Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and ... just a downright mess!

Why am I showing you this well-colored, headless image? Because I promised to show you the good, the bad, and the oopsies. LOL

The coloring on this image is to die for.  The image is one from Sassy Designs Studio.  That dress, the shading, the blending -- almost perfect.  I was ecstatic. Yes!  I was going to present her here to encourage all of us to just keep coloring and practicing and eventually we will see fantastic results.

If that was the end of the story, this post would have another title.  I have often mentioned how do you know when to leave your coloring alone.  I thought 'this is how I want all my images to turn out.'  Of course, being the perfectionist that I am, there was just a tiny little spot on the corner of her mouth that was -- maybe I could use my multiliner and just smooth that little spot into the rest of -- uh-oh.  Oh, no.  Major oopsie!  That's okay, I'll use my white Sharpie pen, cover that up, redraw, and color.  It will hardly be noticed.  Uh-oh.  Didn't need that much.
That's okay.  I'll let it dry, scrape it off, and then redraw, recolor -- uh-oh --

Now look at what I did!

I know.   Just a downright mess.  Once upon a time I would have tossed this or cut the head off and tried to paste on another and would have been absolutely frustrated with this whole marker thing -- but I couldn't bring myself to toss it.

She's beautiful.  And I think you'll agree this really is some of my best coloring.  Even with what some would consider a defect, she is absolutely physically beautiful.  She must also be beautiful inside because girlfriend's got an attitude.  Heyyyyyyyyy!!!!  Sassy, sassy.

We can only excel with practice.  Stuff like this happens along the way.  Major oopsies, some downright messes.  Learn from them and move on. Keep practicing.  And learn to leave well enough alone.  Sometimes we have to look past the imperfections and focus on the beauty that's reflected.    
As always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Practicing Highlighting Hair

One of the most daunting tasks of coloring and shading is coloring hair and skin.  You need to practice, practice, and practice some more.

This is my entry for the Outlawz Freebie Challenge.  It's Anne Fenton's image.  Anne has contributed many of her images for this challenge group.  A few weeks ago, I did another of her images where I colored and highlighted hair.  Well, I was so happy with it!   It took forever, and looked really good.

So what would I say about it now?  Uh....needs a lot of improvement.  Good thing is if you keep practicing you can get better. This one didn't take quite as long to color the hair, but I'm happier with it, the way it looks and the way it photographs.  I used Promarkers.  Forgot to separate my colors when I listed them, so I only know for sure I used tan for the highlights and Copics - E000, E00, E01, E20.
 1-White highlights 
2-Colored highlights - Tan 
3-Close up of colored highlights 
4-Other side with white hightlights 
5-Full colored hightlights - Tan 
6-Close up 
Hopefully somebody found this helpful.  After working with markers for over a year now, my advice is still the same.  You can read books and look at videos, then you have to practice.  Even if something turns out horribly, you have to look at it as a lesson, learn from it -- what you did, what you could have done, what you didn't do...that's the only way.  Pros only become pros by practicing.  No way to avoid it.  It's practice, practice, and then practice some more. 
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My New Maggie

If you've been with me awhile, you know how I love my Maggies, Magnolia Tilda, that is.  Tilda got me started with stamping.  That cute little face is adorable, and they were always colored so pretty.  I decided I wanted to color some of my own.  Now I have a nice collection of Tilda stamps.  It would be hard to pick one to part with.

This newest Maggie is called "Tilda with Corn" from the Turning Leaves Collection for fall 2012.  I colored her in Promarkers because I just got the Limited Edition Autumn of 2012 colors.  Her hair is done in Copics -- E25, E31, E34.  Her skin colors are Coral, Pale Pink, and Blush.  Isn't she just the cutest!  Makes me want to pinch her little cheeks. 

I used a white Sharpie paint pen for highlighting.  One good thing about the Sharpie white paint pen is, if you put too much, which I'm more likely to do than not, it dries, and you can scratch it off and do it over with no muss, no fuss.  My kind of pen.

I'll be working on some step-by-step pics on techniques and combos.  If there's something you would like to see, just let me know, and we'll work on it together.  Someone mentioned a problem with blue/black hair combos, so that will most likely be the first up.

Now I have a question.  Is there a blending system with Promarkers like the Copic system, you know, with the numbers and letters on the caps?  I'll post your answer here so we can all learn about it together.

