Tag Archives: analogue coloring

Drawing Leo Laporte, part 22

14 Oct

Another attempt at drawing Leo Laporte, this time as a cartoon character.

Leo Laporte, part 38

That is all.


The advantage of having a pencil sketch in between

26 Sep

Look at these sketches of some character that came out of my imagination.

More caricature prep, part 12

They are basically the same sketch, but the bottom one is a revision of the top one. While I was finishing the top sketch I saw the ear was too close to the eyes. I know the head can be seen as a cube, with the eyes on the front and the ears on each side (left and right). The first sketch didn’t take that into account.

This is just an exercise, practice, but it still shows that it is handy to do some preliminary sketches before you commit to a final look. That isn’t very “street artist-y” of me. As a street artist you’re supposed to think on both feet, and not have the convenience of making preliminary sketches before committing to a final version. Your first version is your only version, final or not. If you do a bad job, you’re going to starve (or at least not have a good income) that day, probably depending on handouts from people who take pity on you, rather than on payment by satisfied customers.

I’m sure many studio artists would have a hard time working like that, because they seem to be so busy fussing about their sketches, searching for the best approach, weighing between art and commerce, between what you like and what the client wants.

If, on the other hand, you only get one opportunity to get it right, if you don’t have a safety net, you’d better make something special, something unique, people can’t get anywhere else. And be quick about it too, because people aren’t going to wait too long for you to finish. You probably also need to be somewhat of a talker too, to keep people’s attention with showmanship while you’re working, and to attract new potential customers from the passersby.

And you know what? While you may think you stink, others, who have less trained eyes, may appreciate your rejects, because they are so unlike a photograph. Anyone can take a snapshot (not really, but that is what they assume), but only few can draw.

Still, I feel I need more practice, more learning how to use the tools and see the world through the eyes of an artist. Can you sense how little confidence I have in my skills? I really shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself being an always present art critic, always thinking I could do much better.

That is all.

More caricature preparation (conclusion of B-series)

26 Sep

These are the last two sketches in my B-series of preparatory drawings for caricature drawing. The outlines are done with a thin Faber-Castell PITT artist brush pen and the coloring is done with Copic markers on copier paper, using a sheet of paper underneath to capture any of the bleed-through marker fluid.

More caricature prep, part 11 (version 14) More caricature prep, part 11 (version 15

You can clearly see I’m still struggling with the coloring. I guess I have to be doing this for many years before I can put the colors down with any perceived confidence. Yeah, that’s a nice way of putting it. I won’t say it in a straight manner, because that would be too self-deprecating and hurt my artistic soul.

While I see benefit in foregoing the drafting part of a drawing, namely that you are forced to work fast and be confident, I also see disadvantages, namely that you can become sloppy and prefer producing effects instead of doing some solid drawing.

I see I’ll have to do some serious practice with pencil drawing, perhaps even take the blue pencil route, because the direct method doesn’t really seem to work for me. I’m too concerned about messing it up. I guess that’s fine if you do it, say, once a week, but doing it every day just kills the art, at least, my art.

So I’ll take one step back, hopefully to take two steps forward once I’ve figured out this drawing-humans and having a fine-tuned feeling for proportions thing.

Back to the drawing board it is.

That is all.

Copic markers have arrived

25 Sep

So my Copic Ciao markers arrived by mail order, and I couldn’t resist trying them out. I only ordered the colors that are useful for coloring faces, so clothing and such have to be done with these colors as well, for now.

I only used a few colors on this sketch. Except the black from the Faber-Castell markers, I used E00, E11 and E35 for the face and ears, R20 and E35 for the lips and R20 and E04 for the shirt, if I recall correctly. I guess I should develop some kind of system to notate which colors I used, so I can refer to it later.

More caricature prep, part 11 (version 13)

After I had done the coloring, I noticed two things:

  1. it is easy to leave white spaces
  2. the color bleeds through the page

The first simply means you have to be meticulous about your coloring and don’t miss a spot, especially with the “foundation color” (the lightest color in the face). The second means you have to put a piece of paper underneath your drawing to prevent it from ruining the paper underneath. One could use thicker paper, but that would only suck marker fluid into the paper, bleaching the color from the surface. I think a disposable piece of paper underneath leads to better result.

That is all.

What is in that Copic marker skin tone set?

19 Sep

I wanted to buy Copic ciao markers to learn coloring my sketches as early as possible. If I want to become a street artist (as a possible extra source of income, on the side), I should be able to present drawings people genuinely like, and color is certainly part of that.

Always on the lookout to save money without sacrificing quality, I checked if the skin tone set made by Copic is more expensive than buying the 12 markers separately. And indeed it is. Of course, if you buy the markers separately, you will miss the handy container. However, if you’re like me, the container will only be used to store, and while using the markers, they lie around on the table. To store, a simple carton box will do just as well. If really want to have a handy container, you could make sections inside a box that will hold each marker in its separate section.

So what colors are in this skin tone set? Well, through Google image search I found an image with the package, and it had these colors stated on them:

  1. YR 02 light orange
  2. R02 flesh
  3. R20 blush
  4. R32 peach
  5. E00 skin white
  6. E04 lipstick natural
  7. E11 barely beige
  8. E21 baby skin pink
  9. E35 chamois
  10. E37 sepia
  11. 0 colorless blender
  12. 100 black

Of course, the color highly depends on the paper you’re using, but to give you an indication of the colors, see this color chart on refuelled.com.

As I understand it the color naming works as follows:

  • leading letters indicate the color group (BV = Blue Violet, V = Violet, RV = Red Violet, R = Red, YR = Yellow Red, Y = Yellow, YG = Yellow Green, G = Green, BG = Blue Green, B = Blue, E = Earth, etc.)
  • first digit indicates the “dullness”, or how much grey is added to the tone, the higher the digit, the duller the color
  • second digit indicates how dark the tone is, the higher the digit, the darker the color

Then there are special “colors”:

  • 0 colorless blender, to make blended color ranges (one color slowly changing into another color over a distance); basically, to dilute a marker’s color
  • 100 black, for black-and-white effects

When you start collecting colors, I’ve read you should pick your skin tones first, because those are the most important if you draw and color human (like) figures. Next, you should pick some colors in the same color category (letters and first digit) and pick several shades of that color, e.g. a 0, 3 and 5.

I guess it’s needless to state that coloring is expensive, especially if you want predictable colors, as with the Copic markers (but also in other media, where you want the professional colors instead of the student colors). A well colored piece of art can sell at a much higher price than an equivalent monochrome ink drawing. People are better able to connect with it, and therefore willing to spend more money on the artwork. “Better marketable” it is called I believe. Even so, it stands to reason that a well inked drawing can also be very “marketable”, depending on the subject and the taste of the audience.

That is all.

Amy Reeder Hadley coloring and inking demos

17 Sep

Amy Reeder Hadley (website, Wikipedia, YouTube) has some good tutorials on YouTube about coloring and inking analogue. Watch and enjoy the tutorials.

She uses Copic markers for coloring, something I’m willing to try. If I’m on the go and want to color on the spot, I don’t have my computer with me, have I? Plus analogue coloring is so cool, because you don’t have an Undo button. It forces you to get it right the first time, and it lets you have “happy accidents”.

That is all.