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?

Colouring with Stabilo’s – Shading

Once you are ready to embark on shading the Stabilo 68’s and 88’s are probably one of the simplest to learn with, there is no blending with these so don’t expect smooth transitions every time, some colours do work better than others but you will always have a darker shaded area which allows you to add that extra level of depth to your colouring.

If you haven’t read it yet I suggest reading the flat colour guide to see how I work with these pens.

Onto Colouring

Greys can be your best friend with shading, because they will work with any colour. Don’t reach for the grey that is a darker tone to the main colour though as it will end up appearing too dark. Choose a grey that is a shade lighter than you think you need. With colours though you will be using one shade darker.

When it comes to shading I do a lot of the work with the finer point 88 pens as it is easier to graduate the colour by fanning out the lines drawn the closer I get to the light source. It is achievable with the pen 68 but you will get a denser colour.

These are the colours I am working with:

  • Light green 68/33 or 88/33
  • Green 68/36 or 88/36
  • Yellow 68/44 or 88/44
  • Orange 68/54 or 88/54
  • Lilac 68/58 or 88/58
  • Purple 68/55 or 88/55
    and
  • Grey 68/96 or 88/96

I am starting with the grass again, I will be colouring this in exactly the same main colours as I did for the flat colour guide. Decide where you want shade to appear. For the grass I have opted for light shading on the blade that appears to be behind in the image and have added a “centre line” in the front blade to show the “fold” you see in grass.

You can then go over the grey with the main colour. If the paper saturates easily or is prone to loosing fibres wait until the grey has dried.

Again with the grey I have added shade to the top of the stem quite heavily as the shadow cast by the flower would be denser there. A little shading between the grass and shading that fans out on the leaf working from the stem.

Go over all the shading with the main colour (in this case light green) I realised at this point that the grey was perhaps to dark for the light green but hopefully it shows you what I mean about going a shade lighter than you think you need with greys. As the grey I am using was the lightest I had at the time it was all I could work with though there is a grey one step lighter in the range.

Next I add a little orange alongside one edge of the centre of the flower.

Colour over that with yellow. I didn’t wait for it to dry here and as you can see a little blending has occurred with this combination though it is not something I would rely on happening.

Next I use the purple and add some quick lines into one of the petals at the front of the flower, this will keep the shading fairly light as I don’t want it too dark and the lines created by the point 88 are perfect for this. Follow the lines within the drawing as if you were just adding a few more.

Do the same on the other three front petals.

Once the shading has been added and dried using the lilac in the pen 68 colour all of the front petals. I have found the combination of purple and lilac to work rather well.

You can then start on the back petals.

With the purple again but this time filling the area you want shaded (the point where it meets the front petals) with a denser bit of colouring, for this you can either use the point 88 or pen 68, though I continued to use the point 88 and used obvious lines that were just a lot closer together.

I then coloured the petal I had shaded.

Continue to add the shading on the remaining three petals.

Then,  when dry, go back to the lilac and colour the other back petals.

Finished you will have an image, with the extra depth shading provides. I use this technique in my animal kingdom book as well as on some free printables.

Experiment with different colours to find which ones work best together or give the effect you are after. Some combinations will appear seamless while others will be noticeably darker, some of course won’t work, even if you think they should.

Let me know how you get on shading with your Stabilo’s or other fineliners/fibre tips in the comments below, or show me your coloured images here, on facebook, @scarletleonard on twitter or @scarletimpressions on instagram.

Happy colouring!

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A Trip to the Pencil Museum

pencilsI’ve been a bit quiet as we took a trip up to the lake district last week for the half term holidays. But I won’t bore you with all the other details of our holiday but on Thursday afternoon we popped up to Keswick to visit the pencil museum.

A Pencil Museum?

Yes, a pencil museum. Keswick has a long history of making pencils, in fact the Cumberland Pencil Company were home to the very first pencils after a discovery of an abundant graphite mine. Now known as the brand Derwent.

The museum isn’t huge but it does make for an interesting family afternoon. A family ticket costs £12.50 (or if you buy a family yearly pass for £17.50 you also get 10% off in the shop) As we were visiting during half term there was a quiz for the kids to complete and children’s workshops running through out the day.) There was a parking charge too as the car park is run by the council but the museum do discount your entry by £1.50 on presentation of the stub from the ticket.