Thanks in advance, and, as always -- 
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blending and Shading

I've been wanting to share this little exercise in blending and shading with sketch pencils.  Unfortunately, the urge struck me when I had only 5B sketch pencils on hand.  With blending and shading, it is still possible to do really well with just one lead size.  It's just a matter of more pressure here, less pressure there, and I find this a good way to practice blending and shading.

This image is by Sureya on Deviant Art.  I love coloring Sureya's images.  They are interesting and always have lots of swirls and curls.  Perfect for practicing blending and shading combos.  This is Andria (or li dong hua...).  

While this exercise is very relaxing, it takes a lot of time.  Knowing when to stop depends solely on you.  Try this exercise, though.  You'd be really surprised what you learn about colors by using just black and white.  Then why not stop by Sureya's and see what fun image you'd like to color. 

As always --

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Little Something for Robert

Poor RJ is dealing with yet another death in his family.  I've gotten so used to posting for the challenges that I decided to go ahead and post this last one.   Over at Scraps of Color, our last Robert Jackson Digi challenge was featuring some exceptional women called "Black Girls Rock."  I completed three of them, Janelle Monea, Dionne Warwick, and now this one is Kerry Washington.  I colored her in Promarkers. 

One of the best features of Promarkers is showing on this coloring.  I still haven't learned when enough is enough.  As I was putting a second layer of color on her face, I decided it was too dark, so I didn't color over the eye area.  I didn't need a second layer of color.  That's what I like about Promarkers.  With each layer of color, you get a deeper darker color, which is why you can often shade and/or blend with the same marker.   As a "fix" I made it look like she's wearing eye shadow instead of considering it a total loss.  LOL

Do you like my fancy frame?  I cut it with my Cricut using the "Francy Frames" cartridge.  I finally learned how to make the frames to fit my 4 x 6 colorings.  This one is still a little off, but it came out so nice I wanted to show it to you guys.  It looks like it's flocked, but it's only black paper on top of Martha Stewart silver cardstock.

Hope your Sunday has been a good one.  As always...

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Cuddlebug Cutie! and New Combo for Blonde

Wow, the boards are really slow.  I guess you guys are all busy with activities of the season, so we'll give you a pass for the next couple weeks. LOL

This little freebie cutie is one of the "Cuddlebug Cuties."  I love, love, love them. They are so much fun to color.  There's usually lots of hair and a face large enough to use for new techniques.  Her name is Maggie, and she's done in all Copics.

I have been looking for a really blond blond, not too much brown, not too much red, not too much yellow.  This combination came from Magnolia Ink magazine, the magazine for those adorable Maggies.  This beautiful blond combo consists of Copic markers E50, E53, and E55.

Of course, there are lots of other things I like about this image.  I like to see little girls with their cute denim skirt, and I like the blending and shading on it, same with her T-shirt.
Now, the eyes can be better.  They are much too blue.  Either I didn't do it or it doesn't show the shading in her eye color.  There should be some darker shading up close to the top eyelid.  That's why I love these little cuties.  The things you'd like to work with are large enough to work with and really see what you're doing.  I look for images with lots of hair, skin, eyes, and a face large enough to practice blending, shading, and blushing.  

Please feel free to share your combos here.  I will try them and share here.  Variety is the spice of life.  But sometimes we like having that go-to combo that just works for us.  So we newbies are always looking for something that is tried and true when we need quick

I hope someone found something helpful here.  Why not stop by Cuddlebug Cuties, see what they've got that you like, and leave them a comment.

As always -- 
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Robert Jackson Digi Challenge - 2nd Entry

So short and sweet -- hopefully helpful -- didn't think I would get this one done, but I did.   It's Dionne Warwick.  I used Promarkers and Copics.  After coloring her face and hair, I didn't want to practice on a fur technique (which I think is what she usually wears) and take the chance of messing it up, so I used glitter on the collar. 

One other thing...I have been buying the fine tips for all of my Promarkers. 

Can you see how close you can get in those tiny spots!  There's a little overflow, but I pushed it back with the blender pen.  You can see on the top one that I was able to keep the four earrings looking like four earrings rather than a blob.  Of course you may not have that problem. 

