Today I will be providing you with a step-by-step grayscale coloring tutorial done by a very talented colorist, Ann Reid.
There is a wonderful Facebook coloring group that is focused on coloring pages from the Beautiful Creatures coloring book. It is full of amazing colorists from around the world (join us!) that range from novice to expert colorists. We all share our work and provide each other with tips, tricks and encouragement.
Ann is part of this group. She inspires all of us because of (among many other wonderful qualities) her incredible talent. Every person in the group looks forward to seeing her next creation. She is able to capture every single detail with such amazing precision. She achieves that hyper realistic result that so many of us are striving for when coloring grayscale. The dog above and the four stages below were all completed by Ann. As you can see, she truly brings the image to life! Amazing!
Ann's Grayscale Coloring Tutorial
For the purposes of this tutorial, Ann chose the Basenji dog from the Beautiful Creatures grayscale coloring book.
Step 1: Find reference photos
To begin, find photos related to the subject of your coloring page. In this case, the Basenji. The breed comes in various shades of brown/ginger & white, sometimes with a wrinkled face. Also study the eyes. Having these reference photos will help you choose colors and get an overall sense of the important physical characteristics of your subject.
Step 2: Color the background
Ann used yellow and blue chalk pastels for the background. Color in the areas where you want the color and then smudge it around with your finger to spread and smooth it out.
Step 3: Choose your pencils & do color swatches
Take the time to select your colors in advance. It will make coloring easier. If you've thought out and created swatches of your colors before you start then you'll find your coloring process will go more smoothly because you will have established a good palette of colors to work with. By doing this you won't be scrambling around trying to figure out what color you should be using next, only to discover you have been forced into a color palette you aren't happy with.
You may not use all of your chosen colors & in hindsight Ann thinks she should not have used Raw Umber or Burnt Ochre on the body because she ended up with more of a “sunny” look than she wanted. However, it's best to at least have a palette to choose from that you know works together, even if you don't use all the colors.
Step 4: Work your eyes
Some tips for coloring grayscale eyes:
Step 5: Coloring the rest of the head and body
Step 6: The whiskers
Add whiskers using very light strokes of your white gel pen (just think about where whiskers begin) & you should be done!
Here are more of Ann's amazing creations
The majority of Ann's pictures have been colored with Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils. If you'd like to know exactly what was used for a specific picture then just leave a comment below and I'll find out for you. All of these pictures are from the Beautiful Creatures grayscale coloring book.
I was only going to include a few of Ann's pictures but it was too hard to pick so you get to see them all. Enjoy!
I'm a Mom of 2 from Vancouver, Canada. I recently discovered grayscale coloring and loved it so much I published Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Nature because there were no high quality grayscale coloring books to be found. Join me as I write about the grayscale coloring techniques I have learned and that I am continuing to discover!