When I use colored pencils for a portrait, I usually start with the eyes and basic framework of the face and head. This photo shows the first layer of color I put down. A finished portrait will usually have anywhere between a dozen and maybe 20 layers of color. I usually use Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils or Caran D'Ache Luminance pencils and I often blend with an odorless paint thinner to give it a smoother look.
I love this stage of a colored pencil portrait. I have one friend who always tells me that he loves this stage of a portrait, too. Haunting and beautiful. Alive but delicate. Tenuous.
If you want to know more about my portraits, or would like to commission a portrait, visit me online at http://beckyreyes.com/portraits/