Thursday, September 17, 2015

Coloring leaves with extra depth

Working with a limited color range
This weekend I was at an event and I had a chance to color one of the flowers coloring pages I drew this Summer. It really is a relaxing way to pass time, working on a larger project for a few hours.

I drew this image for our Coloring Flowers Line Art Pack. The images in our image packs are printed on the nice Art Paper we use in the Copic Sketchbooks.

Anyways, I was coloring on a folder on my lap, and I had only a limited color set with me. Even with few colors, I was still able to have a lot of fun coloring with depth. I wanted to share the power of having only a few greens and how you can add extra depth to your coloring.

As you can see, these kinda large, goofy flowers have a lot of different foliage in them. But with a limited range of greens, how could I create more color variety?

I had only YG11, YG13, YG17, and G28 for my green families. So, I had to pull out my Y13 to add some additional brightness to the leaves up front.

Base color changes everything
The color you choose as a base makes a huge difference when you are working with layers of light colors. Evenly soak your base color by coloring in circles, using the side of the brush nib on your Sketch or Ciao marker.

If you look at the flower on the bottom left, it had a base of YG11, with yellow added on top. The flower on the right I colored in reverse, with the base of Y13, and the YG11 was added to the top. I shadowed each leaf with YG13 and hints of YG17.

I wanted to make a layered look, with the viewer being able to easily pick out the leaves in front, then the other leaves fading into the background a bit more. However, I still wanted the viewer to feel that the leaves were from different varieties of plants, even though I had limited colors.

Here is the rest of the leaf area, colored with only Y13, YG11, YG13, YG17, and darkest areas colored with G28.

Extra details
If you look closely at the side-by-side comparison, you'll notice some subtle finishing touches that add extra depth and interest to the image. the image on the right has extra layers of color around the edges and veins on the leaves. Basically, on each leaf, I took the color that is one step darker than the base color of that area and accented edges, veins, shadows, etc.

Here is a close up from the finished picture to show you what I mean. Look at how the extra green edges on the yellow leaves really accent them and make them more striking. (For the final area, I did end up needing to make my dark green area darker, but without another green, I ended up adding some faint hints of deep B39 into the shadows. )

I spent way too much time fussing over the leaves, probably 2-3 hrs on the leaves alone...except that I was at an event and constantly being interrupted to answer people's questions, so maybe it only took an hour or so of continuous time.

Then I moved on to coloring the rest of the flowers in the picture. Remember, I had only a few colors, so the pink flowers were colored with R81, R85, and RV69. The centers were colored with Y13.

The two yellow flowers were colored with Y00, Y13, and YR14 and YR18 for the deep shadows (I used more YR14 and 18 on the darker yellow-orange flower).

The purple flower was colored with BV00 and BV04. The center is colored with RV09.

The top, coral-colored flower was colored with a base blend of YR14 and R21. If you look at the bottom image, you can see how the YR14 was flicked out from the center, about half way across the petals. The tips were left white. If they hadn't been left white then the R21 overlay would have been lost in the base orange.

R21 was brought in from the tips and colored back into the darker YR14. To darken the shadows and edges of the petals on the coral flower, I used more layers of YR14 as well as YR18 and hints of RV69.

Overall, I love how different this came out than most of my other work. It was a lot of fun! Now, it will promptly find a happy place in my portfolio.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New Coloring Faces & Hair Book

Coloring Faces and Hair with Copic Markers
Hurray! I've been waiting a month or two for the main shipment of my new book to arrive. We just got our shipment from the printer and so finally, you can purchase your very own copy of the new Coloring Faces and Hair with Copic Markers book. This book is full color, 52 pages, of great information, and suggested price is only $9.95!

Coloring Faces & Hair book
Autographed Faces & Hair Book

I tried to fill this book with useful tips and tricks for anyone who is trying to color faces, skin tones, and a wide variety of hair styles. The back of the book has blank images and assorted color charts you can photocopy and practice right along with the tutorials.  Even if you've been using Copic markers for a while, I think you'll find some great stuff in here.

Book and Art Packs
Don't want to make photocopies of the artwork? Don't have the right paper to print on? You can also order kits which include pre-printed images and color charts. These kits are available for both he Faces and Hair book as well as the Coloring Flowers book.

Coloring Faces and Hair Book Kit
Coloring Flowers Book kit

The whole Coloring Foundations book series is intended for new users, as well as people who have some experience. Either way, once you finish the tutorial images in the books, you might be looking for more fun things to color with your Copic markers. Never fear! We have the perfect partner product:

Coloring Pages to match the books
Along with the books, there are matching Line Art packs, images that go along with the books but are full pages printed on high-quality marker paper. I drew these images in styles that match the art and tutorials found in the books. So, you get a wide variety of fun images, all 8.5" x 11" printed on high-quality marker paper, ready to be colored in.

