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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Colouring Therapy Art Book

With no other editions this colouring magazine from Magbook is a bit different from the other magazines. Magbook release individual bookazines on popular topics. This one is also available on Amazon. Priced at £5.99 it’s a little more expensive than I thought it would be, compared to other magazines on the market.

There are 56 Images to colour in this double sided print edition, the publication is split into 5 “chapters” Animal Kingdom, Patterns, Spiritual, Nature and Art Inspired though there are only 3 images in the art inspired chapter and the nature chapter is mostly things that could have easily gone into other sections the splits seem kind of redundant.

At the start of each chapter 3/4 of a page is taken up by a single paragraph of text and the final 1/4 has part of the double spread image, it seems that most of the images would have been fine on just a single page, some of the actual double page spreads are like this too, only taking up half of each page but split across a double.

The artwork is a bit of a mix, there are a few highly detailed images but a lot are really thick lines so not great for more advanced colourists, the paper is also quite thin you can see the print from the image on the other side on practically all the pages.

Onto Colouring

Knowing there wasn’t any chance of using alcohol markers as it was double sided I tested my stabilo 68’s on the tiny image from the front page. Even though I am light handed with my colouring the colour is obvious on the opposite side of the page.

Even gel pens where the ink doesn’t soak into the paper, so don’t bleed, showed through on the opposite side.  So I switched to coloured pencils, which are about the only media you can really use on this paper but you can tell on the opposite side areas that have been filled with pencil, especially darker colours, even though you don’t see the colours coming through.

In Conclusion

I would say this one isn’t particularly worth the money. While there are a variety of designs that would be good for anyone that wasn’t sure what style they like to colour the thin pages really let this down because you will see the design on the reverse side.

All right if you only want to use pencil and want the variety of designs this publication has to offer, but it is not one I would recommend.

colouring therapy by magbook

chapter start in colouring therapy

colouring in colour therapy

 

Creative Colour

A colouring magazine from puzzler.com. I didn’t get this one when it first came out but I did snap it up before the release of issue 2 at the end of May. Now we are at the end of June and issue 3 is in the shops.

I left this one untouched for quite a while but one evening as the boys were watching the Avengers I sat myself in the corner under the floor lamp and decided it was time to make a start.

This is another single side print magazine with 24 images to colour and staple bound. Paper quality seems good and the artwork is a mix of single images, full page patterns and contained images, ranging from fine detail to larger areas making it good for any level of colourist. The cover price is 2.99 and is published monthly.

Onto Colouring

I’m back with my Stabilo pen 68’s and the paper is all right, the colour goes on reasonably smoothly although it does show through on the other side it is single sided so that isn’t a problem.

The first one I completed was the bird, it was my favourite image in the whole magazine. I used a combination of flat colour and a bit of shading. As well as the pen 68’s I also used some of my point 88’s to work on the more detailed areas. It was a really enjoyable image to colour though.

I also had a go on the inside cover with the stabilo pens, the little flower was a great, quick to colour piece. After colouring that though which is a smoother card rather than the paper I was wishing the whole book was printed on that.

I also had a go at a page with my inktense pencils, I did this one using a blender pencil to smooth the colour rather than using water. This came out beautifully I certainly got better coverage with the pencils than the pens.

With Promarkers the coverage can be slightly patchy as the ink dries quickly on the paper, though as I got more used to how the ink was behaving on the paper reducing the size of the circles I coloured in allowed me to get a more even colour.

In Conclusion

A reasonable magazine, the range contained in it does make it suitable for anyone though I haven’t bought issue 2 or the recently released issue 3. With such a large selection of magazines available now and considering my collection already I did find a lot of the images to be rather similar and I personally preferred the selection in the later issues of relax with art.

If you are a new colourist though take a look at this magazine along side the others because you might find the artwork more to your tastes and without having earlier magazines there won’t be similarities like I experienced. You can also use any media to colour but make sure you add a sheet of card under the page you are colouring if you intend to use pens and keep your strokes shorter than normal to reduce patchy coverage.

 

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A Chat with Sarah Bigwood

If you were ever struggling to get motivated then this lady is the one that will show you what can happen.

Sarah’s Book Animaux à colorier was released at the beginning of June through the publisher Editions First. But what if I told you that this time last year Sarah wouldn’t draw, she didn’t think she could.

I got hold of Sarah and had a bit of a chat with her, (read as bombarded her with questions) I already knew bits of the story as we are both paper cutters and enjoy adult colouring so we frequent the same groups. But I was really interested in hearing more, Sarah began drawing in around the same time as I started playing with drawing too. Her journey sparked in much the same way and taking such an inspirational direction, let me tell you her story.

A paper cutter since February 2014, leaving 10 years in retail management after being diagnosed with severe depression. Sarah decided to open her own business doing paper cuts and templates under the name Pixie Rah Designs in July 2014. (She also does dog walking and daycare)

I have the most understanding husband who has really supported me through everything that’s happened.

But in December 2014 Sarah began drawing, she wanted to move away from digitally created paper cut templates and be able to hand draw all her designs. As someone with no prior experience she bought a book on zentangle and started to have a go.

