Live Lessons: "Wooded Stream" - Colored Pencils

Colored pencil landscape drawing with Polychromos colored pencils
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This lesson series features:
5 Hours of Instruction
5 Videos

About This Lesson Series...

A five-part series on landscape drawing with Polychromos colored pencils. Learn how to layout the composition with light graphite applications and begin colored pencil applications in part one. Part two features the development of the middle ground and distant tree line, while part three and four focus on drawing the trees in the foreground. In part five, the image is completed by addressing the stream and extreme foreground.

Resources for this Lesson...


Photo Reference

Finished Result

Here's what you'll need...

  • Polychromos Colored Pencils
  • Stonehenge Warm White Paper
  • "H" Graphite Pencil
  • Kneaded Eraser

Lesson Discussion

  1. Hi Matt, great lesson, it was actually the first one I’ve watched as I’m a new member. Really looking forward to this Thursday for lesson 2. I have heard that Prismacolour premier pencils are not of very good quality and seem to break often and that is why I purchased Faber-Castell, what’s your opinion on Prismacolour?

      • Matt, Lyra makes a blender pencil that comes in there 72 colored pencil set which is oil based, as one of the viewers ask this question. love this, I love all of your tutorials , I love your teaching style.
        The 36 piece set may have one in them, I don’t know if you can buy seperate.

  2. Hi Matt
    Would it be possible to list the colours used in the Materials so if we do not have the pencils as in the Polychromos rang ewe can buy them in advance rather than watching the video in its entirety. I am fairly new to your site but the demos are excellent.

    • Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your question. During Live Lessons I am making decisions about color as the lesson takes place. So, I’m not sure what colors I will actually use until it comes time to use them. I can perhaps list the colors when the entire series is over.

      • Hi, Matt.

        Is it possible for you to list the colors used in this lesson? I have the 72 Prismacolor Premier set and am hoping to use those to follow along with this lesson.

        Thank you for your help! I look forward to getting started.

        • Hi Stephen,

          No, the colors aren’t listed but are mentioned during the lessons. I somewhat think it’s better to learn to mix colors based on color theory instead of on color names. This allows you to be free to chose whatever brand you wish and to develop your mixing and layering skills with colored pencils.

    • Hi Carol,

      Not all colored pencil applications and types of colored pencils need to be blended. And in some situations, the artist may choose not to blend applications at all. We look at many different approaches to using different mediums for producing art throughout the site. In this particular series, oil-based pencils are used on Stonehenge paper. I decided not to blend the applications and instead allow the texture of the paper to play a role in the finished look of the drawing.

  3. Hi Matt, I really love this lesson. I am a beginer, I learn to draw for a few months because I want to draw landscape while traveling. I saw you have another course: landscape with pastels. Could you recommend what medium (colored pencils or pastel pencils) would be better for me to draw colorful landscape sketches while traveling? For example, when I use graphite pencil, after closing my sketchbook, the sketch gets dirty/blurred easily. Is there the same problem with pastel pencils?

    • Hi Helga,

      Pastels will be quicker but messy. Colored pencils will be clean but are time consuming. Have you thought of using watercolor and pen and ink? You can sketch the subject with pen and ink and then add a bit of color with watercolor. You would need a sketchbook with watercolor paper.

        • Dear Matt, one more question. I found a lot of Line and wash lessons here, is what what you mean by using watercolor and pen and ink? Thank you, love all of your lessons. Helga

      • Dear Matt, one more question. I found a lot of Line and wash lessons here, is what what you mean by using watercolor and pen and ink? Thank you, love all of your lessons. Helga

  4. Matt – I just purchased a set of 12 polychromos colored pencils which cost me over $40. You are using a set of “well alot more than I have”, so if I am following along, what do you suggest I do since I will not be able to use the colors you have. This is often a problem I am having with your courses – I am a beginner at this and have prismacolor pencils, but again a set of 24 versus 48 or the multiple number of pencils that you are using. I am having a very difficult time following along with you without the exact materials you are using, so what do I do? Should I not take the class or take the class and not participate in the lessons you are giving since I don’t have the same equipment as you have?


    • Hi Lois,

      Thanks for your comments. Well, I’d say you have a few options…

      1. You can use what you have and try mixing colors by layering.
      2. You can order a larger set of pencils so that you have more choices.
      3. You can use the same brand of colored pencils for every colored pencil drawing that you create and just collect additional colors over time.

      I think what you do depends on what you are wanting to get out of the lessons. Are you wanting to copy the drawing that I am creating exactly? Or are you wanting to learn from the techniques used so that you can use them to create your own drawings. I suggest focusing on the latter. It’s fine to follow along with the lessons and draw as well, but ultimately you should focus on creating your own original art from what you learn through practice. The materials should never be a hinderance to your artistic drive. Work with what you have or expand your collection – but either way it shouldn’t stop you from making marks.

  5. Hey Matt,

    Is there video of the “homework” portion between lessons 4 an 5? I’m having some difficulty with mine. I just don’t like they way it’s going. My colors don’t look right, textures, etc. Everything was going great until then. I know this isn’t a new lesson but I thought I’d ask anyway. By the way, I love your site and lessons. I’ve learned a ton. I’m 48 and haven’t done much artwork since high school but you’ve helped me get the itch back.


    • Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for your comments! The homework sessions are not recorded. It’s hard to say what could be improved without seeing the work in progress. What specifically do you think is happening with the colors and textures?

  6. Hello Matt! It’s been a joy to join your lessons! Being new to drawing and painting I am super excited about all the wonderful lessons and content you provide! I have followed along a couple of your lessons and completed the works. I Love browsing back and forth taking notes from your lessons to later apply to my own “creations”. I’ve proudly acquired most of the materials you use on your lessons, which I cannot compliment you enough for, and feel ready to slowly tackle the work needed to improve. HOWEVER, I must mention that my most absolute favorite tool discovery thanks to you, is the dusting big brush!! It makes me feel like a pro already! :))
    All this to say, I’m about to tackle the landscape on this lesson and as long as I get to use mu brush, the mistakes made are welcome 😁

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