Unlike the colouring pencils you may remember from childhood, these coloured pencils are on a completely different level. Like pastels, the technique used involves building up layers of colour. Unlike pastels, it is possible to sharpen the pencils to a very fine point, making them an excellent choice for portraits with fine detail.
As with the pastels I use, all my pencils are professional grade, with strong pigments that have excellent lightfast properties. They are applied to an acid-free substrate, which is either 'Pastelmat'' or 100% cotton paper. These result in distinctly different styles of portrait. When using 'Pastelmat' I'll colour the background with pastels and the overall effect is very similar in appearance to pastels. If 100% cotton paper is used, the background will be left white, resulting in a clean look with a strong contrast between the subject and background.
Whilst coloured pencils are not as soft as pastels, there is a small risk of smudging if you brush something across the surface, so care should always be taken. It is a little easier to frame coloured pencil portraits under acrylic glazing, however, I still recommend using the services of a professional framer to do your portrait justice.