Monday, September 16, 2019

Inspire Me Monday: Hitting a Home Run with Depth & Dimension


Hello everyone! Amy Shulke here from Vanilla Arts. Thanks for joining me for Inspire Me Monday. 

Do you get bogged down by the color selection process? Do you question those Copic blending combinations that other stampers swear by because they don't seem to deliver the realism you're looking for? Today, I am going to tell you a little bit about what it takes to create that depth and dimension -- especially when it comes to monochromatic coloring. 

Take a look at the finished piece before we get started. 
And now, let's delve into the image, starting with that warm, antique background. I used Power Poppy's Baseball Vignette for this creation. 

Tip 1: Antique Linen is a very subtle color and when applied with a Lifechanging Brush, the application is flawless. I’ve tried to get these faded backgrounds for years and my success rate was really low. The brush (which looks kind of like a makeup brush) makes it so simple to fade color seamlessly to white paper. 

Tip 2: I can already tell I’m going to have problems between the bats and the glove. It’s a lot of the same value range (W4, W6 & W8 Copics), so separating them will be tricky. That’s the challenge of monochromatic coloring, it’s easy to separate something when you can make it a brighter color. I’ll be doing some subtle bat adjustments later with my pencils.

Tip 3: Don’t let a stereotype ruin the realism! When I squint my eyes at real grass, I see small patches of color. So many people think “oh, it’s grass, I should make long grassy strokes”. But long marker strokes would be way out of scale for the image here. It’s grass, not a bamboo jungle. I’m doing the grass in two phases. Right now, I’m working on that patchy color. Later, I can add correctly scaled blades of grass with a finely sharpened pencil. 

Tip 4: Honesty time- I colored all the peanuts light but it just felt too boring. Then I realized peanut skins are darker. So I colored two dark. Luckily, I took a break and when I returned to color another one dark I realize that two was enough. Be willing to let the drawing change your mind. It will tell you what it needs if you listen.

Tip 5: I still haven’t used a white pencil yet. Why not? Because nothing I’ve colored here is white. Again, stop falling for coloring stereotypes, highlights are rarely white. They’re lighter but lighter is not white.

Tip 6: I’ve tried my hardest to keep that darned baseball round but man, it’s impossible. I’ve used a 90% French gray pencil to recarve the shape. The ball is smaller than when I started and I still don’t think it’s totally round, but it’s better than it was. But be honest, I can see the ball is off-round but if I hadn’t said anything, would you have noticed? Often the things that bug us the most are minor or even invisible to viewers.


Tip 7: Finally the grass. I don’t try to draw every single blade of grass. Of everything in this image, the grass might be the least important, so it doesn’t really deserve a ton of time. My strokes are short, about the same length that the grass would naturally be. Be sure to overlap a bit of the main image BUT ONLY if the object is actually sitting IN the grass. The bat is not in the grass, it’s hovering over the grass, so no overlapping grass on the bat.

You can see, I only used a few markers and a few colored pencils but the result is full of depth and dimension. The key is choosing those shades wisely and then accenting areas with highlights and shadows to bring those images to the foreground or background. 

I hope seeing this vintage image in action helps you to "see" things in a new light in your own crafting spaces. If you enjoyed these little tidbits, you can join me over at Vanilla Arts for a complete lesson on creating depth and dimension when looking at your marker's values. I taught the class live last Friday but, as always, it will be available in the Vanilla Arts archives for several months to enjoy repeatedly. Just click HERE to learn how to tap into these classes. 

Thanks so much for joining me. Hopefully, I will see you again over at Vanilla Arts!


Bunny said...

Love this. Take me out to the ball game. [Bunny]``

Henriëtte said...

Awesome colouring and I love the way you explain everything.
Even for someone whose native language isn't English it's so good to understand and althought I don't have Copics or other alcohol markers, I always learn something from it.
And I am so glad that someone like you, who teaches art, says that and I quote "highlights are rarely white. They’re lighter but lighter is not white.". I always say that.
Thank you so much for your awesome post and have a great week.