The beauty of coloring is that there’s no wrong way to do it. There are as many or more coloring techniques as there are tools. Try a few of these and you’ll be on your way to creating unique masterpieces in no time!
Coloring With Colored Pencils
1. Begin by choosing which colors you plan on working with. It will be helpful to have multiple blending stumps to work with so that you do not have to sand as much between color changes and color applications.
2. Apply a heavy line of color to the left side of the areas you choose to color with your first color (Photo 1).
3. Roll or dip the tip of your blending stump into the odorless mineral spirits (OMS) until it is fully saturated, but not dripping. Note: If you are wary of working with odorless mineral spirits, are pregnant or have an allergy to it, pure baby oil can be used instead for this technique. It must be used sparingly so as to not stain the image you are working on, so a bit of experimentation should be done to find out just how much oil is needed to break down the wax and fillers in the colored pencil leads (Photo 2).
4. Using small circular motions, blend the color into the open white area of the image (Photo 3).
5. Using a sanding block or sandpaper pad, clean the first color off the tip of your blending stump before applying and blending the next color.
6. Apply and blend additional colors as shown, repeating steps 2–5 for each color (Photo 4).
7. Once you have colored your image, reapply a second layer of color to deepen the saturation until the desired color level is reached. Again, blend just as before using blending stumps and OMS (Photo 5).
8. To add color to the background, apply a thick line of color all the way around the inner edge of the frame image (Photo 6).
9. As a finishing touch, use a larger, fatter stump and OMS to blend the color inward. Be sure to stop before reaching the inside image to allow some white to remain. This will cause the inside image to really “pop” and stand out (Photo 7).
10. Use your colored image to create your finished project.
Coloring With Markers
1. Choose which colors you plan on working with and have them all close at hand for easy selection during the coloring process.
2. Beginning with the lightest color you plan on using, color the entire area using small circular motions, being sure to fully saturate the paper. Having a fully saturated image will help in blending additional colors as you add them (Photo 8).
3. Select a similar color in a slightly darker shade and begin to add depth by gently touching areas lightly with the tip of the marker. Blend by working with the first color using small circular motions (Photo 9).
4. Select your third color in the darkest shade and add more saturated color to the areas of the image that would be shaded. This will increase depth and shadowing. Once again, blend these colors by working with the first color using small circular motions (Photo 10). Note: You
can always add more color and repeat steps 3 and 4 until you achieve the desired look. It is better to repeat steps in adding color as it is much harder to remove too much or too dark of color once applied.
5. In the same manner as before, begin coloring other areas of the image with the lightest shade of color you will be using. Again, be sure to saturate the area completely for the best blending ability (Photo 11).
6. Add a second layer of color using a medium shade and blend by working with the lightest shade using small circular motions (Photo 12). Pay special attention to the areas of the section that would be shaded.
7. As a final step in bringing your image to life, add a bit of additional shading to the colored areas (Photo 13).
8. Use your colored image to create your finished project.
Another fun way to create dimension is to mix coloring mediums within one image. Enjoy a creative experiment with your favorite colored pencils, markers and dimensional gel pens to discover the dynamic results that can be achieved (Photo 14).