I hope all of you had a great weekend and got your coloring fingers tuned up. I was going to post a color spotlight today, but I wanted to cover a few more points about color theory before I spotlight a color in depth, so look for that on Friday.
A quick note about Certification- The Chicago class on July 17th is full. However- the drop-in free event for papercrafting store owners, designers and teachers is still open on that day, just e-mail me and get on my list so I know how many to expect. I do have about 6 spots each day in my Seattle classes on June 18th or 19th (next week! aaack- it's so soon!). If these spots don't fill by Wed. then I'm opening the class up to ANYONE in the Seattle area- not just teachers and designers. I have plenty of space in my Milwaukee class on July 15th and the Chicago class on July 16th, so if you haven't signed up for those get in now by e-mailing me for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Layering Grays- Do you have only a few Copic colors and feel like you have to rush out and get more? I won't stop you, but I will show you ways to get more out of the colors you do have. You can make a lot of colors simply by adding together the colors you already have.
Most people, when they first see a big wall of Copic markers choose a few colors, get home, and realize they have the wrong colors. Usually, the colors are too bright, because bright colors catch our eye and we must have them. Or, you didn't know that you should have two or three markers in each color family to start with.
Here's a great way to adapt. With Copic, you can layer colors to get a more muted tone, or to get a totally different color. Don't worry about getting one color on the tip of another, remember it will come out.
I'm starting with this bright blue tulip. I colored it very smooth with B02 and YG05. This is nice, except it feels flat. And bright, very bright, since both these colors have a 0 in the middle. What to do? Should I rush out and get a YG07 and a B05 to make them more realistic. Not necessarily. Those color would just add shadows of bright colors to already bright colors. The picture wouldn't be flat at least, but it would still be too bright.
So what can we layer that will dull the brightness, but still keep the parts blue and green? Here's where a little color theory helps. Blue and green are COOL colors. Copic makes a color family for cool colors, Cool Grays. Grays dull down bright colors, so we can layer a Cool Gray over a bright color to make it less vibrant.
Here is the same tulip with C3 added for shadows to both the YG05 and the B02. Here's another example of Vo4 also shaded with the C3. Now compare it to the one below colored with V04 + V06, YG05 + YG07. The one with gray has much more muted shadows, the other just has darker tones of the same color. It's up to you which one you like more, but in a pinch that C3 sure is handy.
What if you have a bunch of muted colors and you need a blue but you only have a bright blue? This is a perfect way to mute one color so it matches your other colors.
What about WARM colors in your artwork? Use Warm Grays. Without getting too far into color theory, the YG marker I used is a color that could work warm or cool. The YR02 and Y02 however, are definitely WARM. Both of these are very light, so use a W2 or in this case, a W1.
How do I know which grays to try? For bright colors I can usually pick a gray that is one or two numbers lighter than the other color (look at the last digit- a Warm Gray one shade lighter than YR02 would end in 1, so I try W1 first). For darker colors I usually go with a gray that has the same last digit or is one or two darker (otherwise the gray doesn't do much). Yellows are so pale that I would tend to go light over those anyways.
How do I know if my color is warm, or cool? What if it could be both? Copic makes 44 different shades of gray, in 4 color families. Each color of gray brings it's own slight feel to a picture. Cool Grays add a hint of Blue, Warm Grays add a hint of Brown. Neutral gray is just that, Neutral. Toner gray is half way between Neutral and Warm.
So, if you want something to feel cold (shadow on ice, metal, etc) use Cool Gray. If you want something that feels warm or natural (wood, earthy things) use Warm Gray. For everything else the other grays can fill in for you. If you ever take a color theory class you'll learn that within basic color families (like Red) there are warms and cools, so it can really get confusing. For now, don't worry about it and just experiment.
When you find combos you like, add them to your swatch book so you don't forget. Tomorrow I'll be posting about cardstock and some blog candy, so stay tuned.
Image: I didn't have a stamp I liked at home when I made this post, so I just drew a flower a few times with a Copic Multiliner. The YG05 marker is one that I got 8 years ago in a special set. I don't use it very often because it is so bright, so I have never refilled it, yet it is still very juicy after sitting for 8 years!