Good Morning Monday! It’s Christine here bringing you a sunshiney tutorial to start off your week. I wanted to give you tips on how to take your Copic colouring to the next level using highlight and depth.
I think it’s always effective to visually compare colouring so you can pick out what makes a difference in the overall outcome. Today I’m comparing 3 different ways of colouring this beautiful image from Spice it Up; then how to “step-up” your realism with some simple colouring steps.
First we’re going to look at what I call “Flat Stanley”. I wanted to pick a name that would be memorable to you :) This would be a very limited marker colouring. I’ve only used the above 7 colours to give Flat Stanley colouring.
Here’s Flat Stanley above. All I’ve done here is use single marker colouring to fill in the image. There actually IS a little depth added but it’s accomplished by adding a second layer of the same colour over the first. So, in the fruit I’ve added a second layer of YR15 in the bottom right of each orange. The light source is coming from the top left, so that only has one layer of colour, but overall, it’s pretty flat looking. I don’t really like this one at all. I know there are ways we can step this up to give the design much more realism and pop.
In the above picture Flat Stanley (FS) is on top. And my second design is below. Here you can see I’ve added depth in the bottom right of each orange using some deeper YR colours.
You can also see that I’ve left circles in the top left of each orange uncoloured. These will be my highlighted areas. By leaving them uncoloured until the very last, no matter what marker I use at the end to colour those highlighted areas in, they will remain the lightest and that will achieve the look of highlight on the fruit.
What a difference it already makes in the overall look of the oranges when you compare the two designs, right?
Here I’ve shown the additional markers I used to achieve this effect: YR16, YR18, YR09. You can also see that I’ve added YR20 to the highlighted areas so it blends into the orange better, but still looks very highlighted, like the light is reflecting off of that part of the fruit. I often use a very light marker within the colour family to soften the highlights.
Now we’ll move on to the greens. On Flat Stanley, I used G40 alone, but on the second design I’ve also added in G43 and G46. You can see that the leaves look so much more realistic with the addition of depth and shadow. Dark always receeds (so it looks deeper or shadowed) and light always advances (so it looks closer to you or highlighted).
In this picture you can see the finished colouring compared between Flat Stanley and the second design. It makes a big difference in how real and how inviting the image looks. I would say that I colour images in the second style about 50% of the time. I’m quite happy with how it looks. But what if you wanted to really make something look even more special and really step it up? Good thing you asked....let’s move on!
As you can now we’re comparing image 2 and 3. In the #2 example above, I’ve given the fruit as much depth as I can give them using YR markers. The YR09 that is in the bottom right of the fruit in example 2 is as saturated and deep of a colour for YR markers as I have. It wouldn’t matter how many layers of YR09 I’d add, it would look the same. So, to give it the oranges the depth that you can see in the #3 example, I’ve taken my T2 marker and added in that warm grey tone on the bottom right of all the fruit (I chose a warmer grey because of the warm tones in the YR’s). You wouldn’t think it would work right? You’d think it would just muddy the orange, but it looks so much more realistic to what you’d see in real life. In all items in nature there are tones from other sides of the colour wheel that your eye sees, but you just don’t identify them as different. I chose a T2 marker so it would be a darker effect but not such a great contrast. If you were colouring something that had really sharp contrasts you could use a T4 or darker, but that’s not the look we’re going for here. We still want it to blend nicely.
If you’re colouring in with a neutral marker (C, N, T or W Copics) and the design looks more grey than you’d like, just come back with your YR18 or YR09 and add another layer on top to “orange” it up a bit. That would work for anything you’re colouring, just go back to the colour family you’re using and give it some more of that colour. Make sense?
Now for the leaves! I could use a T2 in these as well, but I wanted to show you what some other colours used for depth look like. Often in leaves I’ll use a colour from the BV family (BV00 or BV02) to add shadow and depth to the greens. I really like how it looks. In the leaves above I’ve also added YG00 into some of the highlighted areas where they might be getting direct light, and then at the very end added a wee bit of BG11 to a few of the shadowed areas too. BG and G look nice together.
Can you pick out the differences between image 2 and the fruit and leaves in image 3?
Here are both images 2 and 3 completely coloured. Image 2 is still great, but I really like how stepped up image 3 is. If you click on these photos you should be able to get an even bigger picture that will help you see the differences.
And now here are all three images together. Can you see what a contrast there is between the designs, and how much of a change it is from Flat Stanley? Oh Flat Stanley, I can hardly stand to look at you! I’ll be fixing him up before it goes to a completed card.
Here are the designs put into cards. As I said, I could hardly stand Flat Stanley the way he was so I used my blender pen to add highlights to the fruit and then coloured in more depth with my other markers. Can you tell which card is which?
Here is the transformed Flat Stanley. Doesn’t he look better? You can see the highlights are never as effective when done with a blender pen, but it still helps in the overall design.
Here is Design #2.
And finally Design #3.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little depth and highlight comparison and that it encourages you to experiment with your markers in new ways!
Thanks for joining me today!