There was no right or wrong and that I could make interesting art that seemed to come naturally to me.

Mr Rhino was her first creation, originally intended as a paper cut template when Sarah showed the design to a group of peers within a facebook paper cutting group it came about that he would make a fantastic colouring page. 9 drawings later she had her “African Animals” set which she uploaded to her etsy store to sell as downloadable colouring pages.

Just 4 days after these listings went live Sarah was contacted by a French publishing company who wanted to turn her animals into a colouring book. They wanted 80 animals within 3 weeks!!!

Sarah's Desk, getting drawings ready for the next colouring book

Sarah’s Top Tips

Just by drawing once a day I can see how much I have improved in 6 months.

  • Draw once a day
  • Practice is important
  • There is no right or wrong
  • Surround yourself with supportive people
  • Join groups, ask for constructive feedback
  • Above all. Give things a go!

But she did it, the book was released 4th June 2015 and she was asked to do another book.

Right now Sarah is working on the next book, due for release in October and is currently working on 80 Christmas and winter drawings to submit to the publisher, so far she has 61 done with a week to go on her deadline.

This one I have found harder than the Animals as its quite hard to think of different things to draw!

When drawing Sarah uses Uni Pin pens, 0.8mm for outlines and 0.3mm for the internal details, but she still loves colouring too, her facebook group Adult Colouring has in excess of 2,500 members now all there to enjoy the same things and share their love for colouring. As a member myself I know how supportive the group is as a place for anyone that enjoys grown up colouring and art therapy.

Sarah also has ideas for the future, keep an eye on her because she really is a hit.

 

Relaxing Patterns and Mandala Designs

relaxing patterns and mandala designs by lilt kidsI was sent this book from Lilt Kids to review. All I had seen was the cover and I eagerly awaited the delivery coming over from America.

Lilt kids are an independent publisher, something that I thought was good to see, no major cooperation. All their colouring books are quite cheap (£2 to £4)

Here’s a quote from their website

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY..

and supporting a small, independent business like Lilt Kids Coloring Books. All our coloring books are made right here in the USA by talented artists and printed on the highest quality paper with beautiful, bright covers. Should you ever have any kind of problem with an order or just a question for us, we have great customer service: just email

Sounds very exciting doesn’t it…

the internal cover of relaxing patterns and mandala designsThen the book arrived

Truthfully I was disappointed. Firstly The cover of this book appealed to me the most out of the small selection I was shown to choose from, after looking at their site with the book in my hand I see three other books at least with the same cover, just different titles. The one thing I had to go on to choose a book and it wasn’t unique, nor was it anywhere in the book. The Amazon page also said that there were 40 pages in the book, there were only 22 design pages, 24 if you count the small images in the title page and the back page. Yes it’s over 40 pages if you count the blank back side of every design but I think that’s stretching things a little.

showing the quality of the line work within the bookThe Artwork

Something else that didn’t meet my expectation. It is just my opinion but I don’t expect thick lines in an adult colouring book, the thinnest lines are at least 1mm thick. Now this could be seen as a benefit for those using art therapy who have motor function problems so I’m not going to rule things out just because the line thickness isn’t to my liking.

Looking at the images again on most of them the lines aren’t smooth, and there are areas, on the mandalas especially, where you can tell images have been joined together to create the design.

So, I’m disappointed again.

The Paper

It’s about 100gsm and very lightly textured. Nothing like any of the other colouring books I own . It’s somewhere in between the paper from Zen Colouring and Relax with Art so maybe it wouldn’t be that bad to colour on.

The book is printed single sided though so at least any media goes.

stabilo colour testOnto Colouring

I tried three different media in this book. Firstly Stabilo Pen 68, my all rounder pens because there aren’t many books out there there these can’t be used in. I chose to do the first page and went with a pallet of yellows, oranges and reds. They worked rather well.

The first image took me less than an hour to colour. I didn’t really get the satisfaction from the colouring that I would on pages I spend hours or even days on, but it was nice to do something a bit quicker.

promarkers colour testOnto the second and I went with my promarkers and a purple/blue combination, while it was possible to colour with them on the paper (sheet of card under the page required) it did seem to really suck the ink in. This is where I was perhaps thankful the lines in the artwork were quite thick as the colour really did spread (even with the thick lines though the first bit of colour I added did go over.) The other thing I noticed was that the colours became rather muted, the usual vibrancy of the colours was dulled and that was a little disheartening as the final image didn’t end up as I had planned it.

example of using inktense in the bookI spent about an hour and a half on that one.

Finally I got my inktense pencils out and went with reds and greens as you can see I didn’t finish this one, the coloured pencil didn’t really go well on the page and while the water wash looked good to begin with, once it dried though it looked awful and I had a rather wrinkly page.

I didn’t want to finish it, and this is the only time I have ever left an image unfinished.

A Second Opinion

I decided to get a second opinion on the book, I showed it to my 8 year old son. He did think it looked “pretty cool.” So now the book is his, though he hasn’t actually done any colouring yet.

