Michael Van Der Roost – Watercolour Portraits

London Art College student Michael Van Der Roost has created a superb portrait using watercolour. In the painting below Michael has kept the tones light in the background so the subject can be in full focus. He has also allowed the sunlight of the day to stream into the painting which makes for a very bright and airy piece. Michael is working on our Online Art Course in Portraiture Painting with tutor Alan Dedman and is using a variety of mediums within the course to practice his portrait painting skills.

There are lots of resources online to give tips and advice on both watercolour painting and generally how to painting portraits in watercolour. Many of our students will be aware of the Artists and Illustrators magazine and the link below shows a step by step guide to painting a portrait in watercolour. Our students and readers may find it interesting and useful. The artists explains and illustrates each step of the portrait showing how he uses the layering technique in watercolour to achieve his desired results. It also gives a list of all of the watercolours and materials he uses too.


Don’t forget, also head over to our Pinterest page – Tutorials – Painting Portraits in Watercolour. Come and follow us as our page is full of inspiration and help for our students!



Carolyn Lopez – Pet Portraits Course

We would officially like to congratulate Carolyn Lopez on completing her Pet Portrait Diploma course passing with a Distinction. Tutor Melanie Phillips said….

“Carolyn has worked extremely hard throughout the course and improved on her skills tremendously with each piece she created and submitted. I am thrilled with the way she has handled each medium on the course and her final piece shows a lot of technical skill and ability. Little would you realise that the pastel portrait below was a combination of two photos, background and dogs. Carolyn has pulled all of the elements together beautifully and she should be thrilled with her results.”

We wish Carolyn all the best with her future artwork and commissions!

Day Five – Helen Parkes

Today is the final day of our coloured pencil week. Student Helen Parks has created a wonderful drawing of a street scene and we have also added the photo Helen used below. Helen has taken lots of time over this drawing and created lots of intricacies within the windows, ironwork, bricks and tiles. There is lots going on, time has been well spent and it has certainly paid off. Helen has created a solid, three dimensional and realistic drawing, using very natural colours. We are sure she must be as thrilled with her results as we are.

We hope that you have all been enjoying our coloured pencil week and if anyone has any requests for similar weeks, either for subject or medium, please drop us a line at techsupport@londonartcollege.co.uk . Don’t forget if you would like your artwork featured, send it along with some text too! We look forward to hearing from you!

Day four – Anna Pavlova

Its day four of the coloured pencil artwork week today and its the turn of student Anna Pavlova. Her collection of ‘things’, which included a light bulb, strong, scissors, and a lock were all things Anna found in her home, arranged on a rustic piece of wood. This has made for a superb drawing with lots of interest. We love the way Anna has used purple tones for the shadows. This helps keep thinks nice a light without going to dull and heavy for the shadows. Congratulations Anna on a wonderful drawing.

Day Three – Robert Kidner

Today’s artwork – Day Three – is by Robert Kidner who is currently taking the Coloured Pencil Course with tutor guidance from Monika Cilmi. Robert has been enjoying the blog posts from us here at the London Art College over the last few months, especially the posts about coloured pencils. So we all thought it would be a great idea to have this dedicated coloured pencil week.
Robert has said of his drawings….
My tutor, Monika Cilmi, was very complimentary about this drawing and suggested that I might like to have both versions, graphite and coloured pencil, in the student gallery. It was one of my Set 2 exercises and the tree is a lone oak on the roadside not far from where I live. The bird is meant to be a Red Kite which was re-introduced in South Oxfordshire about 25 years ago, and is now so prolific that one can see five or six of these beautiful birds, soaring and wheeling over the village, almost every day.
We hope that our fellow coloured pencil students are enjoying this weeks coloured pencil drawing posts. We wish Robert all the best for his next set of drawings and look forward to showing them on the blog in the coming months.

Day Two – Amelia Whiffin

Day 2 of the coloured pencil artwork week. We have possibly shown this portrait by student Amelia Whiffin before, however it is such an amazing coloured pencil drawing – we just had to make sure our students and readers have all seen it!  We have added the reference photo Amelia used as we understand how this will interest our budding artists. It will give an insight for some into the way Amelia translated various areas in pencil. Amelia has somehow achieved a softness in the skin tones on the mans face and improved on the harshness of the photo. She has built up her layers gradually to allow the white of the paper to shine through. The light on the mans face is simply beautiful and I know that our readers will be in as much in awe as I am with this piece.



Day One – Alan McMahon

We had a fantastic response from last weeks Children’s Illustration Artwork week. We are thrilled to hear lots of our readers were inspired. This weeks dedicated artwork week has been planned for quite a while. It was an idea sparked by one of our Coloured Pencil students Robert Kidner. Look out for his coloured pencil artwork later this week.

We thought we would start our Day One artwork though by showing completed student Alan McMahon still life drawings. Alan has created two drawings and also took a photo of his still life set up so that his tutor could see what he was working from. This is very helpful for the tutor as they not only see the general overall colour scheme and composition, but they can also see the light and shade which is very important. Adding light and shade into your work is key – it allows your objects to look and feel three dimensional.

Alan has used the light from a window to his advantage here as you can see in his photo and drawings below. Alan started with the black and white pencil study which helped the understanding of the tones in the scene. Then Alan created his final piece in colour, drawing it out using graphite pencil and then using coloured pencil to render it.

We hope you have enjoyed viewing Alan’s artwork. We have another coloured pencil drawing to follow tomorrow!

Day Five – Charlotte Kaill

We are ending our week of Illustrating Children’s Book students artwork on a scary piece! day five today and its the turn of student Charlotte Kraill, who has illustrated the poem ‘ When All is Dark’. We are loving it’s spooky feel. It is fabulously designed, beautifully rendered and would definitely spark any young child’s imagination.

We hope our readers have enjoyed this week of illustrations. Next week we have a week dedicated to coloured pencil and have lots of wonderful pieces of artwork to share and inspire.