Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Let’s Draw a Winter Angel

This week, we draw a winter angel step by step!

Winter Angel by Päivi Eerola of Pepny and Parakeet. Colored pencil art.

The angel begins with a simple outline sketch. The hands and feet are hidden behind the dress, so it’s easy! The skirt is big so that you can treat it as a blank canvas for winter scenery.

Step 1 – Make an Outline Sketch

Pick an A4-size or US letter-size paper and a regular pencil.

Draw a horizontal center line and then another line that divides the upper part in half.

Place a head right above the upper line and draw a simple body and a long hem.

Sketches for a winter angel.
Click to see the picture bigger!

Add a circle for the halo behind the head, some marks for facial features, wings, and curves to divide the upper body into two parts.

Sketching a winter angel with a pencil.

Erase the sketched lines so that you can see them only vaguely. Compare the wings in the picture above with the next picture. After erasing, the pencil sketch is visible only barely.

Step 2 – Add Foundational Ideas

Change to colored pencils. Start with the face and color lightly. Get connected with the character that you are drawing. Add some skin tone and hair. You can also draw facial features, but do it with a light hand, aiming for a connection rather than perfection at this stage.

Drawing a winter angel - Step 2 - Add Foundational Ideas

With neutral colors, add ideas for a winter feel. I draw fur on the top part of the dress and then sky and trees on the skirt.

Step 3 – Color Beyond the Outlines

Get more creative by breaking the outlines. Think about the air that rises from the cold and circulates around the dress. Imagine winds, polar lights, and layers of snow, but also immaterial things: thoughts and feelings and their liveliness.

Drawing a winter angel - Step 3 - Color Beyond the Outlines

You can now use more colors but keep the coloring light and progress gradually layer by layer.

Step 4 – Add Details by Coloring

Go through the angel many times and add more details and shadows at every go.

Drawing a winter angel - Step 4 - Add Details by Coloring

The more details you add, the more your imagination grows. For example, the wings can have decorative motifs.

Drawing a winter angel - Step 4 - Add Details by Coloring

Make the angel more interesting by adding more asymmetry.

Drawing a winter angel - Step 4 - Add Details by Coloring

Draw elements like ice so that it’s placed differently on the two sides of the angel.

Step 5 – Cut Out and Finish

Cut the angel out of the paper and make final adjustments, especially near the cut-out edges. Now it’s also the time to make final adjustments to the facial features.

Drawing a winter angel - Step 5 - Cut Out and Finish

I added more decoration and cut a notch to the halo so that it’s like a glamorous hat.

Drawing a winter angel - Step 5 - Cut Out and Finish

Step 6 – Play with the Winter Angel!

Combine other items with the doll, and enjoy making the settings! I like to pull out stuff from my boxes of hand-drawn elements – boxes of joy, as I call them!

A small Christmas girl in colored pencils. By Päivi Eerola, Finland.

I drew this little Christmas Girl one evening when I was too tired to do anything else. I think it looks lovely with the winter angel!

Christmas girl and winter angel. Handdrawn figures by Päivi Eerola.

Doll World – Sign Up Now!

Come to draw more dolls and other beautiful items for your box of joy!

Doll World - an online class for learning to draw human figures and their clothing.

Doll World begins on January 1st, 2023. Watch the video and sign up here!

10 thoughts on “Let’s Draw a Winter Angel

  1. So fun! I’m going to make this afternoon, maybe even one for each grandchild. Thank You for sharing your magic.

  2. I like this drawing of a winter angel very much. Thank you for sharing your free ideas. I hope to see more free drawing ideas to share with the dialysis patients I work with. Kathryn M., Art Therapist. Cleveland, Ohio

  3. She’s beautiful, Paivi, and the little Christmas Girl is too! The colored pencil has a lovely painterly effect.

  4. Hi Paivi!

    The little girl beside the angel is just precious! I’d love to see them together in a “winter garden”–in fact, something in my mind is brewing up a story! Perhaps you could write and illustrate it?
    Much love for Christmas and the New Year! xxx ooo

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