In Conclusion

Pretty disappointing if you are a more advanced colourist, though I will give credit that these might be a good, inexpensive, introduction to colouring for anyone that wants to embark on art therapy but is either daunted by the detail of some books or needs the thicker lines to compensate for motor function problems. They are probably better for children wanting different types of designs.

A children’s book billed for adults.

If the book does interest you though I would say you would be better off using water based pens over any other media as they do give the best colour results.

Did I just get very unlucky with my choice of book, has anyone else tried books from this publisher?

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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Colouring My Line Art

wpid-wp-1427665808066.jpegThis line art was my project the other day. A lovely floral ACEO.

The next step was to colour it with my promarkers, now I do occasionally get asked what I colour with and how I colour as I add shading.

So this prompted a video, I set up the camera to record the whole colouring of the ACEO.

I had planned and prepared all the colours in advance as I wanted to just colour and not spend time thinking about what colours I needed next. wpid-wp-1427819032919.jpegI chose a dark mossy green blend for the vines, a couple of green leaf blends, a blend of browns for the tree branch, yellows and oranges for the flower centres and purples and pinks for the flowers.

In total I had 17 colours, the entire colouring took around 50 minutes (the video has been sped up) I haven’t provided a colour list but keep an eye on the library as I upload some of my blend combinations there.

Watch the video below, or pop on over to my YouTube channel.

A Bit of Doodling

Since the beginning of March I have been doing a lot of doodling, mostly Zentangle art but more recently because of the influence of grown up colouring I have started doing some small drawings to colour with my promarkers and cut out as ACEO’s (Art Card Editions and Originals)

wpid-wp-1427665909994.jpegFirstly I did a small one, this was because I had been asked about my drawing and so I quickly doodled a little potted flower and coloured it to show them. It was after that I thought it was just the right size for an ACEO.

This one only took a few minutes to draw and a couple more to lay in the colour.

Next I thought it would be interesting to try something a little more detailed. Of course detail takes a little longer. I really do enjoy floral themes as there is a whole variety of shapes and they offer a lot of scope for colour.

wpid-wp-1427665808066.jpegOver the course of a couple of evenings I drew this piece, again at ACEO scale (2 1/2” x 3 1/2“) It was a delight to draw and I am really pleased with the result. (If you have been keeping up it was only a few months ago that I felt I couldn’t draw at all for anyone other than my own personal scribbles of designs.)

Using some of the methods I have picked up through Zentangle it has become a lot easier to construct a drawing.

Tomorrow I will be starting to colour, after it has been scanned because I don’t want to loose the line art all together but I also want to work on the original for the card.

To answer the question of why work on such a small scale, simply because I enjoy it more. I find drawing and colouring at a smaller scale more challenging but also easier to work to the space so I see a piece emerge sooner.

Have a creative day and I will see you soon with the final coloured piece.

 

Downloadable Colouring Pages

Grownups colour tooGrown up (or adult) colouring is a wonderful way to relax, remember how quiet the kids are when they are colouring? well try it yourself and it really does zone you out.
There are many colouring books available but there are also a wealth of free colouring pages some offered by book authors and some just created by artists because they can. There are also loads of indie artists that sell individual pages online.

With all downloadable content please respect the artists rights, credit the artist when you show off your colours so others can find them too and make sure you follow the artists terms of use. I won’t link to pinterest or google images because of this, I always link to the source of the images.

If you are a colouring page artist and want to be added or you notice a broken link/closed shop then feel free to contact me to help keep this list updated.

All You

Amy Brown Art

Ann’s Doodles

Art is Fun

Art Therapy

Ben Kwok

Bergsma

Blacksummer Colouring

Black White Mustard

Bonnita Doodles

Color Binge

Color Me Club

ColourIn Designs

Colouring Life

Coloring Pages for Adult

Coloring Pages for Adults

Complicated Coloring

Crafts Beautiful (requires free site membership)

Crayola

Daisy Jane

Dawn Nicole

Don’t Eat the Paste

Doodle and Colour
(Use coupon code SCARLETT10 for 10% off)

Easy Peasy and Fun

Ellen’s Escape

Fafahe Creations

Fizzy Pink Doodle Studio

Guardian Website

Hallmark

Hattifant

Hannah Lynn

HobbyCraft Blog

Jan Bevins Art

Jenny Gollan Designs

Johanna Basford

Joanne Elliot

Kelly Dombrowski

Leen Margot

Legendary Landscapes

Lollipop Letters Cuts

Mad March Moon

Maniacal Confessions

Maria Padgett

Mauindi Arts

Ornamentium

PaperCrafter

Passion For Pencils

Pixie Rah Designs

Print Mandala

Random House Books

Red Ted Art

Selina Fenech

SliceNDyce

Slinky Tart

S Macs Place To Be

Soapberry Lane

Stabilo Blog

Studio Magda Polakow

Suiish

The Coloring Book Club

The Togetherness Project

Thiago Ultra

Tried and True

Wendy Peirsall

Yampuff