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!