Here's a colored pencil portrait I'm working on. The head is about 4" square. It's on an 8" x 10" paper, so there is a lot of white paper around the face. I have an idea of what I want to do with the background - something funky and abstract! I was also envisioning tentacles.
First I need to finish the face, before concentrating on the background. Most of the face is finished; it's just the lower left side that needs to be completed.
For this portrait, I referenced a photo in a magazine. I took great liberties with the face - changing the face structure, eye placement, nose size, jaw line and lip construction. I also took great liberties with the coloring! The magazine photo was just a normal face with normal coloring. I wanted to create something more interesting with really hyped-up colors. So I mostly just referenced the photo for inspiration. I find it helps to get started - then I just let my imagination take it from there!
This is an idea of what I could possibly do when I finish this current work in progress. I scanned the drawing into Photoshop, then on a whim added the Fulgent Life abstract background, just to see what it would look like. I think it works quite nicely! I have other ideas for how I'll finish this portrait though, so this version will probably only exist in the digital realms.