Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Feed Me!

Color layers
I was making a birthday card for someone down here at Copic, and I thought you might like to see a few steps in the coloring process. I drew this image with a 0.3mm Multiliner onto X-press It Blending Card.

The lucky birthday guy grows plants in his office that eat bugs. He has quite a few little plants that eat things, so a natural topic would be Little Shop of Horrors. This card is totally inspired by that musical!

I started with the flowerpot, colored with Y21, then I blended in Y19, YR18, E35, and R39 for the deepest shadows. You can see I didn't color very evenly with my base coat because I knew that I would be soaking in a lot of layers of color, so there wasn't a need. I tried to keep my shadows consistent, with the light coming from the upper right.

I colored his tongue with R24, Y00, and R39

Next, I added the palest yellow to his lips and the tips of his leaves. I blended this into YG06, as this is a very vibrant, rich, bright green color. For the shadows, I added YG63 and G28.

On his head, I dotted onY00 over the YG06, to give it a slight texture. Eventually, I also dotted on some YG03 and YG06 as well

The deepest, darkest shadows, or leaves in back I colored first, so I could better define the leaves in front. You'll notice on the bottom left leaf a hint of red/brown. That's because I added R24 to those shadows, since red is the opposite of green, and when the two mix it makes nice shadows. It also helps to tie the red tongue and flowerpot colors into the plant.

As you can see from the next step, you don't notice the red as much as I layer on the darker greens, and start defining the veins on the leaves. The vine holding the cake needs to stay the lightest area, as that gets the most light.

I colored the chocolate cake with E35, R24 and R39, and the candle with YR18 and Y00. While those two colors are really far apart, on an area this small, it works. Don't catch yourself getting locked into having to obey color "rules". Many times I just go for whatever markers are handy, and just make them work. To make the leaves look more textured as well, I dotted Y00 over the darker greens to fade and wash them out.

Sometimes I go outside the lines while coloring. On this image, I know that I will be coloring around it with a light blue, so I don't bother cleaning up my pale green mistakes. Once I go back with my blue, it will push the mistakes back into the image.

Here's the final card. I added B41 as my blue, with dots of G12, BG01, and Y21. I also added dots of greens throughout the rest of the plant. The little yellow border was drawn with a Y19 marker.

The birthday guy loved his card, and I hope you enjoyed it as well. Happy Spring!


liannallama said...

Fantastic card! I bet you can guess what song I'm singing in my head lol! Feed me Seymour!

Sue from Oregon said...

I wish you would offer this image as a digi-it would be perfect for those guys that love this!

Joan V said...

Hehe, what a great card. Thanks for sharing.

sheabella said...

You are so talented and a great teacher!!
I always learn so much reading your instructions. Thank you for sharing your creations.. I LOVE this card. It made me laugh.
Have a great day

Jan Castle said...

Soooo enjoyable to see how you do everything! Bet this card is displayed amongst his plants...hope they don't eat it!
Paper Hugs,

Ellen Taylor said...

Thanks for the giggle! Your image takes me back! Awesome card!

Anonymous said...

Please Please Please OH please please make this a digi-stamp, or even an etched stamp I'd buy it!! Love it, and love you for drawing it!! I'd pay about $8-$11 for it!

dpkennedy said...

Fantastic! I'm not surprised he loved it!

Android Developer said...

I like your blog.

Android Developer said...

Oh how cute

Android Developer said...

I just came across your blog today

nckaren said...

Marianne, I LOVE Little Shop of Horrors - and so does my husband. What a marvelous idea for a birthday card! Thanks for sharing this. You're really inspiring me. :-)

Jessica said...

Hi Marianne, I know this post is very old now and perhaps you won't get this comment, but just in case. I'm quite new to Copics (though I've managed to acquire a lot in a short time - they are addictive!) and one of the things I've been doing constantly to become more familiar with them is practicing using tutorials like these, in which an artist explains her process for coloring an image. When possible, I print out the images, use the exact colors (whenever possible), follow any instructions, and try to reproduce the results, in order to develop some sort of technique.

I did that with this image (I printed it only for my own practice use, not for any other purpose), and I'm having great difficulty blending the greens. When I attempt to blend Y000 (which I'm using instead of Y00, which I don't (yet) have) with YG06, the Y00 just pushes the green out of the way (the way colorless blender does), and no real "blending" happens. I can't quite figure out how to "blend [the pale yellow" into YG06," as you describe. And YG06 and YG63 will not blend for me at all - it's just a mess where the two of them meet, almost an "oil and water" thing. They both push each other around, ink very wet and shiny sitting on top of the paper, but no blending seems to be happening. Even G28 isn't being very cooperative with YG63. It's like they are all so different from each other that none wants to merge with the other - and yet clearly it is possible!

In my attempt to blend, I've tried using little circles of the lighter color where the two meet, and also "flicks" of the lighter color into the darker (which I'm still practicing - maybe my technique is the problem?). I've tried covering the entire surface with the lighter color to make sure it's very wet; I've also tried starting with the darker color. It works best for me to add the shadow and then go over the entire shadow with the lighter color, but then I lose most of the contrast.

I am using Xpress-it blending card; the image is printed out with a laser printer (it's low resolution, but fine for practice purposes).

Do you have any suggestions or thoughts about blending colors that are very different, and don't easily want to give up their independence? I've found lots of tutorials that all say the same thing about how to blend, and videos that make it look easy, and many suggest using an intermediate color when - but in this case you're clearly able to blend them, so there must be a way.

If you do get this, I'd definitely be very grateful for any help you are willing to offer!