BEGINNER SHADING WITH MARVY LE PLUME PERMANENT OR
by Stacey Dunning, Blockheads Paper Arts
If you're completely new to alcohol markers, you may
want to view this page first Copic
and Marvy Le Plume Permanent Basics
I used Marvy Le Plume Markers for this tutorial but
if you have similar colors in Copic Markers, the techniques
will be the same. Di Davies, the artist who drew the
Gang series of stamps has graciously allowed me
to provide a downloadable
image of "Hinkie" so you can follow along
if you'd like. We created this at a low resolution so
won't look as good as if you stamped the image, but
it is fine for practicing techniques. Simply print the
PDF using a laser printer on to the cardstock you use
for alcohol markers. If you only have an ink jet printer
available you can print on regular paper and photocopy
onto the cardstock. Printer ink can run when put into
contact with alcohol markers, whereas toner will not.
For cardstock I recommend Neenah
Classic Crest Solar White. There are other uncoated
cardstocks that will perform similarly. If you are using
a matte coated or glossy cardstock, the results will
not be the same.
The colors I'm using are all from our recommended
shading sets of Marvy Le Plume Permanent markers.
These were selected to provide medium-light, medium
and medium-dark values of each color category. I liked
this character because it gives you the opportunity
to play with hair texture and shading, natural clothing
draping, denim texture, and skin tones. Follow along
if you like. While learning you might work on 3 at a
time so if you can try different things on the first
two and create the third with whatever looks best. I
actually work on five at a time when doing tutorials
so I can put down five steps before having to stop and
scan. You'll notice differences in the hair on each
model as you look through the sample images.
When adding shading to artwork, it's important to consider
the light source and direction. Sunlight leaves less
defined shadows than bright indoor lighting. I will
discuss this more in a future shadowing tutorial but
don't get too bogged down with science for now. For
this project we are assuming sunlight, directly overhead.
HAIR - Y622 Y625 Y627 (Yellow Set) AG871 (From
Ash Gray Set) & N900 Blender
laying down color on uncoated cardstock with the
intention of blending, start with the darkest
colors first, which I'll show you when we color
the shirt. For the hair, I want to leave some
texture, so I'm starting with my lighter yellow
first. Simply draw from the center in the direction
the hair would naturally follow.
Next add some texture by drawing in the same
way using the darker yellow colors. Because the
sunlight is overhead I'm leaving the darker colors
away from the crown of the head.
Note about the blender pen: In the next
step you'll use the blender pen. The blender pen
works as a blender on coated cardstocks but behaves
more like bleach on uncoated cardstock. In fact,
sometimes the lighting effect is a little delayed
from when you use the blender, so make one pass
and wit a few seconds before determining if you
want to lighten more.
next step is to create a halo around the head.
If you're assuming the character has very shiny
hair you might actually leave the halo uncolored
initially to provide stark sharp contrast. This
character clearly does not have shiny flaxen hair
so I can use my blender pen to remove color from
the hair. A narrow or pointed head with have a
small halo closer to the top of the head. A large
head like this will have a wide halo further down
the head. To remove color simply apply your blender
in a circular motion around the halo area.
You'll find your halo a little too stark initially
for this character. Simply draw some hair low-lights
back through the halo using the lightest yellow.
On the left his hair still looks a little too
flaxen so a little light warm gray applied over
top with light strokes alternating from top to
bottom and bottom to top will blend the hairs
just slightly and give a dustier appearance.
SKIN - OR821 & OR823 (from Skin tone Set)
start, simply color in all the areas of the skin
with the lighter skin. Then think about areas
that will get shading on Hinkie's face. His hair
will cast a shadow, as will his brow, his nose,
his bottom lip, the the shirt on his arm, the
shorts on his legs and the spider in his hand.
Also anywhere skin touches generally makes a slight
shadow, like between fingers.
Using the darker skin tone simply draw in those
shadows. If you want softer shadows, draw them
first or go back with the lighter skin tone and
touch the edges of the shadows. My scanner actually
shows a little more contrast between the two skin
tones than the actual image so I didn't do that
at this stage and decided it was okay to show
the stark shadows to make them easier to find.
If you want to try something not shown here,
take the blender pen to areas that get the most
sun; nose cheeks, top of hand and use a light
touch with the blender pen to add highlights.
T-shirt - R112 R115 R117 (Tomato Set) &
the shirt, I want the shadows to blend more so
I'm starting with the darkest color of read and
drawing in all the areas I think there will be
shadows; under his chin, arms and inner folds
of his shirt. The artist drew folds in for us
but in a future tutorial I'll show you how to
add folds to simpler cloth images that don't have
fold suggestions already.
