I love coloring people images! Today's image is from www.makeitcrafty.com. It's called "Penny & Scott Kissing". I adore this image. It gives me those warm-fuzzy romantic feelings. They both look so passionate and I can just image this kiss as a "Hello - I've missed you" kiss. I read too many sappy romance novels. haha. oh well.... we all have our guilty pleasures. :)
I printed this image onto Neenah Exact Index 110lb card stock. I also flipped the image so he guy was on the left, and the girl on the right. I printed 4 images on a single piece of card stock, so I could visualize the size and spacing on an A2 size card, while maximizing my materials. Did I mention that I love the flexibility of digital stamps?
Tangent: I was able to cut down the 8 1/2 x 11 piece of card stock into quarters immedately and add to my stack of pre-printed digital images. This way I could grab-and-go whenever I wanted to color... It's way easier to throw a gallon ziplock bag of my favorite copic markers and a stack of pre-stamped quarter sheets into my purse, than it is to cart around full sheets of paper and my entire collection of markers (current count 311!!)
Before I start explaining what I did - I should explain how I picked my colors. My current favorite skin color combo is E50, E53, BV00 and R20. However, I need to change the nib on my E53 marker - so I had to come up with a back up plan... To pick out my colors, I referred to my handy-dandy HexChart. I looked for a color that was close to E53 and tested a few out on a piece of scratch paper by blending it with E50 and BV00. I tried substituting E31, E21 and E11. I really liked how E11 blended over the BV00 so that's what I went with. I also looked at R20 and decided it wasn't quite right.... I wanted something a touch brighter. Why? Who knows! I was just floating where the Copic Groove was taking me... I thought RV10 looked nice, so that's the first one I picked-up and tested on my sample. I was happy with the brightness of the color and felt like it would give a nice romantic blush on the skin tones I had selected. So that's how I started...
Skin & Hair:
Skin: I started with a base of E50, and then I lightly drew in the shadows with BV00 with the very tip of the brush tip. I drew in the shadows at the hairline, eye sockets/brow bone, jawline, the fingers closest to the ground, and wherever I imagined a gap between fabric and the skin... When I first drew in the shadows it really looked like my image was a victim of domestic violence: black eyes, bruises peaking from the hairline, roughed up knuckles... and then I remembered what Sandy Allnock says about her coloring - it usually looks like a "hot mess" in the beginning, but it works out in the end. :)
After I laid down the shadows in the skin with BV00, I went over the purple with the E11 marker. THEN, I went back with the E50 to blend the lines. I did go back with E11 a few times to cover a stubborn spot of BV00, and then blended it again with E50. And what do you know! Sandy was right. It all worked out. :) I then put a little flush into their cheeks. I used RV10 to get a nice rosy flush in the girl's cheeks, and then blended out with E50. I couldn't bring myself to use RV10 on the guy's face though. It was too pink. I wanted to show a flush of excitement - but I didn't want him to look like he was wearing make-up. So! I took out my handy-dandy HexChart again and browsed for a subtle "masculine flush" that was closer to the flesh tones I was working with. And TA-DA! YR01 was right next to E11 on the HexChart. I was pretty sure this was the shade I wanted to use. However, before I committed myself, I took YR01 for a test drive on the first sample I used to pick out my colors. My sample was a success - so I lightly applied the YR01 with a side swipe of the brush nib to where I imagined the guy's cheekbone would be. Flicking with the side of the brush nib produced a softer smudge of color than if I had tried to use the tip of the brush tip. This way, I didn't have to do much blending to get a look that I liked.
Hair: I started with the girl hair first. Because, as a girl, I think that's the most fun to color. I colored the hair with the same E50 base I used on the skin. I then picked up E55, a nice "light camel" to add in some lowlights/shadows, whatever you want to call them. I used the very very very tip of the brush nib to flick in strand detail. (I think this is why I gravitated towards this image, because it would be a greate opportunity to practice coloring hair)
On the guy's hair, I wanted a little variety, so I covered the base with E35. I didn't want them to look like twins - b/c that would be gross. I then, with a heavier hand than I used on the girl's hair, I flicked in E18 in the direction I imaged neat combed hair would lay. I then took E55 and colored over the back of the head to the side burn so the bottom hair would be slightly darker and less defined. It was a quick brush over - no work to blend the colors at all.
His & Her Coats:
Her Coat: Surprise Surprise - I started with her coat first. I think it was actually because I pictured her more quickly. I picked out my favorite BV Color blending family BV20, BV23 and BV25. I colored a base of the BV20, and then lightly sketched in with the tip of my brush nib where the contours/curves of her body were to show where the shadows would go. I then went over those areas with the BV25. Then I came back in with BV23 to extend the shadow areas, and blend the darkest color. Then I went back with my lightest color, BV20, to blend the line between the base coat and the BV23. I colored the inside of the pleats with BV25, because this is where the folds of the fabric would be darkest.
His Coat: I didn't have all my markers with me when I was coloring this image, so I had to work with what I had on hand. When I was browsing my colors, I tried to picture coats that I've seen my family wear and see if I had markers to achieve the look.... My husband has this beautiful camel color coat and I love how soft and warm it is. So I drew my inspiration from that. I probably could have gone a little darker, but these were the only warm gray colors I had with me at the time. I followed the same process that I used on the girl's coat, but with W0, W2, and W5 instead. I did do a little tip-to-tip with the W2 and W5 when I needed an in-between shade. This helped me achieve a more blended look.
I really struggled with which colors to use when I got to this point. The soft skin and hair colors, and then the dull BVs and Warm Grays were nice together. I really didn't want to pull in a random florescent color to ruin the soft romantic look that was evolving. So I went back to my HexChart.... *Quick thank-you-prayer to Sandy Allnock and the Copic Gods*
I finally decided on these two blending groups (more of my favorite blending groups). Blues for the guy's scarf and sweater cuff; and dusty rose reds for the girl's hat, belt and sweater cuff. I colored the inside of the knit pleats with my darkest colors, because this is where the knits would cast shadows and naturally be the darkest. I also added shadows where ever I thought there would be a curve to help add extra dimension.
So that's how I finished this image. Someday, when I have time, I'll put it on a nice card. :)
Hopefully this post helped explain the awesomeness of Sandy Allnock's HexChart. I will likely refer to it in the future because it is an awesome tool and will use it all the time. In the meantime, I encourage you to pick up the HexChart from Sandy's store. It's super reasonable! Just $5.99! Besides the personal use of this absolutely amazing tool - you will be suporting an awesome artist and a super nice person. And doesn't that just make you feel warm and fuzzy? :)