CREATIONS WITH COLOR
WITH MARVY LE PLUME PERMANENT MARKERS
by Di Davies, 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. 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.
if you like. Don't be afraid to stamp out several versions of the image to experiment with and to try the tutorial as many times as you like .
When adding shading to artwork, it's important to consider
the light source and direction. This will help maintain a consistent, rich look to your work, and will help define areas where you should use cool values versus warm .
For this tutorial I am using the sheep from my latest character series: Naughty Pets.
FOUNDATION PASS - CG892 GB690 AG871 AG873
One of the fun things about working with a less-detailed image is that you can fill in some blanks yourself using color. I started off wanting to contour the sheep with the shadows and suggesting the fluffy coat of a woolly little sheep.
I used the lightest cool gray I had in my 17-color bucket of markers - a CG 892 to get a feel for where I wanted the shadows and contours to be .
At this point I am focusing only on the sheep, not on the whole image - this is useful to help you get the sense of dimensionality you want.
ACCENT COLORS - CG894 (deep shadows) P793 (mouth) G653 (foliage) GB693 (eye shading & backlighting on legs )
I don't really think too hard when I am coloring, I just go with the flow . There is no wrong or right in how you get to the end result, just some rules of thumb and a little experimentation.
start shading lightly,building a foundation for
the shadows . My scanner can't
pick up the subtleties of the gray tones unfortunately,
but you can see in the image to the left, the
strokes of light and dark grays and blue shading
. An easy rule of thumb is to only use
heavy shading to imply depth such as in the deeper
shadows of the ears and the brow, and under the
far belly side of the legs.
sometimes use the blender to correct a color I
am not happy with, but I do try to test out the
colors on a scrap paper first and not rely
too much on the blender. That is not to say the
not important, it is and indispensible for lightening
areas when there is serious subtlety to convey.
I don't think for this subject I cared too much
about realism. I wanted more bold choices and
appeal, not reality.
Laying Down the Colors - REDS: P782 P793 R815 R808 P796 (Flowers and Nose, light accents )
the next 3 panels are the same image, but I laid
down colors in the same pass so I want to explain
the use of each group. The yellow is showing much
more pronounced than it is in the actual colored
The reds were used for the flowers mainly, but P782, P793, and R815 were used as accents to subtlely paint in a pinkish nose and to throw in some interesting rim lighting effect on the back, the tail, the legs and the head.
I probably did a light treatment of this effect on the left side of the face too. The point is that you can really do some neat things with unorthodox choices. Don't ever be afraid to mess up a picture because you wanted to try something crazy - sometimes you get the greatest effects that way.
The heavier reds are for the flowers, I chose two shades of red so that it would not look too uniform - also in nature there is no such thing as even coloring when it comes to natural objects - there are subtleties even in a row of birch trees that seem to look the same.
Laying Down the Colors - YELLOWS AND GREENS : G653 G655 Y622 (Wool accent and grass)
used only two shades of green for the grass -
these are small details in the image so not much
of a palette is needed to convey depth and variety.
The yellow shown in the image to the left is much darker than the actual image - the Y622 I used actually complemented the cool grays and ash grays nicely. So although you see very strong strokes in the image to the left, the reality was that it came across as a more subtle yellow hue to the wool which was my intent.
Laying Down the Colors - BLUES AND PURPLES : B705 GB690 BV736 (Flowers and reinforcing shading )
I used a purple color to throw in a deeper shade into the red and blue flower palette.
Then I colored in the other flowers with two shades of blue as the fancy struck.
Finally I did a pass on the coat and eyes to make sure my shading was as strong as I intended since once the markers dry, you sometimes end up with colors that are much lighter than you expect.
Final Pass - Using the whole 17 color set for finishing touches
Here and there I chose to add in more of the yellow and darker reds to give the little guy a touch more color and to experiment with lighting effects.
A touch of ash gray to imply the woolly coat but not too heavy, as I wanted the yellow to really do that job. Another layer of coloring on the legs too, just for fun.
The image to the left is again a bit more contrasting than the real life version so in the end what appears to be crazy accents, actually looks quite neat.
A bit of blending with color here and there, such as on the nose up to the shadowed forelock softens out the application of color in a similar way to using a blending pen but without compromising a stronger treatment of coloring as I preferred for this image.
If you want more realism, obviously less bold choices would work, perhaps paler yellow, perhaps more use of a broader range of grays versus primary colors, etc. It's really up to you!