If you are struggling to choose the perfect colors for your animal portraits with pastels and finding just the right hues can be tricky, don’t worry! I’m here to share my best tips with you on how you can easily find matching colors.

Watch this YouTube video, to see how I use these techniques to choose matching colors for your animal portraits.

🟡 Trust Your Instincts

Here, I would like to emphasize the power of YOUR intuition. Let your feelings guide your color choices, experiment on paper, and trust the vibes your artwork gives you. It’s about the emotion behind the colors!

🟡 Create your own color chart

I suggest that you create your own color chart of all the pastel pencils you have. Make a separate color chart for each brand of pastel pencils you have. This visual guide becomes your magical tool, helping you compare and select the ideal hues for your animal portraits. See here my personalized color chart that I shared in the video:

🟡 Compare your reference photo with your color chart

With your personalized color chart ready, you’ll be able to find the colors you need by holding your color chart near your reference photo and picking a similar color. You can see how I do it here.

🟡 Use Photo-Editing Software

For the next tip, you can use photo editing software like Photoshop to filter out the colors you need from your reference photo by using the Color Select Tool (pipette) Then, hold your created color chart next to the screen. You can then choose the color that is similar to or next to the color the tool shows you.

See how I do it with Photoshop here:

🟡 The Hole-Punch Technique

Another tip is, that you can also punch a hole in a sheet of paper and overlay it on your reference photo. This trick helps you isolate specific shades, making it easier to identify the right colors for your artwork. Here’s how I do it!

And that’s it! Feeling inspired now? I hope it’s a yes! 🌟 Remember, it’s not just about replicating the exact colors; it’s about capturing the essence and emotion within your artwork. To capture the soul of the animals, their character. To use different shades and bring in contrast and depth to your portraits. As I’d like to point out, the right contrast and correct values are what matter! So, don’t obsess over perfection; just let your creativity flow and watch the magic unfold. 🎨

To watch the full tutorial and witness these techniques in action, check out the YouTube video here:


If you have any questions or want to share your experiences with color selection, feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments here and below the video. I’m always here and happy to help you on your creative journey. Until next time, happy drawing!

Have a great day