Luminance 6901 are my No.1 favourite when it comes to coloured pencils, so imagine my excitement when I tried the new Portrait Selection for the first time. I wasn’t disappointed. This selection contains 20 new assorted colours that will make portrait and figure drawing easier, as well as four additional colours that have been missing from the main range and will appeal to artists who paint a wide variety of subjects.

Luminance 6901 are world leaders when it comes to coloured pencils as most of the colours have the highest lightfastness rating. The finely-ground pigments are chosen for their purity, intensity and resistance to UV. The waxy softness of the leads means that they glide onto the paper with a smooth silky feel, giving an intensity of colour that is unsurpassed.

Any artist who wants to try a new drawing medium would make a very wise choice with these; any artist who is already into coloured pencil work would relish their superior quality. Although I do own all the colours in the Caran d’Ache Luminance range I was anxious to stick to the 20 colours in this set, as it contains a selection of new and welcome colours, such as ultramarine, which is a fantastic addition to both portraits and other subjects that I do, such as landscape. The subjects that I decided to try with this selection are two patient neighbours.

The first is my laughing companion, Sue (see demonstration below), who is a regular model for both me and my students. She and her phone are constant companions so I decided to include the phone in the picture as I always like to personalise portraits in this way. The second is Andrew, see below, a gardening friend who has come to my horticultural rescue many times.

Portraits, particularly of friends and family, are a minefield. I see Sue most days and know her face well but portraits require a different way of looking and analysing. There are aspects of her face that I was anxious to retain, such as her ‘smileyness’, without showing teeth, which can look like tombstones.

Andrew, Caran d’Ache Luminance 6901 Portrait Assortment of coloured pencils on Bristol Board paper, (48x.5­38cm). I enjoyed giving Andrew a suitable green background with chromium oxyde green – this colour is a very useful addition to the range, both for portraits and landscapes.


DEMONSTRATION: Sue