Colored Pencil and Goauche Pendant Rendering with Citrine, Diamonds and Sapphire by Joana Miranda
Colored Pencil and Gouache Pendant Rendering on Vellum Paper by Joana Miranda

Today’s colored pencil and gouache pendant rendering is also an “oldie but goodie”.  I did this one shortly after coming home from attending the GIA Quick Design Lab in NY in March 2006.  Vellum paper is very useful for doing quick renderings.  Vellum’s semi-transparent nature not only allows you to do handy overlays (to show different design options without having to create a whole new rendering), but also makes for great scans since the light from the scanner illuminates metal, diamonds and gemstones from beneath and adds life to them.  In addition, with vellum, if you go with a light hand and are careful, you can lift off any gouache mistakes you might have made with an exacto knife.


  1. Pamela Frame says:

    I love your quick art lessons and
    it makes it even more fascinating to see how these little beauties begin.

  2. Christina Yu says:

    hi Joana,
    thank you for continuing to post your renderings. I was motivated to start “A Design A Day” project myself, but I’m missing dates here and there… 😛 Makes me admire your stamina even more!
    Can I ask how the facted stones are rendered here? Did you use gouache for the reflection, or white colour pencil? What about the pattern of facets?
    I’m more familiar with watercolour rendering than using colour pencils, therefore I’m quite curious… Thank you!! 🙂

    • Hi Christina,

      Thanks for your nice comment and for following my blog! For this colored pencil rendering on vellum I added the white highlights on top of the blue colored pencil with both white colored pencil and white gouache paint. To add white pencil on top of colored pencil, you first need to carefully lift off some of the underlying colored pencil (in this case, blue) with an “exact o” knife. If you do this with very little pressure and a sideways motion, you’ll scratch off only a layer of colored pencil and not gouge the vellum paper. Once you’ve done this, you can easily add white colored pencil to the area where you’ve lifted off pigment. The effect will be most intense where the non-white colored pencil has been completely lifted off; more blurry where the white colored pencil overlays a bit of the background pencil. The white gouache paint is then added over the white colored pencil to give more intense highlights. (Go easy with how much white gouache you add…too much, and it ends up looking like a blob of white out!)

      You can add lowlights with a combination of darker non-white colored pencil (I used dark blue) and black. For the lowlights, you don’t need to scratch away the colored pencil. A little blurriness actually helps to make the effect more realistic.

      You can also go as detailed as you want with the facets. In this rendering, I suggested them more than getting really precise. If you take a look at my Design Archive, the 2nd earring (blue sapphire with seed pearl drop) has more detailed facets. (This is actually a watercolor rendering.)

      Colored pencil/vellum is a really great choice for quick designs. I use Sanford Prismacolor colored pencils and like their blend-able, slightly waxy quality.

      Hope this helps!
      All best wishes,

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