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

wpid-wp-1434634798922.jpeg

wpid-wp-1434634804501.jpegwpid-wp-1434634809223.jpegwpid-wp-1434634813060.jpeg

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!

wpid-wp-1433340801924.jpeg
wpid-wp-1433340840228.jpeg
wpid-wp-1433341060794.jpeg

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.