Friday, October 10, 2008

Coloring snowmen

I really wasn't going to talk about this today, but enough of you have pestered me that I just want to get this posted before I move onto other things. We made this image last night at the SCS get-together here in Kansas City.

Coloring Stylized Snow
After looking at beautiful pictures of frozen wastelands as I was researching this topic I came to know that those cold landscapes are a lot different than the simple depiction we're going to start with today.

Snow is cold. In our mind we see cold as blue, so we know that there should be blue in our picture somewhere. Show is white, and the shadow of white is gray, so we know that there needs to be gray in our picture as well. Neither of these colors should take us away from the overall white of the snow.

In my opinion, the two best colors are a light gray and a pale blue. I start with wider strokes of the light cool gray C1, then I darken each shadow area with a pale B00. Note how on the snowman I picked a light source and made the shadow heavier on the far side from the light. This snowmen has crisp shadow edges though, and the edges don't look like soft, fluffy snow.

How do we get rid of those crisp edges? By adding colorless blender. I start in the middle and push the color out to the edge of the stamped area. The blender lightens the colors, blends them together, and fades the edges to white. Now my edges are much softer, lighter, fluffier, and you can still feel the blue and light gray. Trouble is, the snow is so pale on my white page that you start to feel like it's getting lost, white on white.



Getting colors to pop more
A neat trick in art and coloring is that if you put a color next to it's opposite color it increases the contrast. What do I mean by opposite color? If you look at my simple color wheel on the little color tag you see that Purple and yellow are opposites, Blue and orange, and red and green are all opposite combinations. If our white is bluish then the natural opposite would be orange.

Trouble is, I'm keeping to a primary color palette (red, yellow, blue), so instead of orange, I'll use a pale yellow background to make my blue pop out more. The yellow I used is actually a custom YR31 that belongs to Lori Craig. It's an empty marker that's filled half with colorless blender and half YR31. Lori got this idea from Debbie Olson, who has her own custom extra-pale blue and yellow. See how the white pops out more because of the background color? If I had added a sky of blue it wouldn't jump out so much.

I went back in with my blender and lightened up the yellow so it fades out to white smoother. Last, I finished up by coloring with my primary colors B34 and R29. To keep my colors simple I used blender to make lighter shades of each color rather than grabbing another marker. The shadows on the red shoes I made by adding a bit of blue over the top and blending it in with red. Paper: Neenah Classic Crest Solar White Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black Stamp Image: I'm not sure, as soon as I find out, I'll tell you. Have a great weekendand don't forget to enter the drawing from Saturday.


18 comments:

Jennifer Love said...

Ooh. I love that coloring around in a different color! I'm gonna try that...this was my attempt at coloring a snowman: http://ohmycuppycake.blogspot.com/2008/09/pink-licious.html

http://ohmycuppycake.blogspot.com/2008/09/my-other-obsession.html

Totally trying the coloring around to make him/her pop out. Thanks for the inspiration and great tip! :)

Danisha said...

You really do amaze me with the wealth of knowledge you have!!! I wish you guys would have a class in NJ!!!

Thanks for sharing your artistic knowlegde with us!!!

Melissa said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial on snowmen! I'm about to start my holiday cards, so you have perfect timing! I love the idea of a custom super-pale marker. I've been wishing for a paler yellow, pink and blue, so now I'll just make my own. Thanks!

Jeanine said...

I want to thank you for this fabulous Blog you have designed. I just started with the copics this week and I can't begin to tell you how much you have helped me even if I have a very limited number of copics.
I truly want to thank you for sharing your amazing talent with all of us and bless you for being so special to so many.

Gloria said...

I just finished a card with a snowman on it. This is just what I needed to make him pop. Thanks so much, great timing. I love your tips.

Susan said...

This is a great tip and very timely too! I will start on Christmas cards soon, and I am sure there will be snow somewhere on the cards! Thanks!!

mycardz said...

Thank you! Great tutorial, as always. Definitely need to practice this on the weekend. :)

Mary said...

Really this is an art course! Thank you.

Lorraine said...

Beautiful! Thank you! Just in time!

The Cathouse said...

You know I just printed this and stuck it in my binder... :-) Class was great yesterday, thanks so much, and see, even though I Feed Blitz for the binder, I still like to read the blog version with all the comments! Everyone always has such good feedback. Have fun in KC today!

Vicki

Keri Lee Sereika said...

SIGH...I want to color like you someday!!! This is AWESOME!!! Have I mentioned that COPIC needs to PAY YOU FOR HOW WELL YOU EDUCATE US ON THIS BLOG???? :)

mtfalco said...

That looks like a DJ Inkers image, but I could be wrong. Looking forward to your Seattle class in Nov!

mististamps4fun said...

Marianne I love your snowman!!! It was really fun to watch you color him in person!! It was so great to meet you and take your class! Hope you enjoyed your stay in KC!!

jstopka said...

Thank you, again, for your continued lessons. I have learned so much from your tutorials.

:Jayne said...

Snowmen are my love and I can't wait to color a few now!

:J

Marja Sch said...

I keep on learning and learning again. Thanks a lot. I love it. Hugs Marja

Nicole said...

This snowman is so sweeeet! Great tips! Thanks so much, Marianne!

Hayley G said...

Really really love and appreciate the theory offered. It helps me try new things I wouldn't have known to try.