Walking in the museum goes of to the left and the shop to the right, as I was waiting in the queue I saw the wall of books, a whole wall of books and it was huge. I spied Enchanted Forest and Animal Kingdom as well as some titles I had not seen before.

First the museum though. My lad had his quiz sheet and I told him he had to find all the information himself, I wasn’t going to help. After some initial complaints of not being able to find things, he did rather well and managed to complete the whole quiz.

elephant pencil sculptureEach of the sections had large displays with very easy to read information, though I have to admit I wasn’t that taken by much of the process of making pencils. The secret map pencil was rather interesting and I also found these beautiful pencil sculptures.  I spent a while looking at these, though the elephant was my favourite. There was also a Batman one that I had to point out to my husband.

The kids did discover the little colouring table. While my youngest sat in her buggy with the clipboard and a bit of paper and just scribbled my lad sat there very happily, he was only dragged away when they announced a workshop which he happily galloped off to while I browsed the shop.

vintage pencil tinsWhile they were colouring though I wandered the displays again, The worlds largest pencil (over 7ft and yes it is a proper pencil.)  There were also lots of cases filled with pencil collections, including some of the newer commemorative collections and lots of vintage and antique collections too. I loved these ones as they had beautiful lakeland scenes on the tins.

Onto the shop, which is around the same size as the museum section, filled with every type of Derwent pencil and lots of useful accessories. My husband even managed to get me a beautiful wooden pencil box that holds 72 pencils. It was an empty one but now I have the joy of filling it, he also bought me a sketch book and a little intro kit that has a CD of techniques a smaller sketch book and a set of 6 Inktense pencils. My husband was a bit sneaky as he didn’t tell me he was buying them for me, he just appeared with them.

I did buy myself Enchanted forest and a couple of little bits and pieces. My son came out with a set of 12 Aquatone sticks, a water brush and some water colour paper. I was quite impressed with what he learnt from a free workshop and he was equally thrilled with the results. For completing the quiz he also got two coloured pencils, one form the coloursoft range and another from the watercolour range.

The afternoon was certainly enough for us, if we had been there any longer I think it would have just cost us more as I discovered more and more things in the shop.

 

Relax with Art

Relax with Art MagazineWhen I saw this one appear in the shops I grabbed a copy as colouring magazines have been selling out as quickly as they are coming in the shops. Relax with Art is published by Bromleigh House (who publish puzzle magazines) though there is next to no information on it around the internet. I did manage to find through newsstand that it is a monthly magazine and it has a cover price of £2.99.

There are 24 pages in the publication, more than enough for the month and the artwork is a mixture of designs so you aren’t tied to a theme. The magazine is stapled too so it opens up really easily and it is all single side printing. The inside cover has an intro, though to be honest reading it, it didn’t seem that well written. But it didn’t really matter as it is a colouring book after all.

Onto Colouring

colouring page relax with artI decided to give my Stabilo Pen 68’s a test in this one using a new type of pen I first thought that the pens were a bit dry but then I noticed that the paper is textured. The paper started to crinkle slightly with the colour. To satisfy my curiosity on the paper I did one part of the picture with my promarkers as I knew what I could expect from them. They spread on the paper quite quickly. As I wasn’t blending on this page it was completed quite quickly.

All the pens bled through to the other side but the thickness of the paper did prevent any colour from going through to the spare sheet under the page.

relax with art coloured pageYou can see some of the streaks in the colouring, I did test other papers and got a smoother finish from the pens. The pink is promarker and while the colour is smooth (due to it keeping the colour wet for a fair while) the spread makes it difficult to colour especially finer detail, which this book has a fair bit of, even with a fine point attachment.

While you could say that the promakers staying wet for so long would be an advantage to blending I wouldn’t like to know how much that would crinkle the paper when a basic water based pen did. Layering on the colour needed for a blend would probably get quite messy.

