start with other artists because it is the last thing you want to do after the fun bits are over. So the sky won.

Why Shasta?

A little background on why I chose this particular mountain scene. This was the view out my front door for over four years. This mountain has so much character and the view changes by the minute some days. It is an awe inspiring (hopefully dormant) volcano that dominates the surrounding hillside. With fresh snow, it is even more beautiful, if that is even possible. I wish I had set up a webcam and taken pictures every few minutesmt-shasta-quail, the time lapse of that would have been amazing, but alas I will have to settle for the numerous pictures I took over the four years I was there.

And the quail? Because they are so plentiful. We used to sit on the front porch at night watching the alpenglow take over the mountain while small family groups (flocks?) of quail would run across the road. We would call it the running of the quail. I never realized that female quail also had the little bobbly bit on their heads too. It was fascinating to watch the male following after the female who seemed oblivious to them.

Sky Giving you the Blues?

The sky, seemingly so simple, was more complex than I expected. I started too dark, didn’t have enough layers, fought the tooth (or lack thereof) on the Bristol Vellum and ended up burnishing to get the effect I wanted.


I moved onto the mountain. I learned more patience, I watched more videos on blending and I added more layers. I still fought the tooth of the paper but I was making progress. It all boils down to adding more layers, blending and repeating. And don’t forget to dollop on the patience, it is required for colored pencil.

Supplies Used

I am working on Strathmore Bristol Vellum, 14×17″ and not my favorite (another post about that later).

I used my Faber-Castell polychromos and a white Luminance pencil. Gamsol solvent was used for blending out the layers.

What is next?

If you have been following me on FacebookInstagram or YouTube, you’ll know it was a much smaller apple in the style I love, botanical art. Let me know in the comments what medium and style you like to work in.


2 thoughts on “Mt. Shasta and Quail – Colored Pencil Time Lapse

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