Colour Me Beautiful

Today on Tutorial Tuesday, I will be providing you with a tutorial I did way back in 2008, as a refresher on colour, since I have been posting about the colour wheel.  There are lots of pictures full of information and inspiration focusing on colouring with Prismacolor pencil crayons. These pencil crayons provide a professional finish when blended with Odorless Mineral Spirits, also known as Gamsol or Odorless Turpenoid. This Odorless Mineral Spirit (OMS) can be found at your local craft and hobby store.

For more information on Prismacolor pencil crayons you can read a recent post of mine entitled An Introduction to Prismacolor Pencil Crayon.  For more information on the colour wheel you can read Introduction to the Colour Wheel.

As I colour, I blend after each area is coloured. For purpose of this tutorial, I am colouring the entire image before I blend. I hope you enjoy this tutorial.

Prismacolour Pencil Crayons
Odourless Mineral Spirits/Gamsol/Odorless Terponoid
Tortillions (paper sticks)
Permanent Ink Pad (such as VersaMark or Versafine)

Colour your image, leaving areas free of pencil crayon. Here you can see I added pink to the flesh tone, to give the cheek a pink tint.

The hat is coloured gold. Notice the large area left uncoloured. This allows even a lighter area of gold once it has been blended.

To add a 3-D look to an image, darker shades are used, and this is called “shadowing” or “shading.” To add a shadow, imagine where an item is blocked by the sun. In this photo, the sun hits the tip of the hat, leaving the area around the rim in the shadow. A shadow will also sit around the ears. When two lines butt up against each other I often colour that area darker, thus creating a depth as if the item is indented.

When I colour an image, I chose at least two areas that will be coloured using two different colours. Once again, this adds interest to the image. Here, I chose blue as the main colour for the pants. The blue was coloured in a random pattern, leaving uncoloured areas for reasons explained next.

One item that I often refer to is the colour wheel. I decided that I would like the pants to contain two different colours. Wondering what would be the best choice, I looked to see what complemented the colour blue. There were three colours to choose from: red, gold/brown and yellow. I chose gold.

Next, the gold is coloured in a random pattern, leaving some areas free of colour. When the pants are blended, the joining of the two colours, along with the uncoloured areas, will reveal a lovely variety of colour.

Like the pants, the boots were coloured with two colours–a light green and a dark green. The jacket was coloured, leaving areas of white so that the colour is lighter in the bottom area. Notice how the vest is left uncoloured on the bottom as well. As I go along, I add darker areas in the areas that need shadows. If you do not have a deeper shade of the colour you are using, then use brown in the shadows. When blended, it will look lovely.

Now it is time to colour the fish. I like to add as much interest to my image as I can, so once again I pulled out my colour wheel to see what colour would work well. Because the moon is yellow, I put that colour at the top of my wheel. There were three lovely colours to choose, and I picked purple because the colour was not in the image at all. Just like decorating a house, splashes of different colours is visually appealing.

Now it is time to blend my image. Here you can see the OMS I am working with. It was chosen for no particular reason. Any OMS is good. Gamsol may be just a little bit better.

These are paper tortillions made specifically for blending. A starter kit is very handy to have because it comes with several shapes and sizes of paper tips, and it also comes with a hand held pad of sand paper. The sand paper is used to sand the colour off of the colour and to sharpen the points. I have many shapes and sizes of tortillions so I do not have to sand a lot.

The larger the area to be blended, the larger the tip I use.

In small areas I use small tips. This tip was used in the vest area, including along the blue vest edge.

There is a lot of blending in this image. Notice the white area on the hat that was specifically left without a dark colour. Can’t you imagine the sun hitting that area? Under the shirt you can see how I added brown to the top of the pants because I felt it was in a shadowed area. There are no mistakes with colouring and blending. Experiment, have fun and play.

You are now ready to finish your card.

Posted on : Jul 06 2010
Posted under Tips & Tricks, Tutorials |

5 People have left comments on this post

Jul 6, 2010 - 10:07:36
K Hutchinson said:

GORGEOUS!!!! I love how you picked the two colors to blend! I am going to have to try this! I have not used my color pencils and OMS in a long time! Love this look! YOU ROCK GF!!!

Jul 6, 2010 - 09:07:22
Patti J. said:

Great tutorial, Beth! Love the finished project, and you know I love my colored pencils and mineral spirits! Great job my friend! (I knew it was an older tutorial, cause your nails look like MY nails!!!) Hugs!!!

Jul 7, 2010 - 01:07:15
Maryann said:

Thank you once again for a great tutorial Beth. You´re soo perfect to explain things, so they´re easy to understand, and the finished card is sooo gorgeous, I just love it. Now i really have to finish some of all my ongoing projects, so I can get to practice a lot on this, so I can get my shading to look just a bit like this he he he. And just wait, SOME DAY I will get it into my fingers, I hope he he he he. You have just done an awesome job once again hun. Have a great day sweet girl.
Biiiiiiig hugs Maryann

Jul 7, 2010 - 04:07:33
Aimeslee said:

Beth, I get your blog posts in my inbox and have been naughtily remiss in posting my awe and admiration for you presenting these color lessons. And I am eternally grateful for the Prisma and Gamsol lesson, too, as I think I love colored pencils most as a coloring medium. I have Gamsol and the Turpenoid both, as well as the Prismas, so there is no excuse for me now. Thanks! Now, I have a new request for you, Color Guru! My old art teacher years ago, when she taught us the color wheels and all the relationships, advised us to never forget about the color combos that quote-unquote, “bounce off each other and POP!” Well, I done forgot what they were. The colors that make other colors more bright and vibrant — wishing you could do a lesson about them, cuz sometimes knowing that will make a card when little else will, ya know? Thanks again~xoxo, Aimeslee

Feb 27, 2011 - 11:02:09
Maggie M said:

So do you dip the tortilions in the Gamsol in order to use them for blending? And does this method work for any colored pencils or just Prismacolor?

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