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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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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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?

First Experience: Promarkers

promarkers2One of the things on my Christmas list was a set of Promarkers, Santa, of course delivered. (well I do buy most of the presents.) I had wanted them because of some rather nifty effects it’s possible to get with them and I thought they would make an interesting addition to the paper for cuts or backgrounds.

Supplies

  • Promarkers or any other alcohol based marker
  • Marker pad

Of course when I started looking for how to do some of these great effects I also ran into tutorials on colouring as alcohol markers are very popular with manga artists.
I had had experience with colouring pages before as I had ran into one that I simply had to cut.

victorian ladyWell that sent me off on a tangent, I found a lovely image that looked fairly simple and went ahead and coloured it in.
All the colour was flat, I used layers of colour to get different depths in areas obviously in the shade but it still looked flat, so I hunted out a few other tutorials and learnt that you should blend different colours together. So I had a go at that, but it looked horribly wrong.

Then someone said, dark to light never light to dark. Completely backwards from what I had first seen.

Back to the tutorials and I ended up on YouTube watching Kimberly Brown I became enthralled by the process, I was really far way from what I originally wanted to do with these pens, but it didn’t matter I was having fun.
Artist - coloursTime to find another picture to colour, this is where I discovered Yampuff a manga artist specialising on chibis (This leads to another tangent but that’s another story.) I fell in love with her style and tried colouring following the new tutorials I had found.

It worked, some of my colour choices weren’t perfect but the next stage is to learn more about blending combinations and what works best.

Colouring is addictive. I might eventually get round to trying what I want to with these fantastic pens.