Overall

This is a book for pencils, possibly gel pens, while I love the art work it’s a little disappointing the paper lets this down and that pens (my preferred media) don’t look that great in it. The lack of information suggests this publication was rushed to print to get into the market quickly. I’ll be continuing the rest of the issue with pencils though and I will take a look at issue two when it is released to see if anything has been re-evaluated by the publisher.

Edit – 14/05/15 Today I went back to this magazine as there was a design I really liked. Instead of just getting out the pencils I tried my Stabilo pens again as they were out from the previous page I had just finished in another magazine.

I was surprised that it was a lot easier to colour this time round, there was less ink spread and I didn’t get that far before I had unclipped it from my drawing board and then spent quite a while looking at the page I had just started compared to the one I did the other day, it seemed the paper was different.

What I concluded after some inspection (honestly if anyone was watching me through the window today they must have thought I was a little strange stroking the paper on all the pages, holding it to the light and giving it a really good look over.) was just the one sheet, that happened to be the first and last images and the two I chose to try to colour first, had been printed on the “wrong” side.

So now I’m off to finish this new page with my beloved pens. Happy that everything should be fine now.

Issue two is due for release 28th May.

Edit – 29/05/15 Relax with Art now have a facebook page and a website where you can subscribe.
You can order relax with art through Unique Magazines either by subscribing or buying single issues.

How have you found colouring this magazine, any success stories or issues with pens to share?

Colouring with Promarkers – Flat Colour

wpid-wp-1430228815296.jpegBefore we look at blending it’s best to look at flat colour.

Promarkers are a great pen for flat colour because you can layer the colour to give slightly darker tones. This allows you to go back to areas you do want darker if you feel extra depth is needed without the complication of blending. Of course flat colour is easily achievable with any pen.

Onto Colouring

When you colour with promarkers you have to remember that if you do go over the same area twice you will have lines of darker colour. This doesn’t happen though while the ink is still wet so because of this we break down the image to minimise getting unwanted lines. Look at the different sections in this tutorial image we have two blades of grass, the stem, the leaf, the centre of the flower four petals at the front and four petals at the back. Each of these will be coloured separately.

I will be using four colours;

wpid-wp-1430228824544.jpegWhen colouring follow the line of the drawing, this way your strokes follow the natural line of the section you are colouring, you will get the most coverage in a single stroke and the paper won’t get as wet which will minimise any bleeding. To fill in larger areas circular colouring motions will minimise colour overlay with promarkers. Also by following the shape of the section if you do experience any colour overlay it will be in the right direction and not look out of place. (something you can use to your advantage in certain colourings.)

To begin with I will start with using the leaf green a couple of downward strokes starting from the tip of the blades of grass is enough to fill this small area.

With grass a single stroke going down the stem, then work around the edges and the line down the centre of the leaf, this then leaves a couple of small gaps which because of the size of this image are able to be filled with quick strokes. If they had been larger I would have used a circular motion.

Using sunflower colouring in a circle is the best way to fill the centre of the flower. As it is round this goes around the edge and fills the centre, if there are any gaps just dot the pen into them.

With the purple do each petal individually, working in the same way as you did the leaf. (The outer edges, up the centre, fill the gaps.) I start with the front most petals before working on the petals at the back.

wpid-wp-1430228859626.jpegOnce you have filled all the petals you could leave it there, though for extra depth once the ink has dried you can go back to areas that would be in shadow and re-colour them.

The right blade of grass has had a second layer of leaf green and also the four petals towards the back have had a second layer of purple.

Alcohol markers, no matter what the brand do bleed they will pretty much always show up on the opposite side of the paper. Don’t use them in two sided print colouring books unless you are willing to sacrifice the image on the other side and always insert a blank sheet to prevent any ink going on to the page below.

Be careful with your choice of paper too. Some papers are very absorbent and will dry the ink up really quickly, it is difficult to achieve even colour on papers like that. Others keep the ink wet for a very long time and this can cause the colour to spread so you end up with colour outside the lines. When you print a colouring page or draw your own images you can use a specific marker pad or a decent paper. (I used a 140gsm medium texture cartridge paper for this tutorial, though as you can see I did get a little ink spread from not being careful enough on one of the flowers.)

 

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.