I ordered a few new books lately, They are all amazing and I had a blast coloring them. In this blog, I hope to provide some inspirations for you to try out some of these books and share with you a few things I learned while coloring them.
Color My Sketchbook Wild by Bennett Klein and Mae Klein
I had so much fun coloring the Panda portrait (featured above) in this book mainly because my dog Dexter actually has panda eyes!
This is a greyscale coloring book meaning the illustrations includes shades of grey as your guide. The tones of the grey suggest whether you use dark color or light color in an area. This is an excellent exercise to help master blending and learn about light and shadows which you can apply to other non-greyscale coloring.
In my work-in-progress picture above, I colored the butterfly green which looks fine up to this point. Nice contrast with everything else. However, I then decided that I wanted the background color to be green too. My trusty Staedler Eraser to the rescue, most of the green colors came off even though I had many layers! I colored the butterfly with many layers of reds, yellow and orange. What do you think? Do you like it green or orange? What I learned was it’s never too late, don’t be afraid to change your mind with colored pencils.
Day Dreams by Hanna Karlzon
This coloring project was a challenge for me because I have never colored a rainy scene before! The dark cloud was done by watercolor and colored pencils. I first mixed 3 shades of blue watercolor and used a fairly wet brush to color the background with random shades of blue. After that, I used blue and grey colored pencils to further define the clouds. It’s not as hard as I first thought as some natural cloud formations can be spotted from the watercolor wash. You just have to highlight them.
I find that to color cloud you need to think in reverse. you outline the cloud loosely but you color outside the line. Try to avoid a hard line, their edge are usually soft. To give the cloud dimensions so they look fluffy, use grey (if it’s a rainy day!) or blue inside the cloud along the bottom but leave some white area between the grey and the edge of the cloud.
I googled frog colors and learned that they have light colored bellies and red paws. Same with mushrooms, I have never seen red mushrooms in real life, but they do exist. I like to research a bit on my coloring subject before I start. Although this is art, anything goes, it doesn’t need to be real.
Lastly, I used Sakura gelly roll Moonlight pens (Moonlight pens are opaque) to highlight some of the flower stems so they stood out from the dark background.
Magic Beauty by Nadia Vasilkova
I absolutely love these owls in the book Magic Beauty by Nadiya Vasilkova. Her pointillism drawings are amazing. It is like greyscale except that all the dark and light are reflected by the density of the dots (see picture below). High density of dots means dark area and lighter density means lighter. It is softer and less intrusive than lines. I cannot imagine the patience required to dot a complex illustration like this!
While the illustrations are marvellous, the quality of the book itself is not the best. The paper is super thin, it works fine with colored pencils but when I tried using watercolor for the background, it was like dropping water on tissue paper. I was so scared that the paper might disintegrate. I think I will photocopy the image onto card stock paper in the future instead of coloring directly in the book if I am going to use watercolor again.
Despite the blotchy watercolor disaster, I calmly let it dry, put the book under my now pretty heavy stack of coloring books to flatten the paper overnight. The next day, I used colored pencils to fix the background, adding highlights, shadow and fill in areas that were too light. I think the end result looked not too bad.
Coloring Card by me
Last but not least, the May coloring card that I designed is available for free download from the Creative Scrapbooker Magazine. I used Tombow dual brush pens to color mine. I have a blog about how to blend colors with the Tombow pens. Even though the download image is in a card format, I cut out the 5×5 inch work and framed it with a store bought, matted frame as shown here. I love how it cheers up my otherwise boring shelf!
Hope I provide some inspirations for your coloring projects. I would love to see your feedback, or suggestions on what you’d like to see in future blogs. Let’s make this more interactive!