Promarkers: Colour Blends – Red

There are many combinations for reds, as one of the primary colours it means there are plenty of options in the pallet. I developed this blend for poppies as they feature quite heavily in many adult colouring pictures.

A three colour red blend for letraset promarkersWorks well with both light to dark and dark to light colouring methods.

The blend in use;

poppies coloured with the blend

Colouring with Promarkers – Blending 1

Mostly I colour light to dark with promarkers, early in my colouring journey I used the dark to light method because I didn’t “get” to keep the inks wet when I first tried light to dark, this lead to patchier results and I had no idea I was doing anything wrong, now I know better through my own experiments and light to dark colouring is now my preferred method.

Before you start with light to dark blended colouring I recommend that you get to grips with flat colour first.

The biggest trick is working while the ink is wet. As I have mentioned before the easiest way to achieve this is to work in sections, it does take longer but you will get better results.

To get a good blend you will want between 3-5 colours, this will depend on how much depth you need from a certain area of the image and of course the size and amount of detail in the image itself. For this little guide I will only be using 3 colour blends as the flower isn’t overly detailed and there aren’t any large areas to really warrant being able to add lots of layers of colour.

These are the colours I will be using

Remember the trick to getting the blend to work is to add colour on top of the colour underneath while it is still wet, do not pause between colours in each section.

Start by getting tulip yellow, leaf green and grass ready, this is for the blades of grass at the bottom of the picture.

Colour all of the grass with the tulip yellow, then take the leaf green and colour almost to the tip, then take grass and colour up to a point before where the leaf green stops.
Go back to leaf green and go over the point where grass meets leaf green then do the same with the tulip yellow where that meets the leaf green.

Get leaf green, grass and china blue ready. this is my favourite blend for leaves.
Colour the whole leaf and the stem with leaf green, then add a thick line of grass up from the base of the leaf and along the centre line also add some at the top and the base of the stem. Use china blue to go along the centre line of the leaf and at the base of the stem where it meats the grass as these will be the darkest points. Once you have done the blue, use grass to blend the blue into the grass and leaf green to blend the grass into the leaf green.

For the front petals you will need orchid, purple and plum. To make sure the ink stays wet as you are working only do one petal at a time, though dependent on the paper once you get used to blending you may find on small images you can work more than one section for certain details.

Begin by colouring one whole petal with orchid, then with purple add some lines that follow the lines on the flower from the lower edge of the petal, leaving you with a triangle look to the shadow in this example. Use plum to just add a thin line at the very base of the petal. As with the other colours use purple to blend in the plum and orchid to blend in the purple at the points where the colours meet.

Continue with the other front petals in the same way.

The back petals are using the same colour combination and process but the shadow comes further as the petals are partially masked by the front ones. As you can see in the example the purple comes up both sides of the petal quite a way, the plum is still a thin line at the base and up the sides, blend in as before by using the lighter colours to work the darker one to it.

After completing the first petal, work on the others individually until you have completed all four.

I did forget to photograph colouring the centre of the flower, though that is done with tulip yellow, sunflower and pumpkin. Tulip yellow is the base, colour the whole circle with that, using sunflower add a crescent moon shape on one side of the flower and with pumpkin just add a small deep shadow line on the edge of the circle within that crescent moon shape.

If you do have difficulty keeping the ink wet as you are working you can use the blender pen to dampen the area before you start colouring it, this will keep the ink wetter for slightly longer but it will lighten the colours slightly and dependent on the paper it will cause the ink to spread a little more than normal.

Choosing a colour blend can be part of the fun of colouring too, use a spare piece of paper to test out blends by colouring a square with the lightest colour, then going over 2/3 of it with the mid tone and then the bottom 1/3 with the darker tone. Having a colour chart of your pens will also help you identify colours that will work well together in a blend, or keep an eye on my library where I publish blends that I have tried, tested and used.

Once you have the hang of 3 colour blends you can look at adding further colours to build up greater levels of shadow or highlight.

While I work with promarkers the process isn’t any different between brands of alcohol markers, Spectrum Noir and Copics (the other two brands that are commonly used) work in the same way.

Let me know in the comments if you found this useful, or if you have any questions.

Happy Colouring

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Shading and Blending

When working on your grown up colouring pages, sometimes you may feel you want to do more. A lot of people ask about shading and blending, so here is a run down of shading and some techniques used to create it also a brief run down on blending (a technique used in conjunction with shading).

Shading

Shading is an effect used in drawing and colouring. Shading adds depth, contrast, character, and even movement to your drawings by capturing the shadows and highlights of your object.

There are various techniques used in shading, though with all make sure you are working on a decent quality of paper as inadequate paper may be prone to tearing.

examples of Gradient, Layering, Cel-shading None of these examples have been blended (see below)

Gradient – a single colour but the range of dark to light of that one particular colour, often done in pencil drawings. Coloured pencils are usually the best media for colouring with a gradient as the more pressure you apply to the pencil the darker the tone becomes.
Layering – Layering is the process of using multiple colours to achieve dark to light stages, the colours used don’t always have to be from the same group, such as using blue tones with greens. Layering can work with any media.
Cel-shading – Often found in comic or animation and more often used in digital colouring. It is just two colours, one of a darker tone that is laid over the main colour in the areas where shade will appear. The technique is very crisp and there is an obvious line between the light and dark.

Blending

You can also blend your colour to make any transitions between shades or different colours flow together.

Dependent on your chosen media the blending process may happen at different times. Alcohol markers are blended as you put down each colour, coloured pencils are blended after all the colour has been put down.

There are various tools available to assist with blending your colours. Markers generally have a blender pen though that may not be needed. Coloured pencils can be blended in a number of ways, some work with you as you are colouring, some can be blended with water and others with oil (specialist blender oils, or baby oil can work well) and a blending or burnisher pencil or silicone colour shapers for media that allows movement.

Promarkers: Colour Blends – Leaves Midtone

Leaves are perhaps my favourite thing to colour. It certainly didn’t take long for me to figure this blend out.

This blend will work for midtone green leaves

The blend in use;

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Promarkers: Colour Blends – Skin Tone

It took a while to get a skin tone blend I was happy with, I had tried a few that resulted in dark streaks rather than a nice blend.

three promarker pensThis is a blend for a light skin tone with a hint of pink undertone.

And here is the blend in use;

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