Coloring People Line Art Pack
Coloring Flowers Line Art Pack

I'm so excited to see all these great products now available for purchase! (I nearly got a blister on my drawing finger from drawing all the artwork for these projects...there is a LOT of art for you to color. )

 Right now I am deep in the process of writing the next two books in the series, Intro to Coloring with Copic Markers and Coloring Cats and Dogs with Copic Markers. Look for those titles coming out in a couple months.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Watercolor look

This morning I was working on a piece of art for a poster, and I was experimenting with the sky. I thought you might enjoy seeing a bit of the process.

Different papers give different looks
I wanted to get a very wet, watercolor look with my markers, so I decided to color a printout on inexpensive copier paper. (you can also color much faster on this paper as it uses so little ink). When you work with many layers of subtle colors on thin, soft paper it is much easier to move around.

I used C0, C1, C3, B41, BV000 and BV23 on the sky, along with colorless blender. (I lightly drew the cloud shapes in pencil so the lines ween't very dark). I added final highlights with Y00, then I used a LOT of blender. I used the chisel nib, as it was a great way to push and mush subtle colors together on large areas.

On thin paper, you need to be extra careful, as the color will want to keep spreading long after you are done, so around the edges of an area, you might find yourself going back with many light, careful layers of blender.

To show you how much blender I used, here is the backside of the paper. See how soft and washed together the colors are? That is due to the colorless blender.

The backside has a very different look, once you remove the dark black lines. (I really like it!!) However, for this project, I need a black and white version as well as the colored version, so I needed to run with the outlines.

For the rest of the ship, I streaked in colors like W1, E42, C1, C3, BV23, E44, E57 and E29. I used accent colors of R32 and R59. For the water I used B00, B34, B41, G24, BV23, BV000, and Y00.

Here is the final version, with all the yellow highlights and extra color added into the shadows. I think my client will really like this for the poster they need.

If you get a chance, experiment with soft, watery coloring and using colorless blender on a thin paper to see if you like the results. If you want your own antique sailing vessel to download and color, you can download one from our website here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Coloring a stylized butterfly

A few months ago I had a chance to draw this really awesome butterfly. Drawing things like this is very meditative for me- I'm sure many of you can relate. It took many hours to draw, and I drew it with a 0.03mm multiliner on the Copic Art Paper (sketchbook paper).  If you would also like to color this exact butterfly, it is now available for download here on the Copic website, along with a few other doodles in a similar style. Check out our whole range of illustrations for download, since they're only $0.99 each.

Anyways, I was at a demo recently and I had a chance to color the butterfly. Although there are many many details, when you color it, you can choose to ignore most of those details, and have them just become part of the patterning.

I printed the butterfly on the Copic Art Paper  so it wouldn't bleed when I colored it in.

The technique I used for this entire image is feathering colors. I started with a light V12, feathered up, then I took a B66 and feathered down into the V12, and I went back and blended with the V12.

Then I feathered the B66 up, feathered a B04 down, then blended with the B04. I feathered the B04 up into B02, and that up into B00.

I repeated the process up along the top edge of the wings. Then, I went into each of the inner segments and repeated the same color scheme.

Once I'd finished those sections, I colored the main background of each wing with a feathered gradient from Y11 into YR65, and finally into R37.

Although the finished piece is a full sheet of paper, it was surprisingly quick and easy to color (I think it took about an hour, and I was demoing for customers as well). I love how vibrant the colors appear! the finished piece looks a lot more complicated than it really was.

The store that I was demoing at liked it so much, they asked if they could keep my colored piece. I was happy to share it with them, since it was so easy to color.

If you are looking for something a little different to work on, I encourage you to check out our full collection of downloadable coloring sheets and make your own fun artwork.

Have a relaxing week coloring!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Workshops and updates

Another week,  and I hope you had fun coloring with someone you love. I have some great workshops coming up that I thought I should share with you.

Free kids workshops in Oregon
July 29  - Downtown Eugene Library, Free Teen Workshop, Drawing Superheroes 2-4pm
July 30  - Bethel Branch, Eugene Library, Free Teen Workshop, Drawing Superheroes 2-4pm
July 31  - Sheldon Branch, Eugene Library, Free Teen Workshop, Drawing Superheroes 2-4pm

Aug. 1  - Kid's Create Eugene, Jordan Schnitzer Museum, 11-3pm
Aug. 4 - Springfield Library, Kids Drawing Comic Strips 1pm
Aug. 15 Art & Chalk Festival, Springfield, All Day - click here for more details

Then, I have some adult workshops coming up around the country in August

Aug. 8th Coloring Faces & Hair Book workshops, Main St. Stamping in Tigard, OR
Aug. 21, Coloring Flowers & Tracing Memories workshops, Boulder, CO - register here

Whew! A busy month ahead.