The fine tips are not very expensive.  These are metal tips,  not nibs.  You get three in a pack for about less about $2.38.  I've been buying 10 a month until I get them all done.  I love using them, and you only have to pop them off when you need a regular tip, and pop them right back on, no need for nibs and tweezers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Robert Jackson Digi Challenge - Black Girls Rock

My latest challenge entry.  I happened to catch this program called "Black Girls Rock" about a week or so ago.  Some of the ladies featured I recognized, some not.  It was very interesting and inspiring to see the accomplishments of these women.   I was particularly impressed by Janelle Monae so I chose her image to color.  I used Promarkers and Copics.

There are several more of these digis available on Robert Jackson's website.  If you want to participate in the challenge you can head over to Scraps of Color for details.

If you'd like to get the digis for coloring or because black history month  (February) will be here before you know it, go here:

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Framing and Chilling

I've been trying to get my Cricut to work with me and get some Fancy Frames cut out.  The ones that cut are way too big around and in the opening.  So I've got to fiddle around to get them the way I'd like them to be.  I only want the entire frame to be 5x7 including any decorating or trimming.  So far this one is the best, but it's way too big for my purpose, 8x10.  It's a nice frame and mat, so I'll be keeping it and using it.  There's literally no instructions with this cartridge, just choose the height of your picture.  Most of my pics are 4x6.  With these instructions, I get an 8x10 frame and a 4x6 opening.  I'm trying real dial size and relative dial size.  If any of you have any tips on using the Fancy Frames cartridge, please share.  I'm doing trial and error now.  TIA

This is my entry for this week's Creative Freebie Challenge over at Outlawz. 

As always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Robert Jackson "Anything Goes" Challenge Entry

Just posting my entry.  One of several pieces I've been working on. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Erasing the Shine

Hi, guys, 
Thought I'd take a minute to post.  In an earlier post, I mentioned that you could eliminate the shine you get with copic marker buildup with an eraser.  I'm all about learning how to clear up oopsies.  I chose a white eraser, but a clean pencil eraser will work, too.   Here are some pics. 
Strong (Bright) Light
Low Light
Please notice that only the shine is erased, not the color.  The color remains the same.  HTH (Hope that helps).

As always -- 
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Creative Freebie Challenge Entry

This is my entry this week in the Outlawz Creative Freebie Challenge.   Tried to apply some of the things I've been learning from my new book.  I used Copic Markers for this one.

 That hair took a lot of time.  (Doesn't it always.) 
So much coloring fun.
In the bottom one, top right-hand corner, you can see the shiny buildup from the markers.  I used E99.
This sometimes happens with the darker, deeper more saturated colors.  I was able to use an eraser to remove the shine.  And go over again with the darkest color afterwards.   Great tip. 

As always...
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Freebie @ Dearie Dolls and a Coloring

I've got two images to post today.  The first is one by Dearie Dolls.  Dearie Dolls is new on the freebie digi scene, but I've got probably 50 of her digis.  She's very generous with them.  They are cute, fun-to-color images and covers a wide range of subjects.  You're sure to find something tempting to color.

 Photographed a little dark.  Light source for the image was the sun in front and up.

Tried to put texture in the scarf.  Wanted warm and fluffy.   Attempted to use BV23 for shadows.  Didn't work too well.  Lots more practice needed to get comfortable with this technique.

Poor Snowman!

Of course there will be more Dearie Dolls colorings.  In the meantime, why not stop over and see what she's got.  You can even go back and get the older ones.

 This one is from Bing. 

Bing has lots of free digis.  But there's a problem.  It's not always easy to see who created the image so that you can credit them.  For instance,  this image was created by Marianne Walker, but I only know that from the small printing on the image.  So please take an extra step and try to identify the creator of an image.  Sometimes you can recognize a person's work.  Even then you've got to check it.  I'll see an image that I think is Saturated Canary's only to find it's somebody else.  Since the images are made available without charge, why not  take that extra step to find the creator of the image to credit.

The coloring on her is pretty good.  I tried a new combination for blonde hair.  I have such a problem with blond hair.  This one may have worked had I not mixed up my markers and put on the wrong caps.  I used my mid color as the lightest color, and it all ended up a yucky mess.  Tried to "fix" it.  (You know me.  Always trying to fix oopsies.) LOL  If you look closely you can see only two shades in her hair, the dark and the medium, maybe a tiny little light on the very tips. 

