Monday, April 19, 2021

Garden Dirt: Tulips in Hobnail Pitcher, a Swatch for Underpainting with Copic Marker


Green is bursting everywhere!

We're still a bit early in the season to have many flowers blooming here in my small corner of the world, but the green spouts and buds are out.

Tulips are one of my favorite flowers and I thought I'd force a few bulbs (artistically) for this segment of The Garden Dirt. Let's get ready to talk about green!

Hello, my name is Amy Shulke and I'm the illustrator and art instructor over at Welcome to another edition of my color swatch series here at Power Poppy.

If you're new to my lessons, you're probably wondering why I'd name a beautiful flower coloring series after dirt. We want to think about pretty colors right? Certainly not dirt. But we're talking dirt because every garden needs dirt, it's the foundation for life. We need dirt for coloring too, dirty colors are the foundation for realism.

You can read more from my Garden Dirt series here.

Think about the parts of a flower...

Most people don't think deeply about flower anatomy. You've got a general idea about leaves, stems, petals, and the funny things in the center that the bees all like.

Close your eyes and picture your favorite flower. No cheating, don't go sneak a peek at one, let's just think about a flower you know really well... Now tell me about how the flower petals connect to the stem.

Hmmm. This is harder than you expected, right?

We're so used to thinking about the blossoms and leaves that we rarely think about the stems. When we do think about stems, they're just some random tube shapes coming from somewhere under the blossom.

Admit it. Right now, you're not really sure how flower petals connect to the stem. Most of you are thinking about silk flowers where you can pop the whole flower head right off the plastic stick.

Ahhhhhh, grasshopper-- you're missing the most astoundingly beautiful part of a flower!

Real flowers are not like silk flowers!

With silk flowers, you have a green plastic stem and pretty colorful petals glued on top.

But with real flowers, the petals grow out of the stem. With some flowers, it's actually hard to tell where the stem stops and the petal starts.

We all remember chlorophyll from elementary school science class, that's the stuff which makes leaves look green. And if you think about it, chlorophyll makes the stem green too.

But here's the cool part... chlorophyll doesn't just stop dead at the top of a stem.

If you look closely at the base of a petal, you'll see green chlorophyll climbing up from the stem into the flower petal. Look even closer and you'll see the pretty pink, yellow, or red color from the petal leaking down into the stem.

Colorful petals and green stems are connected; they're part of the same system. The color from one body part oozes into the next body part.

Which means that even on the most brilliantly colored blossoms, you'll see green seeping up on the underside of many petals.

That green blend is beautiful!

For more realistic flower petals, add green to your Copic Marker blending combination

I know this idea frightens you. Green blended with red makes blech! Green blended with yellow ruins the yellow. Green blended with orange makes vomit...

I know. I can see you getting squirmy in your seat. The laws of color mixing strictly prohibit mixing light red and green together.

Uh... what exactly is it that happens if you mix light red and green? Does it explode? Does fire rain from the sky? Plagues of frogs, locusts, or IRS agents?


Nothing bad will happen if you add G43 to your pretty red blending combination.

I did it in my tulip project here and I'm still alive enough to tell you about it.

Go ahead and try it. Tell the cops that Amy said it was okay. You'll be fine.

It's pretty.

Very, very pretty. And isn't that why we color?

Let's color tulips together!

The tulips shown here are a small portion of Power Poppy's Tulips and Hobnail Pitcher digital stamp but my color recipe will work with any tulip image. Try it on the tulips in Springtime Love Roundel, Spring Border, or Love One Another. This recipe even works with other flowers.

I started by bringing the G43 from the stem up and into the base of each petal. Then I softened the G43 with a few flicks of G40. Then I continued on with R21 up to the middle of each petal and softened it with R00. I left the edge of each tulip as clean white paper. 

G43 to G40 to R21 to R00. Sounds weird, looks stunning!

And hey, we're coloring tulips over at Vanilla Arts this month. My Tulip Wreath project uses a very similar blending combination. Join us there for a little bit of advanced artistic coloring.

All Vanilla Workshop classes are immediate access. Work at your ow pace, color it as many times as you want!

Have fun adding green ink to all your blending combinations!

Happy Coloring!


Henriëtte said...

You can't compare fake flowers to real ones.
There is something about nature that can be made by machines.
Again a great lesson to learn Amy. Thank you so much for sharing
al your awesome expertise with us. Stay safe and have a wonderful week.

Rosy Newlun said...

Those are so delicate! I love the gentle colors. The IRS agents though 🤣😁💜

Bunny said...

I'm going with the IRS agents. If you've done nothing wrong it won't matter. Right?

Great secret colors.

Is the challenge ever going to come back? I've missed it. I'm sure others have too. [Bunny]

Barb said...

Love, love, love this series from Amy! I learn so much each time. These tulips are beautiful! I look forward to trying this technique. And...ya gotta love Amy's humor! LoL!

Carolyn said...

Thanks for this information. I learn so many new little things that make projects look more realistic. Your posts are very informative and useful. Keep them coming.

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