Thursday, May 31, 2012

Colouring with Copic's (Part 2)

Welcome back to Part 2 of my blog features for Two Scrapbook Friends on 'Colouring with Copic's.

In my first post, I covered a fair amount of background information as well as some of the practical methods I use whilst colouring flesh tones.  Today we are going to continue using those same methods and focus on colouring hair.

First of all, when trying to decide upon the colours you need, remember our process of starting with the lightest shade and layering through to the darkest.  With this in mind, as a guide, I envision the finished colour of my project as my darkest shade, and choose a marker that is closest to this.  I would then choose two, three or even four lighter shades.

Now, whichever colour you have chosen to use, remember the basic principles to ensure your finished creation will blend smoothly.  As mentioned, I often use at least three shades of a particular colour when colouring hair........sometimes even four or five! When choosing these shades, if possible pick ones which are within two or three places on the Copic chart. This doesn't mean to say that markers spaced more widely on the chart won't'll see later on that I use some positioned 12 spaces apart.  However, generally this rule will pretty much ensure they will compliment each other and blend smoothly.

So, we've chosen the colours we're going to use, and let's presume we have a stamped or digital image.........preferably something with hair!  The stamps I'm using today are again from Whipper Snapper Designs and you can find them in the Two Scrapbook Friends store.

So where do we start?  Well first, I use my imagination!

Remember in my last post I mentioned deciding upon the direction of your light source?  Well we still have to consider that when colouring hair, because to achieve that realistic glossy look, light will be reflected from various parts of the head.  I should point out that I am not an artist.......I cannot draw at all and I have no artistic training, so this is where my imagination comes into play.

In most cases, I presume my light source is above the image.  This makes the head the closest point and we can therefore go to town on showing these reflections.  I try to imagine exactly where the shine would be and this tends to be on the major curves of the hair.  Now we don't need to go crazy here and reflect light from every single curve.....the finished image then has a 'zebra' like appearance which is not what we're looking for!  Bangs are usually the perfect place to show a reflection and really achieve the impression of a curve.

Before we actually start to colour, I'd like to mention how I actually do so, as it differs slightly from how I colour everything else.  I tend to move the marker in strokes rather than colouring in block, and my layering would be more staggered as opposed to a straight line.  I just find this gives a more realistic look but hopefully this photograph will explain that a little better.

So, on to some colouring.
For this example I'm going to be colouring a light brown/mousy shade.  I start as always with the lightest marker in my chosen group (E31), and cover the majority of the hair, leaving a little staggered white space where I imagine light reflections would be.

Don't be afraid of leaving this white space when colouring hair........if we don't like the end result, we can always blend out a little with a final layer of our lightest shade.  I've shown this technique again in pink in the next photograph, to highlight the staggered areas left uncoloured.

Using my next shade (E43), I layer, ensuring I follow the staggered pattern and ending the layer a little closer to the hairband and outer edge of the image.

The next photograph shows this layer in pencil to make things clear.

Finally, I layer my third shade (E44) drawing further still to the outer perimeters of the hair.

Now is where we would look things over to see if we're happy with the result, or if we feel the layers and white space need a little more blending.  I chose to leave things as they were.

So whichever colour of hair you choose, the process is the same.  However, before I finish I did want to mention colouring black hair as this is quite often a daunting task for a beginner.....or even those who've been colouring a while!

Probably the most useful tip I can give for colouring black hair is that I rarely (if ever!) use black.  You will produce a much more realistic look by layering with tones of grey.  I have on occasion highlighted with a final layer of black, but very lightly and sparsely.

As far as your choice of greys.....'warm' or 'cool', it really doesn't matter as both will work nicely.  I happen to favour the 'cool' shades as this is what I have the most of.

So exactly as we did previously, I start with a layer of my lightest shade (C3).

Then stagger a layer of my next shade (C5).

I finish with a touch of my darkest shade (C7) around the very edge of the hair.......I've shown this in pink first.

Hopefully, you should end with something looking like this...........

............but remember, if the white space seems too much of a contrast, or the staggered layers are too severe, return to your lightest shade (C3) or even lighter (C2), and lightly layer to mute the overall effect.

Well that's about it for hair!

Don't be disheartened if you don't become an expert overnight.....I still have days where things just don't go as planned, but remember what I suggested in our first session......practice, practice, practice!

In the meantime, our 'mousy' haired girl is all coloured up and ready for a card.

Have fun and please join me next time where we will look at colouring........well........a little bit of everything else!
Till then,
Challenges entered:
Digi Stamps 4 Joy - #42 Cute as a Button



Oh Jayne, this was well worth waiting for!!! Great instructions, and easy to follow, and now we have no excuse for NOT trying to do black hair! Thanks so much and I look forward to more!

Dr. J

Always such great inspiration Jayne! I need to dust off my copics and try this too.


Thank you!


Lovely card you've made and great coloring! =)
Thanks for joining us at Digistamps4Joy!
Hugs, Elenor DT

Desire Fourie

Just so beautiful to look at. Have a great Sunday.
DS4J DT Member
Doing Life

Jen Leeflang

Thanks so much for adding your fabulous creation into our "Cute as a Button" image at Digistamps 4 Joy Good luck in the draw, and please enter into our next challenge - it goes live at 8.00 am CAT on Wednesday!
luv'n huggz
Jen Leeflang
Digistamps4Joy DT Lead

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