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Friday 22 June 2012

Colored Pencil Tutorial

Hidy Ho Bombshell cats and chicks! Torrey here with a Tu-TORREY-al for y’all. Today I’m offering up a little tooty tut on “Coloring with Prismacolor Pencils-101”. I figured it would be a nice change to see another type of coloring medium featured! Not that I have anything against Copics…but as y’all know, I’m Copicphobic.  I do, however… love, Love, LOVE my Prismas…and so will you, once you bite the coloring bullet and learn how to use them! 

Today we're gonna be coloring up the FaBuLoUs wench from "A Pirate's Life". Here is what she's gonna look like when we're done! Doesn't she look AWESOME? Wow, she kinda looks like that iconic picture of Raquel Welch in "One Million Years, B.C." doesn't she? (that dates me, huh?)

Here is a list of what you’ll need:
  1. Stamp of choice
  2. Stamping ink (I recommend Memento as it doesn’t smear)
  3. Odorless mineral spirits—aka OMS (a MUST!!—get it at Walmart or the hardware store in the paint department. It’s a LOT cheaper than buying it at an art supply store where they sell it as “brush cleaner”)
  4. Colored pencils (I choose Prismacolor, but just about ANY colored pencil will work—even the cheapies)
  5. A good pencil sharpener.
  6. A micro/fine tip black marker.
  7. emery board or sandpaper (to clean/sharpen the blending stubs)
  8. old toothbrush (to clean the emery board)
  9. paper blending stubs (the “solid” type…not the “rolled paper” ones) also called "Tortillons".
  10. cardstock (today I’m using Kraft colored)
  11.  (not shown) Eraser

And now a few tips and facts about the wonderful world of colored pencils.

  • When using colored pencils…for small, detailed images (like this one) work from Light to Dark. For larger, bolder images…work from Dark to Light.
  • Work on a smooth surface to achieve smooth colors—otherwise, it’s like doing a rubbing and you’ll pick up the texture/pattern of whatever is under your paper (which could be cool).
  • Use odorless mineral spirits (OMS) and a stub to blend and smooth out the color. Most colored pencils have a wax-based lead and OMS basically dissolves the colored “lead”.
  • ALWAYS clean off the blending stub on an emery board BEFORE switching to a new color, otherwise your colors will get polluted.
  • Colored pencils work GREAT on Kraft cardstock (as you’ll see in a minute)
  • Know how to PROPERLY sharpen your pencils to reduce lead breakage. Here’s a great video on how to do it…it really DOES make a difference.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf-4a4vZYtE
  • They’re FAR less expensive than markers…and they don’t dry out.
  • They’re smaller too, and thus easier to store.
Okay, on with the show.

To color this image (the way I did) you’ll need the following Prismacolor colors: order is lightest to darkest

   PC 927 – Light Peach
   PC 929 – Rose(for blush only)
   PC 1080 – Beige Sienna
   PC 943– Burnt Ochre
   PC 945– Sienna Brown
   PC 946 – Dark Brown

   PC 929 – Rose
   PC 925 – Crimson Lake
   PC 937 – Tuscan Red
   PC 946 – Dark Brown
Belt, lace and boots:
   PC 938 – White   
   PC 917 – Sunburst Yellow
   PC 943 – Burnt Ochre
   PC 935 – Black

   PC 943 – Burnt Ochre
   PC 937 – Tuscan Red

             Step One: Skin Base

  • I always color skin first…then the rest of the image after. That way I’m less likely to botch the skin by dragging surrounding color into it when blending.
  • Lay down a layer of Light Peach on ALL skin surfaces (this will become the highlights). Don’t worry about covering up detail lines in the face or hands…we’ll fill those in later.
  • It doesn’t have to be perfect…just good coverage over all the skin.
  • If you go outside the line…no worries…just erase it BEFORE you use the OMS.

Step Two: Blending
  • Start with a clean stub. If it’s been used, just run it across an emery board until it’s clean. You can also “sharpen” them on the emery board.
  • Saturate the tip of a clean stub with OMS. I store my OMS in an empty dauber-top paint bottle. You can just cut a small piece of sponge and put it in the bottom of a little container/jar and pour some OMS on it to serve as your reservoir--then just dab your stub on the saturated sponge.
  • Rub the colored area in a small, circular motion to blend it smooth.
  • Run your stub over the emery board every once in awhile to remove built-up wax.
  • Reapply OMS to stub as needed.
  • If skin looks blotchy, just add more colored pencil and re-blend until you get desired look.

Step Three: Adding Skin Shadows
  • Starting with your next darker shade (Beige Sienna) outline all skin areas and desired shadow areas (as shown on the leg on the right).
  • Blend it out with a stub and OMS.
  • Then, take the next darker shade (Burnt Ochre) and outline skin areas again.
  • Blend this out with a stub and OMS.
  • Repeat this process first with the Sienna Brown and finally with the Dark Brown (as shown on the leg on the left)…blending after each color…and slightly pulling the color toward the middle of each area.
  • NOTE: make sure you leave SOME of the skin areas in the middle of each section with just the light peach undercolor for highlight.
  • Use care when coloring the face. Add shadows by the nose and around chin  with the Burnt Ochre only
  • Add blush with the Rose pencil and blend.

Step Four: Coloring the red dress
  •  Start by coloring the whole thing Rose. Really…trust me.

    • Outline dress and shadow areas with Crimson Lake.
    • (Bottom image) Blend with stub and OMS. 
    • Using Tuscan Red, repeat last 2 steps, then repeat with Dark brown.

    Step Five: Coloring the belt, lace, boots and earrings
    • Color in the boots, belt and lace completely with White. Leave the earrings and buckles alone for now.
    • Outline each white area with Black then CAREFULLY blend the black and white together (start in white and work toward black), making certain to leave some white areas as highlights. By blending the black and white at same time, you get shades of grey mixed in without actually adding grey.
    • Color buckles and earrings with Sunburst Yellow and shade with Burnt Ochre.

    Step Six: Coloring the hair and finishing up
    • With this stamp there isn’t a whole lot of hair area to color. Use Burnt Ochre on the highlight areas and Tuscan Red in the shadows.
    • Blend, blend, blend.
    • To finish the image, go over the outlines with a ultra fine-tip marker to add the detail back in.
    Okee dokee...guess what? Put a fork in us...WE'RE DONE!!!

    And here, again, is our finished wench--all colored up and ready to be put on a project! Thanks for taking the time to read my tutorial. If you have any questions...just post 'em in the comments below, or email me at gallatyn@rocketmail.com.

    Hope you enjoyed it!!


      1. Wow, Torrey, thank you! I have a huge box of Prisma pencils sitting unsharpened because I'm afraid to use them!!! Your tutorial makes it look easy...must go find my pencils, sharpen them and give it a go!!!

      2. Thank Torrey. I have Prisma also and didn't know how to get good color out of them. Your tutorial is just what I needed.

      3. I love my Prismas but haven't tried blending with OMS. Thanks Torrey!

      4. Torrey this is beyond amazing!!! I have pencils, but just as you have copiphobia, I have prismaphobia. Fantastic.

      5. What a great excellent and clear tutorial Torrey!!Awesome and love the way you even did her knees!

      6. I love coloring with prisma pencils. I definitely learned a few things here. Thanks so much.