Leprechaun Drawing with Colored Pencil Techniques

 
Take your leprechaun drawing lesson beyond just a cute leprechaun and turn it into a lesson about creating skin color, shading, and creating form. 
 

 

Adding Color to a Leprechaun Drawing

 

Add a Base Color to the Skin

Step by step demo on how to draw a leprechaun.
Use your choice of drawing page to draw a leprechaun. I’m using Expressive Monkey’s Leprechaun Choice Drawing page with gives me lots of design choices for making leprechauns. Next, I went over the lines of the leprechaun with a Sharpie marker.

 

To make a skin color, first color the base skin with the skin color of your choice. (More about dark tones below.) Then, use a darker skin tone to add some shading along the side opposite the light source. The darker color will make a face look more rounded and give it some form.

 

 Use a Brown to Add Shading

adding skin tone to the face of the leprechaun drawing

Here are the steps I used to add shading:

  • First, add shading under the nose and inside the ears.
  • Next, add shading under the eyebrow and along the side of the nose opposite the light source.
  • Finally, add shading under the lower lip.

 

 

Use a Warm Color, Cool Color, and Eraser

adding warm colors, cool colors, and highlights
Warm and cool colors can make the skin tone more interesting. Use a warm color where the light bounces off skin or orange hair. For example, use a warm color like red or orange to add color to the shadows where skin reflects skin (or orange hair).

 

Use a cool color, such as purple or blue, in shadows. For this leprechaun, I used blue to add shading in the remaining areas.

The skin is lightest when the light hits it, such as the nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin. This lighter area is called a highlight. Use an eraser to lighten parts of the face that stick out.

Give the cheeks a glow. Use a warm color like pink to add some extra color to the cheeks.

 

 

Layer Greens to Make Clothes

steps to make the clothes green

Start with light green as a first layer. Be sure to color heaviest on the side nearest the light source (on the right in the example). Next, use a darker green (or blue) for the top layer.

Color it heaviest opposite the light source (on the left, in the example).

 

You can get How to Draw a Leprechaun from 

my website or Teachers Pay Teachers.

 

Making Darker Skin 

Step by step demo on how to draw a leprechaun.
To make a darker skin color, I like to start with a peach base color and layer yellow ocher (or dark yellow) on top. Layering the colors seems to give the drawing more depth and makes the color more interesting.
 
 
In the second frame, I’m added a light brown over the entire face making it darker in the shadows. As a result, you are starting to see the face look more 3-dimensional. 
 
Then, use a darker brown to achieve the level of darkness that matches your goal by slowly building up the layers of brown.  Make the brown darker inside the ear, under the rim of the hat, and on the side of the face and nose opposite the light source.  Adding more darks on one side gives the leprechaun more form.

 

 

Adding Warm and Cool Colors

Step by step demo on how to draw a leprechaun.
You can add some pink to the checks to bring your leprechaun to life.  Use some blue in the shadows to give them a cool cast.  In the last frame, you can see all the colors that I used placed in the order I used them.  
 

Technique Summary

For the skin:

  • Add a base color to the skin.
  • Add shading with a brown … OR
  • Make the shading more interesting with a warm and cool color.
  • Use an eraser to lighten the highlights
  • Add some pink to the cheeks

For the clothes:

  • Add a light green making it heaviest on the side closest to the light source.
  • Overlap a dark green (or blue) making it heaviest on the side away from the light source.

 

You can get How to Draw a Leprechaun from 
my website or Teachers Pay Teachers.
 
 
I used Prismacolor colored pencils (affiliate link) for this demonstration.  

The Benefits of Drawing

Click on the image to get your free infographic!

Use this infographic to display in your room or share with parents, administrators, or other teachers as a way to point out some of the academic benefits of learning to draw. While they are not the only reason for using drawing as part of a balanced curriculum, they are certainly worthy of celebrating and may help you advocate for including drawing as part of your art or classroom learning experiences.

You can read more about The Benefits of Drawing in this blog post.


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A smiling cartoon leprechaun with a big nose, ears sticking out, red curly hair, and a top hat with a buckle. The leprechaun was colored using colored pencils. The text says, "Colored Pencil - Leprechaun Drawing."
Stacey Peters

Stacey Peters

I create engaging drawing resources that help students build confidence and express themselves through art. I'm a former elementary art teacher of 25 years turned business owner. Giving you the tools you need to bring more drawing into your classroom brings me joy.

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