Thursday, April 5, 2012

Matching Coloring

I was making a stack of thank you cards, and I had a wonderful polka-dot green paper that I really wanted to use. However, I also wanted to use a cute teddy-bear image, and I wanted to keep the bear brown.

Today I wanted to step you through my coloring process to find the matching colors to make my project work.

Finding Colors that match
The first problem I had was that my patterned paper did not have an exact color match with any Copic colors on my hand-drawn chart. I found that it was very close to BG72, but it needed to be a hair brighter, not lighter, simply more vibrant. To accomplish this, I chose another color that was very close to the paper tone, G12. G12 is a brighter, light green. As a base to the BG72 it would help pull down the grayness, but still retain the greenish cast that I needed.

When you are having trouble finding an exact color match, try the closed color, and see what it needs to change it. If it is too dull, layer a more vibrant tone. If your color needs more yellow, don't reach for a bright yellow, try a base of a subtle, but close yellow. Many times it will take two or even three colors blended to make the right mix.

I was going to be printing the sentiment, so I chose that color a little differently. I pulled out a color chart that I had printed from the same printer. I matched the patterned paper to the closest color from my printout, then I chose that color as my text color.

Matching the Bear
I really wanted a brown bear, and have the turquoise as my accent color. I like to work with one dominant color and two accent colors.

My other challenge, was that I had to make a few of these cards, so I wanted to keep the color spectrum simple, and one that I could easily color a bunch of without taking too much time. I like challenging myself by working with a simple color palette, and an image like this bear does not need a whole lot of colors.

I wanted a fairly neutral brown, so I decided to work with the E30/E40's families. I started with a base of E30.

Then, I blended in E44. Those are the only two browns I used on the bear. After I had blended in the E44, I let the bear dry thoroughly, and I went back and darkened the deepest shadows with the E44. I added the cast shadows on his arms, on his legs, and from the flower. These needed to be crisp on the edges, and for crisp edges, let your base colors dry.

However, these colors were flat, and did not match my paper or chosen accent colors at all. So, my next step was to pull out the G12 I liked. I lightly brushed the G12 over the brown bear, starting in the shadows and feathering over the light areas. I did not blend. Here it may look kind of odd, but remember, this bear will be sitting on greenish paper.

In real life, if this teddy bear were actually sitting on the greenish patterned paper, then any light that hit the green paper would reflect back onto his fur, with a bit of a greenish tone to it. Lightly adding the G12 allows me to pull the bear into the background a bit more, and suggests reflected light from the paper.

Last, I colored the patches with a base of G12 and BG72 for the shadows. The flower is colored with E04 and the E44.

Not shown: I used a gold Spica glitter pen to add my darkest shadows on the brown fur areas, and a silver glitter pen along the edges of the turquoise

I added extra reflection on his nose and the flower with a dab of Copic Opaque White.

Here are the final, very simple cards. Look at how the green, while strange on the bear by itself, now pulls the bear into the paper nicely.

I think the cards are done. I may add a small accent under each sentiment, but at this point I am happy stopping. Now I get the fun of writing some thank yous!

Note that I only used 5 colors: E30, E44, E04, G12, and BG72. Accent with Opaque white, and two glitter pens. Now that is an easy image! Coloring didn't take very long, maybe 5 min. per image... which is what you want when making many cards. Paper is from Recollections Charming Paper Pad. I drew the bear with a 0.1mm Multiliner, then scanned it and printed it as needed. The bear is popped up with our X-press It Foam tape. I used Neenah Classic crest cardstock as a base, since it is slightly warmer than the Blending Card I usually color on for card projects.


Carole of Brum said...

I see what you mean! wow, thanks for such an interesting post, Marianne. I don't think it would ever have occurred to me to try these techniques. Must go and play now, he hee. CoB

Cassie said...

These are fantastic, Marianne! I did something similar the other day on a rock that I wanted to have purple tones to. I would have never thought about green on the brown, but I love the look :)

Leta said...

beautiful...thank you for the tips..I would have never added the green to the bear but it makes perfect sense.

Arabella said...

Thanks for the great tip Marianne! I love that you only used a few colours to achieve this result!


Gloria said...

Thank you for the educational tidbit. Your cards are cheerful and lovely.

marilynwillauer said...

Adorable!!! Thank you for the tutorial on how to color this cute little bear!!! Great tips on adding colors where you think they wouldn't fit in.
Enjoy your day!

AtStudioD said...

Such a cute teddy!! I'm so glad you posted these tips. I find myself looking to other color families to mix colors if I want to closely match it with my paper. It usually works, but I tend to give up if I don't get it in the first try... I hate wasting my paper with swatches... lol. Anyway, I guess I'll just have to buy x-press it paper in bulk and work on my matching. Thanks again for a great blog.

x0, Damaris

Shelly Schmidt said...

I love the visual tutorials- I guess I would never use a color like the green to accent.... Now I am going to have to try this- mine will not look anything like yours...LOL but is will be a great learning experience!!!

Barb said...

Thinking out of the box again!!! I would never have thought of this, but after you showed me this in York the other week with skins tones - it totally makes sense to me!!! This bear is adorable and now I'm going to go play with my copics and try this on other than skin tones!!!!

Kim said...

Thank you so very much for the tips! I have this problem all of the time and now know how to fix this! Your cards are perfect!!!

Payne Holler Cards said...

Very clever! Wish I could just draw the image I wanted ...a real gift to be able to do that. (-:

Nic Hazelett said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

Was glad to come across your site - I am a huge huge copic fan - I cannot be deterred from these markers no matter what anyone tells me about other markers - you can check out my flickr site to see some work with copics - ALL of my doodle art is done with copics!
Since I have your ear I always wanted to put my two cents in about the copic site. I visit time and again but really wish that the copic site would be more user friendly towards copic maniaces like me - is there a copic flickr site, is there somewhere us copic fanaticws can share - let me know - happy to meet you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy! Check out - Our latest site for Copic fans and collectors. You can keep track of your collection, share your work and more. Hope to see you there! :)

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Copic Marker USA

Anonymous said...

From one simple stage of coloring to the more complicated. The final result is amazing. Sooo cool! :)

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Cheryl O said...

This is just too darn cute, and great coloring tips, as usual!! Thank you so much....

Sharon Roselli said...

wow I love how this bear turned out! I never would of used the green thank you so much for showing and telling why. I will have to try this!I'm still quite the beginner. practice practice practice still

Ellen Taylor said...

Awesome bear! Thanks for the color matching tips!

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