Wednesday, February 10, 2016

So much neat stuff!

Wow! I've been so busy working on all sorts of projects. My drawing fingers are sore, and my creativity is high.

I just wanted to share some recent things I made, and give you a sneak peek at some upcoming cool stuff.

Oregon Asian Celebration
Each year I have the pleasure of drawing the poster for the Oregon Asian Celebration. This is the year of the Monkey, and what better monkey to use than the beautiful Chinese Golden Snub-nosed monkey? I love their blue faces offset by rich golden fur.

The poster is a playful combination of hand-drawn and Copic colored monkeys on a digital background.  To get the committee excited about the idea, I found many reference photos online and composed my own drawing of one of these beautiful monkeys, cold and alone on a branch.

I didn't write down all the colors I used, but I worked heavily with the E40's family, Y21, YR12, YR14, and YR27. The blue is combination of B29, B41, and B63.

Then, I used some very light grays to suggest the branches in the distance, just like I did on this blog post of a bird, from a few months ago.

My sketch paid off. The committee agreed to let me draw these beautiful monkeys, they just wanted them to look a bit more lively than this poor soul, sitting alone on the cold, barren winter branch.

If you want to join us, we will have a booth at the convention, as well as activities going on all day in the youth art room. You can find more details at their website
Oregon Asian Celebration. The convention is Feb. 20 & 21st, held in Eugene Oregon.

For those of you scattered around the world, here is a downloadable outline based on the poster that you can print and color.

Other Events
I have a few other great things coming up in the near future. Feb. 25th 10-3pm I will be holding free demos at Proudly Oregon, at the U of O Bookstore on campus in Eugene.
April 2nd I will host some beginner coloring classes at Main Street Stamping in Tigard, OR. You can contact the store for more info.

Sneak Peek
OK, that's a lot for now. In the next few weeks I'm going to
show a neat project I'm working on with Hero Arts. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Upcoming Workshops

Paper crafting workshops
I can't believe that this year is almost over! I was going over my lists and I realized that a new year means new workshops are listed on the Copic website.  Lots of dates and locations are now listed.

New for 2016:
Coloring Flowers: Beyond the Book- This workshop includes some great images from the coloring flowers book, but also includes some new images. This class is taught on the same day, in the evening on any day that we are also offering a Standard Certification class.

Continuing from last year:
Standard Copic Certification: The ultimate class for paper crafters who want to know all the fundamentals of using Copic Markers. Learn how to test papers, inks, airbrush, and choose colors. Learn multiple blending techniques and experiment with a little mixed media.

Intermediate Certification: This class is perfect for people who have taken the Standard Certification class and now want to learn how to color more like an artist. Learn how to apply shadows and choose colors beyond the basics. Discuss composition ideas and how to color tricky situations and more complex images.

Whimsical Faces & Hair: Learn tips and tricks for coloring a variety of fun faces and hairstyles. Try many different color combinations and get ideas for adapting into your own stamp projects.

Vintage Values & Monotones: Have you ever wanted to color beautiful sepia images or in a limited color palette? This class is a great way to experiment with a variety of colors and techniques for beautiful images.

Dress for Success: Coloring Clothing & Accessories: From wrinkles to textures and patterns, this class will help you color many different fabrics and fabric styles. Leather, plaid, metal, and so much more!

Lots of exciting opportunities in 2016 to learn how to use Copic Markers. For more info about any class I've mentioned please visit the Copic workshop page on the website. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Coloring a stylized poinsettia

Crisp layered colors
As I promised a few days ago, here is the colored step-by-step tutorial that I worked up for the free poinsettia download. I hope you enjoy coloring it your own way!

I printed my image on a piece of our Art pack paper. I always make laser prints or photocopies. (I know some of you ask about ink-jet printers, but sadly I don't have much experience with those, as I always work with toner).

I started with a light, even base coat of my lightest colors. I used R21 for the red and YG11 for the green leaves. I colored in circles, evenly soaking the paper so that my base color was nice and smooth. Then, I let this dry completely before I added my darker colors. This helps keep the color edges crisp.

Next I colored the green leaves. I wanted to work in a graphic style, not a realistic style. This is what I had in mind when I drew this whimsical, stylized poinsettia illustration.

