TIPS, TECHNIQUES & TUTORIALS
Each time I color I attempt to do something new or different in terms of either the medium I use or the colors I choose. The two examples below are about my color choices. I attempted to incorporate colors that I wouldn't normally have used either in relation to the subject or in combination with the other colors used for the picture. I learned that getting creative with color can create some wonderful results.
I was inspired to do this by Christine Kowbuz (read an interview with her here) who uses color to set off other colors so beautifully! I still have lots to learn but I hope to keep experimenting and to learn more about color so I can achieve better and more exciting results!
TIP 1: Increasing Impact & Depth With Color
I colored the cow using a predictable palette of browns with some yellow and black. I found it was a bit flat so then I decided to try to create more depth & impact by using some reds and blues as accent colors. I made sure to still "follow the gray" when deciding where to use the reds and blues. This means I colored over the medium to dark gray areas with the reds and blues and not the light gray areas because that would have taken away from the highlighted areas which contrast with the shaded areas to help create the shape & depth.
By accenting with these bolder/contrasting colors the shaded areas are became more intense and interesting (i.e. more shape & texture) while also creating what I believe to be more of a 3-D effect (or perhaps I'm just hoping for that?!). To me, the head feels even more like it's coming forward vs. the cow's body that is a bit softer and fading away slightly. I'm very curious to try this with other pictures. I believe if I had just used a larger range of browns then I would have gotten quite a realistic result but it wouldn't have been as strong. What do you think?
Tip 2: A Limited Palette That Gives You All You Need
I love working with a limited palette. There is something so simple and relaxing about it (as if coloring isn't already relaxing enough!). However, if I limit my palette when coloring grayscale then I have usually limited it to a somewhat monochromatic palette with a range of lights to darks rather than a range of truly different colors. This time I challenged myself to work with just four different colors for the entire picture, including the background: yellow, green, pink & purple. For this picture I used three colors on the flower petals and three colors on the leaves and background:
Flower petals: yellow, pink & purple
Leaves & background: yellow, green & purple
Here are the steps I followed:
Overall, I was very pleased with the results. I love the beautiful, delicate colors that resulted from layering as well as the wonderful yet not too stark contrast between the flower petals and the leaves and background. Because there were common colors throughout the picture there is a nice continuity but that small difference in the palette for the flower petals vs. the background and leaves provides the perfect amount of contrast.
I really enjoyed coloring this way. I look forward to trying it again and getting more creative with my colors. If you haven't already tried experimenting with color I encourage you to. It was really fun! I didn't know what I was doing but that was part of the fun and made it that much more exciting when I achieved a result I was happy (and surprised!) with!
If anyone has any tips about using and selecting colors I would LOVE to hear them! Please leave a comment below.
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!