Useful knowledge and tips for coloring follows here.
1. Pencils / Pens
a) Colored Pencils
Colored pencils or pencil crayons are available from many different brands and come in a huge range of colors. They are suitable for almost any paper and can be mixed with each other.
Colored pencils are oil or wax base. This may have an impact on the number of possible layers of color, because an application of oil on oil generally works better than wax on wax. Here as well, the paper quality also plays a role.
A good pencil quality shows among other on the color intensity (higher concentrations of high-quality pigments) and the fun while coloring.
I highly recommend the colored pencils Polychromos from Faber-Castell.
Watercolor pencils behave like crayons, but their pigments are water-soluble. Watercolor pencils can apply very different, so I will mention here the three most popular options:
When working with water, it is important that the paper has a heavier weight. I recommend at least 190 gr.
c) Fineliner Pen
Fineliners are good for coloring small details. They are available in many different colors and line thicknesses.
I recommend STABILO point 88.
d) Felt Tip Pen
Felt tip pens are like fineliners more for details and not for coloring large areas, as their finish is quite streaky. They are available with thin and thicker tips and in a wide range of colors. Felt tip pens may bleed through the paper if it is not thick enough.
With chalk-pastels you can create beautiful color transitions, because the blending is so easy. The application is more powdery and blurs quickly. Therefore, I
recommend using a pastel fixative.
I prefer to draw with the STABILO CarbOthello chalk-pastel pencils.
a) Color Chart
It is very helpful to create a color chart for each pencil type because the pencils are often not entirely coated in the exact color of the pencil lead.
You can applicate your colors on a piece of paper with the colors name or number and the brand.
Blending stumps are helpful to create beautiful and smooth color transitions by blending and smudging your pencil. They are usually made of paper. Sandpaper can be used to clean and re-sharpen the blending stump.
Sharpeners are an important tool when you are working with colored pencils. Here it is significant to ensure good quality in order to protect the pencil lead from breaking. I can recommend the STABILO EASYsharpener and the mechanical Helix Desktop Sharpener with which you can adjust five options on sharpness grade.
Erasers are available in many different versions. It is worth to try out different ones to find your favorite. The Faber-Castell kneaded eraser and a pencil eraser for fine work and the Faber-Castell Sleeve for large areas have proved their worth to me. I can also recommend the Derwent Electric Eraser.
e) Colorless Blender
A colorless blender is a non-pigmented, wax based pencil. It can be used to "polish" over your pencil drawing to create a slightly shiny surface. You can also soften hard edges and lighten your colored pencils with a colorless blender.
1. Color Wheel
Creating your own color wheel is not only fun but can also be very helpful. Just try it!
Here I have a free template for you to download: Basic Color Wheel
2. Primary Colors
With the three primary colors yellow, red and blue you can mix almost all other colors.
If you mix all three primary colors together you obtained black.
3. Secondary Colors
The secondary colors orange, purple and green can be mixed with two primary colors.
4. Complementary Colors
Complementary colors are located on the opposite of the color wheel. When you put two complementary colors side by side, they intensify their visual impact each other (complementary contrast). The mixed result of two complementary colors is gray.
5. Color Temperature
The colors can be divided into cold and warm colors.
Yellow, orange and red belong to the warm colors. Purple, blue and green belong to the cold colors.
Warm colors appear closer to us than cooler colors.
On my next example, you can easily see the different effects of warm and cold colors.
It’s nice to keep the knowledge of color theory in mind as you color by intuition.
When it comes to coloring you can work with different pressure.
The stronger the pressure on the paper is, the more intense the color application.
Pay attention, you can get a wax bloom when using the hardest pressure with wax-based pencils.
Wax bloom makes blending more difficult.
By applying multiple layers of one color over another, you can gradually intensify the color.
Depending on the type of the pencil and the texture of the paper you can apply different numbers of possible layers.
Here you should also pay attention to the appearance of a wax bloom when using wax-based pencils.
As I mentioned in „Coloring Supplies“ applying oil on oil generally works better than wax on wax.
3. Many different Possibilities
There are many different possibilities when applying the colored pencil to the paper.
On my following examples, you can see the effect of the color application by hatching, crosshatching, circles, dots and gradient.
4. Mixing Colors
There are many different ways to mix colors as well.
The following examples demonstrate how you can mix colors by hatching, crosshatching, circles, dots, gradient and layers.
By blending and smudging your pencil you obtain a beautiful and smooth color transition.
Various tools can be used.
On my following examples I have used a blending stump, a colorless blender, a white colored pencil and a cotton swab to show you the different effects.
The blending result is not only dependent on the blending tool, but also on the paper texture.
6. Light and Shadow
The use of light and shadow is important to make something look three dimensional.
There are two important types of shadows. On one hand is the form
shadow. This is the dark side of an object which reveals the form.
On the other hand is the cast shadow, which the object produces.
Shadow is the unlit space behind an illuminated body. Consequently, the shadows are basically always on the opposite side to the light source.
To create the light reflection you can leave these places directly white or you color them with lighter shades, including white pigmented ink or acrylic paint.
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