Coloring a large, detailed image
This is a continuation of the process post from a few days ago.
When I started coloring this picture, I didn't know that this one was going to be my final version. I started with the intent of just testing colors and techniques, but the image started looking so nice, that I decided to run with it.
Usually, I suggest doing a quick color test on anything large or
complex. On this image, testing involves trying colors of the skin, beads,
and how to get the texture on the snake skin. This photo is my first
You can see that there is a slight color variation between his face and the rest of his body. I was testing the idea of adding a faint green to the shadows, to accent the beads and to add variety from the tones on the snakeskin.
Notice how I bled out of the lines BADLY on the elbow, and to a lesser extent on the snake. I'm not worried because I know that I can clean that up with the colorless blender, and if I can't, I know that I will be erasing that area anyways once I scan in the final picture.
I don't remember what colors I used for this image, sorry! I do know that I used G21 on the beads, a base skin tone of E50, and I used a lot of Y28, to the point that I had to borrow a Y28 from my set at work to finish the image.
This next step-out photo shows the base yellow under all the snakes. I took these pictures with my phone, so be aware that the colors looked a lot smoother in real life.
I know I've mentioned it before, but base tone makes a huge difference, particularly in this image, where I am using the colorless blender to add texture to the snakes. The yellow base will come through the dots of colorless blender, even after I layer on a few more colors.
For those of you who know how much I promote the use of contrast in skin colors, note how dark I go on my skin tone shadows. I also added hints of the same G21 I used on the beads into the darkest tones, to pull those colors together a bit more.
Here is a close-up of the snake-heads in progress. See how I color them smoothly with a range of tones, then go in and add the textures with my colorless blender? I touched, dot-by-dot, with my sketch blender pen to get the fine dots. In this image you can really see my layers of green also incorporated on the snakeskin.
Just so you know, the paper makes a huge difference. I work on a thin, tight-fibered paper so that my edges are crisp when doing this technique. Because the paper is thin, I use less ink, and my colorless blender has an easier time moving ink around.
Here is the final, scanned, color corrected image I submitted to the Asian Celebration Committee. I think the skin highlights came out a bit lighter than I wanted, but overall, I am pretty pleased with the way this came out.
However, after this was done, we changed our mind about the color scheme on the final poster. I was not about to re-color the whole picture! This took hours and hours to color. Luckily, in this day and age, we are blessed with Photoshop.
Here is the final artwork, incorporated into the finished poster. Notice what changed?
I'll be demoing Copic Markers each afternoon from 3-4 in the youth art room during the Celebration. I hope to see you there.
I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into the process and how artwork can easily change over time. Have a great weekend!