I LOVE coloring with Copic markers and want to share some of the information from the class I taught last night regarding shadows and highlights.
We see objects because of light. The placement of highlights and shadows show where the light is coming from and how it is interacting with the object(s).
- Shading: Blending lighter and darker tones and values into each other.
- Highlight: The lightest area on an image/object. This is where the light hits first and its where the light is the strongest. Highlights are generally created by using the tint (lighter version) of the color.
- Shadow: The opposite of highlights are shadows. Shadows are the areas where light has been blocked and color is darker. Blue is the general color for most shadows. We often think of shadows as being black. However, black is a neutral color. The hue of shadows is blue.
- Light Source: The direction from which a light originates. The placement of this light source affects how you shade, highlight and shadow when coloring.
A BIT MORE ABOUT SHADOWS:
- Shadows are a darker shade of the main color of the object and/or ground. Cool Grays (C0, C1, C2, etc), B0s and BV20s are a great choice when first starting to add shadows to your colored images!
- Shadows are darker and crisper closer to the object and get lighter and softer around their edges farther from the object.
- Shadows mimic the shape of the object.
BASIC COLORING STEPS:
- Determine the location of the Light Source. One way to recognize the light source is to use an acetate with lines on it as a light direction template. Another method is to place an object by your image to resemble the light source.
- Plan your highlights. Color the object the shade you want the highlights to be and leave those highlight areas that light color when you color the your darker colors.
- Color the object. Blend/shade the colors based on the Light Source. Blend light to dark with the darkest being the farthest from the light source. Use whatever blending technique you prefer, such as direct to paper blending, pallet blending or tip-to-tip blending.
- If desired, add highlights using your Colorless Blender (0 Pen) where the light hits the object first and is the strongest. For smooth highlights, start in the middle of where you want your lightest area and feather (flick) outwards. If you want less smooth (more blotchy) highlights, instead of using smooth strokes, tap the tip of your colorless blender up and down over the area you want highlighted. [Note: this works best when the area is still wet.] (You may not need to use the O pen to add highlights if you started by coloring your object a light color and leaving the highlight areas that light color!)
- Color the shadow. It’s helpful to wet the area first using the Colorless Blender (0 Pen). This will help you blend the shadow colors. Start with the darkest shadow color closest to the object, followed by the lighter colors as you blend out farther from the object. Blend the edges with the Colorless Blender.
- This information introduces the idea of shadows and highlights. There is SO much more to know . . . direct light, indirect light, linear light, radial light, etc. Don’t worry about knowing everything. You can color images anyway you want!
- For more information, check out:
- Shadows & Shading book by Marianne Walker
- www.ilikemarkers.blogspot.com (search for “shadow” or “highlights”)
- Remember there’s not a RIGHT or WRONG way to do things - just different techniques. Experiment. Have fun. It’s only paper and ink!
- Practice, practice, practice!
Here's a sample of one of the cards we made in last night's class:
This card features the "Pumpkin Patch" stamp from C.C. Designs/Dove Art. Jennifer Dove designed this stamp and it's perfect for learning how to shade and shadow because of the shades and shadows featured in the stamped image! (By the way, check out her blog for the even more creative inspiration!)
Here's the information you need to create this card:
- Peppered Bronze cardstock: 6”x8½” (folded in 1/2 to make card base)
- White cardstock: 4½”x3¼” (Neenah cardstock for stamped image)
- Brown cardstock: 4¾”x3½”
- Orange cardstock: 4”x5¾”
- Patterned green paper: 3¾”x5½”
- Pumpkin: Y35, YR02, YR04, YR07
- Blossoms: Y00, Y02, Y35, YG95
- Leaves: YG03, YG13, YG95
- Pumpkin Stem: YG03, YG95, E35
- Top Shadow: 0, B000, B00
- Bottom Shadow/Ground: 0, W1, W3, E31
1. Color stamped image as desired using colors listed above and/or colors of your choice. Here are some helpful tips:
- Find your light source. Notice the stamped image has shading on lower left so your light source should be coming from the upper right.
- Color pumpkins in light yellow first (Y35). When blending other darker colors, leave yellow showing for highlights. Use darker colors in the grooves. Here's an "exaggerated" example:
- Create shadows around pumpkins as desired. (used 0, B000, B00 in sample; BV20s and C’s work great too!)
- For ground/shadow try making dotted shaded pattern to replicate stamped image.
- If desired, add highlights using your Colorless Blender (0 Pen).
2. Adhere stamped/colored piece to brown cardstock.
3. Cut chosen sentiment to desired size, place brad through end and adhere to colored/stamped piece.
4. Adhere green patterned paper to orange cardstock. Adhere doily to assembled piece. Tie ribbon around and tie knot at left edge. Adhere stamped/colored image to the top. Fold card base in half and assemble as shown.
And, remember we don't make mistakes . . . we simply create opportunities to embellish!