Next simply color the rest of the shirt with
the medium red pen. At this point, if you use
a light hand there will not be much blending of
the shadows and the clot color.
you continue to work the edges of the shadow with
the medium red by circling lightly around th edges,
you'll see the medium red start to push the darker
red down further into your paper, leaving more
of the medium red. Look at the back of your paper.
You'll probably see the bright red bleeding to
the back far more than you could after step 2.
Add some highlights to the shirt in areas that
will get the most light, like the shoulders and
tops of the folds. Compare to step 2 and see how
much more texture and dimension you see in his
Spider OY848 (from Skin Tones Set) & Blender
is a fun and easy step. Color your spider using
a dark brown and then dot the blender to remove
dots of color. This mottling gives the effect
of a fuzzy texture. We'll use this next to make
pants have the texture of denim.
Jeans B707 (from Blue Set), CG895 (from Cool
Gray Set) & Blender Pen
the pants blue. Right now they're just pants.
To make denim, use your blender pen to add lighter
dots to the entire blue area, concentrating just
slightly more on areas that will be lightest.
how I used the dark red first on the shirt. I
could have done that here on the pants but I don't
have a darker blue. I'm going to cheat to make
the shadows on the jeans. Using the cool gray
I drew in the shadows. It simply needs to be a
slightly darker color gray than the blue I used.
Well that doesn't look very natural, so I'll
need to go back over the gray with the same blue
I originally colored with. Oh yes, much better
but it's still not blending as well I'd like.
use the blender pen one more time to dot the edge
of the shadow, but not adding any more blending
outside the shadow.
Note about color codes:
I was talking with a Copic instructor the other
day and she felt stampers really rely too heavily
on the numbering systems and said that when she
tries to teach classes on Copics some of the students
get so fascinated about the numbering to the point
that she has troubles getting the basic concepts
across. Other teachers feel the number system
is key to understanding how to shade and blend
colors. My opinion is that the numbers really
help as guidelines, especially, for us mathy logical
sorts but a basic understanding of blending and
shading will allow you to find the solutions outside
the number box. Also strict adherence to guidelines
can damper creativity. In a later tutorial Di
Davies will demonstrate some fascinating color
choices that can't be found in any rulebooks.
For this reason please do not consider any numbering
"rules". Rules suck anyway. Guidelines
or suggestions are awesome. If you never want
to learn the number system at all, don't. You
might want to study color theory instead.
Shading guideline: To find a good shadow for
a color, say Marvy R815 or Copic R14 for instance,
a good shadow would be Marvy R817 or Copic R17.
In both systems the last number is darkness and
the second to last is an immediate color class.
A class of colors has the same hue (color) and
the same value (saturation). There are differences
between the two about how the families are grouped
and I will soon provide more details if you're
Okay Cheat: Copic R17 doesn't have a darker shade
in that color classification, but R08, which is
slightly more saturated will work especially if
you add a light-medium gray underneath.
For more information on the number systems and
how to choose shaders and blenders, view this
and Marvy Le Plume Permanent Basics
Shoes E858 (from Maroon Set), OY848 OR827 OR823
(from Skin Tones Set)
the upper part of the shoe with a medium brown
(OR827), leaving a blank area to become the highlight
on the toes.
Color the soles with the darkest brown (OY848)
and add a shadow at the base of the upper part
of the shoe with a medium-dark brown (OR828).
the shadow a bit by dotting in some E858 just
above the sole and blending it in with the OR827.
At this point the bright, clean lined highlight
should give the effect of a shiny shoe but the
subtle shadowing contradicts that texture so we
can soften the highlight by adding a tan color
(OR823) around the edge of the highlight.
Note about Surface Smoothness:
Glossy surfaces like clean, straight hair, plastic,
and patent leather generally have crisp, defined
highlights and shadows. Softer textures like unoily
skin, cotton and suede need more blended shadows
and highlights to reveal their texture. Other
things affect highlights and shadows like number
and type of lighting sources and object shape,
but I'll cover that in a later tutorial.
Mixing Color on Slingshot AG873, AG871 (Ash
Gray Set), OR827, OR823 (Skin Tone Set)
is just a little trick for expanding your colors.
I only use the three browns that we just used
on the shoes, but the slingshot is right next
to them and I don't want it to completely blend
in so I colored the slightshot wood with a medium
gray and the rubber band with a light gray before
adding the browns.
By coloring over the medium gray with a medium
brown and the light gray with a medium tan I have
different colors. Remember whichever color you
add last will be predominant so if I wanted it
more gray I would color the brown first and then
some light blue around the pupils of the eye,
some light gray dots in the whites of the eye
to soften the white and some light yellow to some
of the teeth Add some dark brown lines to the
Use the blender pen to lift off and blend the
gray dots in the eyes, the yellow on the teeth
and soften the shadows on the face.