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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Verhoven

Instructive Step by Step Mixed Media Portrait Drawing of Nyx

I'm so excited to have you here for my first tutorial! 🎉

Let's dive in...

Remember to layer different materials carefully and intentionally!

I decided to start this piece by filling in the darkest areas of the background with an ink wash. After I let that completely dry, I added a layer of graphite dust to the main area of the figure and spread it evenly with a paper towel. This allowed for a great base tone to start pulling highlights out of and adding darker values to. Next, using a kneaded eraser I started to establish the lighter areas of the figure. I often use a clean dry brush throughout the drawing to get rid of any eraser debris as well as to soften edges.


Q-tips are my secret weapon 🤫

After the lighter values have been established I used various pencil leads (HB-12B) to start shading in some darker areas. I also used a black pan pastel to start blending some of the harsher edges of the background into a nice velvety black. Next, it was time to break out the white pan pastel to start adding in the nebulous clouds/star clusters around her head. In the last frame you can see me using a Q-tip to blend and add soft diffused splotches of the white Pan Pastel.


Now for the fun part...

After filling in some details of her dress, I used a Pan Pastel tool with black to start blocking in some of the wisps that would blend the figure with the background. Now for the fun part... using a paper towel to cover the main area of the figure, I then watered down some white gouache on a somewhat stiff brush and started flicking drops onto the piece to get randomized and varied area of stars in the background.


Keep pushing those details! 🖌

I pushed the darks in the figure even further by adding some of the same ink I used in the background. This helped to further incorporate the figure with the background so it looks more as if she's emerging from the darkness rather than just sitting on top of it. After blending that area with a black Cretacolor pencil I started adding some brighter stars with pastel pencil and Gouache. Finally I finished up detailing those wisps at the bottom with the black Pan Pastel.

The finished result...

Drawing of Nyx Goddess of Night
Nyx Goddess of Night

Materials Used-

  • Legion Stonehenge Paper in Fawn

  • White & black Pan Pastel

  • Graphite (HB-12B)

  • Higgins Black Magic Ink

  • Pastel pencils

  • Graphite powder

  • Cretacolor Nero Deep Black Pencils

  • White Gouache

Is there anything in particular you'd like to see about my artwork or process? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for some blog posts about painting soon!

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