Friday, August 14, 2015

Coloring with LIGHT!

OK bare with me!  This post has many photos.  In the move, I have misplaced my SD card so I couldn't do a video!  In the photo it is difficult to tell, but the red is actually foil paper that releases with the holiday catalog.  YES this cute card was made with Christmas Cuties a new set for the holidays.

Let's talk about coloring.  It is fun , right?  Most the time yeah it is fun but it can be frustrating when you look at all those "professionals" work and think HOW do they do that?  Well today I hope to shed a little LIGHT (hahaha) on a easy way to ensure that you are using light to your advantage.  A quick story to explain how I came up with this technique.  I love me a good glass mat.  I have the WeR Memory Keepers glass mat and I use it for everything.  I use it to cut with my blades, to smear ink on for backgrounds or to act as a pallet for my watercoloring.  Glass mats are the best tool and one day while watercoloring an image for a card I looked at the mat and realized it has a tool that is remarkable!  Many cutting mats have this as well, but for this story it was the glass mat that gave me an epiphany. I want to begin there... my mat... this mat if you look closely has diagonal lines on it.  They kind of look like "rays" of the sun. I know it is hard to see with the light but they are there.  What I realized is these are great guides for coloring.  I can place the image I am working on on those lines and have a guide for the "highlights" (Figure 1)

That is where our technique begins.
Figure 1

Figure 2
Figure 3
The first thing I do is I decide what direction I would like the light to come from, in this case I wanted it coming from the upper right so I turned my mat to match that direction.  (Figure 2)Think of it like rays of light.  Then I decide how much light I want on my subject, do I want it to be hard light or soft, if I want it soft I place the image on the lines that are further apart.  As you can see in this image I secure my paper with a little washi tape. If I need to move the paper to get a better angle to color, I move the entire glass mat.  Securing the cardstock allows for my highlights to be consistent.  I will then add the image using the center line which will be my primary source of light (Figure 3 and Figure 4).  After I have stamped the image I begin to add highlights using a pale yellow.  Examine the image and ask yourself where would the light fall.  (Figure 5).  You can also get a strip of paper and follow the highlight line in the center of you image to check where the highlights should fall. (Figure 6).  Once you have your strip of paper, add small amounts of a pale yellow to the areas that would be raised and touch the yellow strip. (figure 7)

 In this set, there is not "chin" so I added a little one by using a slightly darker color.
Figure 4
Once you have the highlights you can proceed by adding some of the shadows. When coloring a face, it is a natural shadow just below the hair line, in the nape of the neck where the head would cast a shadow, under the nose and chin.   (Figure 8).
When it comes to hair, you want to know where the highlights are and then you naturally know how to color the hair. (Figures 9, 10 and 11)  You see that I have the pale yellow in place and I can see the places that would cast shadows better.  Thus adding a darker brown to the hair behind the neck, also on the folds of the hair.  This is also true with the clothing.  I added a bit too much yellow to a wing and the dress so I had to use greys to blend.  It works fine but I should have used a lighter yellow in those areas because the clothing and wings were to remain white.  On the sash (Figures 12, 13 and 14) you can see the effectiveness of adding a bit of yellow.  I made mine a little darker for demo purposes, but you can see how the yellow blends into the blue and literally highlights the places I designated.  Using the lines on my glass mat and my sun strip I was able to find the right spots to highlight.  It really is a matter of once you see the highlights you will naturally see the midtones and shadows.  The lines on the glass mat help me not lose my source of light.  I hope this tip helps you in your coloring.

Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8
Figure 9

Figure 10
Figure 11
Figure 12
Figure 13
Figure 14

Any questions?  No problem, just shoot me an email. and I will try to get them answered as quick as a cricket!  Thanks for taking the time to read this long post.  I am going to try and get a card and turn this into a video.  I think seeing the hair colored in live action will truly help! 

Again you know I am a Full-Time Independant Stampin'Up! Demonstrator and the Makin'PrettyThings Team Leader. If you are interested in this kind of training and would love to be lucky like me and DO what you LOVE--- CREATE let me know and we will get you signed up for $99.  It doesn't get better than that... Start your own business for $99.  It was the best decision I ever made!  

Blessings Friends