New Faces & Hair Book - coming soon
I am eagerly waiting for the first shipment of my new Faces & Hair book. It should arrive any day now. I'm excited, as I know it will have some great stuff in it for beginners who are trying to improve their coloring skills. I'll let you know when it is ready for sale. (this picture is one of the tutorials from the book)

So, last week I asked who you like coloring with, and I got so many wonderful comments. We randomly selected a winner: Terri!

terriavidreader (IN-USA) said...
I love coloring with my little granddaughter Dahlia. She's 4 1/2 and is so into crafting with grandma! It's fun to watch her start learning to color inside the lines and wanting to make a card!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Relax with a Coloring Party- giveaway

Coloring Is Relaxing
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of teaching a Tracing Memories/Coloring Photo Line Art class at my local library. What made this class different is that I actually got my Mom to attend.

A little backstory- My Mom has an art degree. She was an amazing oil painter, both portraits and landscapes, but she gave it up when I was very little because she had a house full of 6 kids and no room for painting. So, she shifted to self publishing quilting books as part of her creative outlet. She hasn't drawn or painted much in the intervening years. She always told me growing up, "Never get an art degree, you'll never make any money with it." I think that my family expected me to be a doctor or a lawyer or something like that (Not a chance!). Mom didn't really like my simplified, cartoony drawing style, and she just couldn't relate as well to my simplified, over-blended Copic illustrations.

Flash forward- Mom comes to my workshop where we are coloring a photo from a local park. It was a much more painterly, realistic style and it resonated with her. She got into it. She connected with a sweet family who took my class. And then, mom started her own relaxing coloring group at the local library. Mom would bring her markers, until the others built up their own collections. They would meet once a week to color whatever images struck their fancy: Mandalas, photos, manga...anything they found that they liked. They gabbed about life and family and whatever. It became the highlight of their week.

They had fun coloring. It brought peace and stress reduction to their life.

Look around you. Are you happier when coloring? Are you in the zone? Do you feel the peace that comes when you tone out the world around you and color what you love?

Have you seen all the articles in the news recently about how popular coloring is, and how good it is for your health? Coloring is Awesome!

I really want to hear your coloring story. 
What motivates you to color? Is it to cope with the loss of a loved one? Is it because you can squeeze it in on long road trips? Is it because you remember coloring with your grandma when you were little?

Please send me an email with YOUR coloring story and maybe a couple photos. I will choose some stories here and there and share them with others for inspiration (Don't worry, I'll let you know if your story is chosen).

(This photo is from a class I taught at a local assisted living facility a couple years ago.)

Host a coloring party
If you've felt that relaxation that comes from coloring, then I challenge you with this- have you gone out of your way to spread that happiness with others? Have you invited someone over to color with you? Someone who has never tried coloring before?

This Summer, take a moment and color with someone who needs a break. It could be a stressed out co-worker, a friend in an assisted living center, a child or an aging parent. Just block out some time and color!

Please leave a comment on this post, tell us who you love coloring with or who you want to color with, for a chance to win a copy of my Coloring Flowers book + a selection of flowers line art printed on our specialty marker paper.

 My goal is to encourage people to relax, and more than that, help someone else relax. One thing this busy world needs more of is simple relaxation. Go back to your happy coloring place and bring someone with you.

I will choose a winner on Friday.

Thanks and have a colorful week!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Plein Air & Chalk Festival, Aug. 15th

If you live near Eugene/Springfield, OR, and you love creating art outdoors, then we have a great opportunity for you! Join our Plein Air and Chalk Festival on August 15th, sponsored by Imagination International, Inc. (that's us). Cash Prizes!

Visit the registration site for more details.

Last year, I participated in the chalk drawing portion, and had a blast drawing my whimsical pirate! I've never participated in a chalk drawing event before, since markers are my main art medium. It was a wonderful challenge.

There were lots of people who stopped by to see the great artwork being generated. It was so much fun to see families and friends wandering by to better understand the process that artists go through. So even if you aren't participating as an artist, please come and see what excitement is going on. This year is even better, since artists will be allowed to draw, paint, or create all over the downtown Springfield area.

So, please join us for this fun summer event!