On goes my Copic journey.  I'm so glad you all are here to share it with me.  I got new Promarkers this week, so I'll be playing with those this weekend.  My 7-year-old crafting buddy will be visiting, so I have to put away my Copics.  She likes to color with whatever I'm coloring with, and I'm just not having it with my Copics.  :)  So we'll be doing Martha Stewart and Bic Mark-It markers. :)
Thanks for stopping by and leaving me some love!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pretty Little Flower Girl

Been working on this cute little digi.  It's a Robert Jackson image called "Flower Girl".  Isn't she just the cutest!
Her skin coloring is not what I was aiming for, but it's okay.  I learned from my new copic coloring guide that I've over blended and lost my shadowing and shading.  That's true.  I kept adding color, changing name it.   So not real happy about that.
The skirt of her dress is okay, but how about her curls and bows?  Pretty good, huh?  I aced those curls.  Trust me, it wasn't as easy as I'm making it sound.  It was hard work, but I'm so happy with them.   I'm not bragging; just happy with the way those curls came out.  You've got to learn to appreciate your own work.  If you don't, maybe nobody else will. 
I added glitter to her bouquet to give it a little bling since I made her beads blue.  Had to.  Got too much of the skin color on the beads.  Removed as much with blender pen, and then use the blue of the dress. 

Thanks to Robert Jackson for adding more images to his collection so soon after losing two of his close family members.  Our thoughts and prayers are still with you, Robert.  You might just want to go over and take a look at his new images and leave him some love.

I hope you like her, and as always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

You've Got To Get This Book!

I got a new book today, "Copic Coloring Guide, Level 3: People", by Colleen Schaan and Michelle Walker, and I'm loving it.  This book will get lots of use from me.   If you love to color, not just with copics, but coloring with anything, this book is definitely one you should have in your library.   It's an amazing guide. 

The book is usually priced at $14.95 and comes with a CD.  The CD alone is worth the price.  This is the third in a series of copic coloring guides by Colleen and Michelle, and they just get better and better.  I'm already anticipating what a fourth would cover.

There are lots of tutorial goodies on the CD, including hair chart and a skin chart to keep coloring combinations on, images you can practice on.  You can print out as many as you need to compile a sketch book for your personal use with your favorite color combos.  The book covers faces, hair, clothing, and textures, shading and shadowing.  There are also instructions for projects using images from some favorite artists.

If you don't want to wait for the book you can purchase an online copy from Annie's Attic for the same price.  Don't miss with this one.  You'll kick yourself if you do. 

As always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Freebies, Oopsies, and Colorless Blenders

Okay, so today my freebies comes from Cleah Valero.  Cleah doesn't post often, but she has some real cuties.

For those of you who have been here from the start, you know how hard it is for me to stay in the lines.   I've gotten some better staying in the lines, but learning how to use my colorless blender properly has been the key to fixing what may look like a mess.

This image was colored using Copics.

You can clean this up with your blender with just the slightest touch to the paper.  I'd always wonder how can I clean this up without saturating the paper with the blender?  Now I know that you can barely touch the blender to the paper to push the color back into place.

I went over this one three or four times to keep from saturating the paper with the blender.  Patience.  Patience.  Patience.

Once upon a time I would have trashed this with so many oopsies. Or colored over that buckle with a dark color.  Now I know that if I keep a light hand with the blender and throw in some patience, my coloring will be usable, sometimes without a hint there ever was an oopsie.

Looks clean as a whistle.

And here's the final product.   So cute!

Thanks so much to all of you who have been helping me with your tips and suggestions.  I do hope those who are hesitant to try coloring will try it.  Most of what I learn about Copic coloring has been on the MB and YouTube.  So I'm trying to pay it forward and encourage those who want to color to color.  You just have to do it.  Practice, practice, practice, then practice some more. 

You don't have to start with expensive Copics.   You can start with Bic Mark-It markers, Promarkers, any alcohol based markers will work to get you started.  Using Promarkers have actually helped me work with my Copics better.  I really like the Promarkers.  If you start with Promarkers, you can get some good coloring, and that may be all you need.  Not everybody needs or wants Copics.  Promarkers will work just fine. 

The biggest difference between Promarkers and Copics are the variety of colors.  After using Copic markers, you kind of feel Promarker has some colors missing.  If you start with Promarkers, you probably won't notice the difference.  You can mix the two together.  I suggest you use the colorless blender that come with each set of  markers, though.  I don't like the Promarker blender for Copics and vice versa.  You have to work with them and get the feel of your own style and what works for you.

Had another Cleah Valero to share, but this post has gone long enough.  So that one will have to wait until next time.

As always --

Thanks for stopping by!