 I used YG13 and YG17 to create the gradient on each leaf. I left the outer edge on each leaf light. I first feathered on YG13, then feathered a layer of YG17. The, I carefully blended the YG17 with a layer of YG13 and faded that out into the leaves with YG11.

If the base coat of ink isn't totally dry, then this technique doesn't work very well because the darker colors will bleed out and not be crisp enough. For darkest green areas, I added G28.

Same for the red. The base coat needs to be totally dry. Then, the red petals are much smaller and reds tend to bleed more, so I used a slightly different color order. I layered my dark R29 on each petal, then went back and blended out with R24 and R21. The center of each flower has a layer of R89.

This also prevents a build-up of too many layers of dark red. (On some papers that buildup turns into a sticky residue where the paper can't absorb any more.)

You can see the difference between the left flower, which has been blended, and the right flower which only has R29 and no blending yet.

I colored the flowerpot with Y00, Y13, Y21, and Y28. I layered and blended each of those colors. Then, I wanted to add some extra punches of contrast to the leaves and blossoms.

On the leaves, I added some very light streaks of R22 over the dark green area. I also added some light highlights of Y13 to the edges of the leaves. (See the close-up). It's hard to see that those are red streaks, unless you look really close.

Then, in the dark red I wanted to add hints of contrast as well, so I added tiny streaks of BG09. I know it seems strange, but the dark blue-green helps the reds pop-out more. Why did I use BG09? I really don't know. That was the marker my eye saw first in my stack of markers and I said to myself "Well, that color will work". Really, I could have used any dark blue or green or even purple to add pops of shadow color.

I finished the whole picture by adding a soft blue background. I used B00 and feathered it out towards the white of the paper. Usually I would come back with the colorless blender and blend it to make it fade, but the finished edges were so soft it worked fine without the need to blend. I colored right over all the black flourishes.

Then, I took the YG13 and colored in the flourishes. Since blue is found in green, there wasn't a problem of having a light blue base to the green areas. I added tiny bits of contrast to the larger flourishes with little dots of G28.

I hope you enjoyed this different, stylized look to my coloring. Now I have a pretty Christmas poinsettia to use for gifts.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Free Poinsettia Line Art download

I can't believe it's December already! This year has really flown by. Anyways, this week I am working on a fun tutorial and I figured that I would share the line-art with you ahead of time, so you can experiment on your own, before you see how I color it.

This is my early Christmas gift to you. You are welcome to click and download and share this line art coloring page. I encourage you to color it, then display your finished creation around your house.

May you find some peaceful time during this hectic season to just sit down and color. Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Add a simple background

Airbrushed mist
Today you'll get another quick tutorial from the demo last week. This time, I have a picture of a cheerful red robin, again, drawn from a photo taken by my friend Maaike.
Today I want to just show you a quick sample of the power of a background. Here you have the red robin before I added any color to the background.

I can't remember all the colors I used, but I know I worked heavily with the E40's family: E40, E42, E43, E44, E47, E49, and I warmed up the tones with an overlay of YR30 and Y21. I also used W1, W3, W5 and B91/B93 in the shadows. I also used YR12, YR14, YR18, and E09 in the feathers.

Next I need a background. He looks very sharp without one, but the picture looks incomplete. I also didn't want the background to overpower the foreground. 

So, I chose a very light E70 and W1 and drew in the suggestion of twigs in the background. Further away, I made them lighter.

 Then, I took the same pale yellow I used on his wing and lightly airbrushed the suggestion of a glowing sunrise or mist only along the bottom of the page. Nothing too strong, just a suggestion of color. 

Overall, I really like the feel of this bird, it's very different from what I usually make. 

I hope you have a fabulous Fall! Like this robin, just keep singing, no matter what life brings!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Coloring a kingfisher bird

Layering bird feathers
Last week I had the pleasure of coloring for two days straight at the U of O Bookstore. What fun I had! Any chance to sit and color is a win in my book.

