Friday, August 1, 2008

Understanding Contrast part 4- Colored Inks and color markers

For those of you just jumping in, this is the last part of this little tangent that I started on Tuesday. All 4 parts really go together. Next week I promise I'll talk about something else.

Coloring Colored Ink Pictures
When adding colors to a picture stamped or drawn with colored inks the best advice I can give is, (especially for something detailed like this) go subtle. You can always go dark, but a hint of color next to a colored line has a lot more subtleties involved and goes farther than when you work with hints of color and black lines.

1. Know your Ink Color
Just like before, figure out what the closest ink color is. We already know that we don't have an exact B color to match the Paris Dusk ink, but I can tell that this color is so dark it would be a Copic color that ended in an 8 or 9 on a scale of light/dark.

2. Choose light colors to start.
I wanted the angel to have a yellow robe, light skin, and the wings are in shadow, so they would be darker. My colors all end in 0 or 1, except for my grays. My darkest gray is W5. If I went any darker on the gray it would be too dark compared to the ink. I could go darker on the skin and robe, but I think it works. On a detailed image like this, a little color goes a long way.

This is especially true if your ink color is cool and your marker colors are warm. Like this angel, the ink is blue, a cool color, yet all the markers I chose are warm. If I were working with cool colors and blues I could get away with darker colors to achieve more contrast.

3. Last, add white or layer dark if you need more contrast.
In this case, I started with only w3 for the wings, but they didn't have enough contrast from the rest of the image, especially since they are behind the figure and are supposed to be shadowed so I added W5. For highlights, instead of painting in white though, I faded the light areas to white with the colorless blender because I didn't want strong whites, I wanted subtle edges.

After I had my first layer of light colors that I added two days ago, I looked at it again yesterday and realized it needed more depth, so I added a darker layer to the skin and robe. This is where Copics are great. I can layer, blend, and keep working my colors at any time, it doesn't have to all be done right away. And, no matter how much I layer, it won't cause the paper to pill up.

In this case, notice the Y26 is a little dark for the ink- in the deepest shadow areas under her arms it really shows. I really needed a color half-way between the Y23 and the Y26. Oh well, add another color to my wish list.

This image has a lot of heavy ink lines. When you are coloring a picture like this, be it stamped or hand-drawn try to avoid coloring over large inked areas. Even on inks that are not supposed to bleed with Copic markers, it is still a good idea to be careful, since a little of that dense ink could still be picked up and smeared. Check your marker tips so they aren't stained if you do go over dense ink areas.

I hope I've been able to give you some ideas this week for how to make your work a bit more lively by understanding contrast. Again, if I haven't said it before, when you find an ink/marker color combo that you like, WRITE IT DOWN and add it to your Swatch book. Have a great weekend and enjoy coloring!

Image: Believe by Crafty Secrets, Clear Art Stamps, Inks: Memento Paris Dusk Paper: Neenah Classic Crest


Kathleen said...

thanks so much for all the educating you do everyday! I'm so pleased to have my own little "tutor" when I open my Google reader! I haven't laid down the money for Copics yet, but I will asap (too much tuition for the kiddos right now!). I'm so glad I've got these to go back and read when I finally do take the plunge!!

Rajen Nair said...

Your knowledge about coloured inks and markers is fantastic.

Nicole said...

I really need to get my sketch book started! I just wish I had more time to play with paper!!!!

I really enjoyed the in-depth info you gave us this week. It will surely carry into more aspects of Copic art, at least on my desk!

THANKS and have a SUPAH weekend!

Sandy Knecht said...

Wonderful finish to contrast. You are amazing. I started my swatchbook this weekend. Thank you!

Candy said...

I really enjoyed this series of posts on contrast, it was like a light bulb went off and now I understand it a lot better. TFS!!