Since I have been working on a new book, Coloring Birds with Copic Markers, you can guess that I have been focused on birds quite a bit recently. One of my dear Facebook friends, Maaike from the Netherlands, shared some beautiful bird photos from the Wildlife Refuge she works at, I knew I had to draw some of them. This kingfisher was my favorite from the whole event.  I drew him with a 0.1mm multiliner, then photocopied the outline onto some of our Art Paper.

(Just so you know, this is a way more complicated bird than the ones going into my next book. It took me a little over 2.5 hrs to draw and color in this vibrant kingfisher, whereas most of the coloring projects in my books are intended to be completed in about 25-40 min.)

I started by lightly blocking in the base tones. (I apologize in advance if I leave out any colors, as I didn't write down all the colors I used, so I'm going by memory). I used BG01, B24, B39, Y11, YR31, YR14, and YR18. Notice the light feathering strokes I used on the wing and chest.

The first spot you touch your marker nib down will be darkest, so pay attention to the affect you are trying to get, planning where your light and dark feathers will be. Sometimes I flick up the wing and other times I flick down on the wing. I try to always flick in the direction the feathers naturally grow though, so that it looks most natural.

Next, I went through section by section and darkened. I didn't have a great range of turquoise colors, so I had to build them by layering G43 and B24, frequently in feathering strokes.

 I darkened the head with thin lines of different blues. Then with the very tip of the brush nib, I added tiny rows of dots to the crown of his head, to simulate the fine striped feathers.

The beak was colored with C3, C7, C9, Y32 and a hint of YR14. I was careful to darken the orange area on the head, while keeping the white areas white.

At this point, I start really popping out the contrast and finishing details.

With B39 I added even more dots to the crest of head feathers. Notice I also punched out the contrast on the wing feathers with the B39 as well. I darkened the wing feathers in front as well with more 24 and a bit more green. BG13, BG18, B95, B9, V99 and many other colors.

This gave the feathers on the wing a bit more punch. At this point I let them dry throughly. Next, I took the finest tip of the colorless blender and carefully dotted in the white dot accents on the wing feathers. If the base color is still wet, then the dots will be soft and blurry, but by letting the base coat dry, then adding many layers of blender, letting it dry between layers, I was able to lighten up the dots.

Finally, I finished the bird by applying faint hints of Copic Opaque White. This popped out the contrast on the wing feathers and on his head-crest.

The branch is colored with layers of E11, E13, E15, E37, and E49. Then, I softly added some YG11 over some spots to suggest a green fuzz.

The moss is colored with YG01, YG03, YG13, YG67, and hints of G99.

 I faintly airbrushed a background using the chisel nib on a B02 marker, then added darker speckles of color with the brush nib on a B24. Then, I used the tip of the B24 and YR14 marker and added teeny-tiny dots carefully around the edges of the illustration, just because I thought it looked cool.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Upcoming Events

Free Demos, Workshops and more!
Fall is a busy time of year for me, and this year, as I've been working hard on my next few books, it has been extra busy. However, I have a lot of great local Copic events coming up in the next few weeks, so come and check out the stuff I've been working on. (After the new year, I'll list my demos around the country).

Nov. 11-12, U of O Bookstore, Eugene, OR 10am to 5pm
Free demos all day. I'll be downstairs at the bookstore, next to the marker rack, drawing all sorts of cool things.

Nov. 14-15, Eucon (Eugene Comic Con). Lane County Fairgrounds, Eugene OR
I'll be hosting a couple of workshops each day. For admission times and pricing, please visit the Eucon website. 

Nov. 21st, Demo at Collage  in Portland, OR (3701 SE Division St. location)
Free demo from 2-5pm. Come check out my new books and learn about Copic markers.

Upcoming Books
I think you'll be excited to know about my next two books, available in a few months. Intro to Coloring with Copic Markers and Coloring Cats & Dogs with Copic Markers. Both will be available after the first of the year.

About the dragonfly: I colored this dragonfly this weekend at a training session. I used a lot of very pale colors, E000, YG11, BV00, B91, Y00 but then I made them pop with hints of darker colors. YG13, E21, E25, V99, E31, BV23, Y13, and probably a few more colors I forgot to list. I drew the dragonfly based on a photo sent to me by my friend Maaike. The picture is colored on the Art Paper you can find here.