Getting Coloring To The Next Level

When most people think about coloring, the first thing that comes to mind is colored pencils. Colored pencils are simply amazing because they are quite versatile and easy to use. These qualities are what make them appealing to many colorists.

But when it comes to advanced coloring, you may find yourself wandering in the world of acrylics, pens, watercolors, markers, and many others. This is a beautiful world where you can mix different materials to create varying moods and textures in your paint works. Highlighted in this article are six techniques you can use to achieve these effects.

1Consistent Direction In Coloring

Starting off with crayons, changes in direction often results in colorings being untidy and sloppy, no matter how much you try to color within the lines. Coloring in one direction is definitely easier. It also achieves better results.

If there is a turn or corner that makes it difficult not to shift direction, you can opt to color using tiny circles or color using curved lines instead of straight lines. But you must remember that the direction you use to color will always be apparent to viewers. Also, it will affect the texture and appearance of your art.

2Layering With Markers

When working with a large background or open space, using colored pencils on top of markers is highly recommended. You can start by applying the marker first and then proceed to apply the colored pencil on top of the marker to achieve large sections of intense color. Think of a beautiful night sky or the deep depth of a sea.

Mixing pencil and marker allows you to get a much deeper color instead of choosing between using one or the other. You can use this technique with any color. For instance, the deep blue color of the sky.

3Blending Colors With Gel Pens

It's a fact that some gel pens are prone to smearing easily, which is not good. However, this can be a good thing when you need to blend colors or create a gradient effect using one color. Some gel pens are wet, while others are dry. Wetter pens are the best for blending and creating gradients.

You can try your gel pens out on a blank page to see which smears best. Draw a small square and try using your fingers or a blending tool to smudge it. Certain tools are preferred for blending, such as a flat-ended cotton swab (found in the cosmetic section of most drug and grocery stores), a wet paintbrush, a bristle paintbrush, a pencil eraser, or a silicone spatula.

4Burnishing, Blooms, And Gouache

Burnishing involves applying pressure to mix up layers and fill the paper's tooth with color. Burnishing creates a very shiny and smooth appearance of color in your coloring. It is advisable to use a sharp colored pencil when burnishing to fill the paper with color more quickly.

Gouache is very similar to watercolor, as it can be watered down to form many different patterns. You can use blooms to add in a base color on which you paint on top of. Wet the brush with a small amount of water and add a little pigment and then proceed to apply. Next, using more water and a different pigment, apply numerous blobs on the paper. The blobs of color will spread and bleed into the canvas.

5The Watercolor Underpainting

An underpainting is a monochrome wash that is employed as the initial layer of the artwork. Layers of transparent washes are added on top of the underpainting to achieve a high level of realism and some amazing luminous effects. To start with, make a light purple shade (a mix of ultramarine blue and cadmium red is perfect). Neutral shades of green or blue also work well.

Apply a light paint using purple, paying close attention to shade and light. Since color is not a big issue here, you can put your focus on shape rendering. Use a light hand and a soft brush to keep the purple from dominating the rest of the artwork. Allow the underpainting to dry properly before proceeding with color glazing. If the underpainting is wet, you may end up muddying the colors.

6Splatter Effect Using Acrylic

Doing this is a whole lot of fun! Using a wet brush, you can splatter or flick paint onto a black surface for an uneven splatter/flick effect. It's excellent for creating a starry night or abstract landscape or simply adding some texture to a painting.

If you want to appreciate the beauty of the results, try experimenting using a dark paper. Practicing repeatedly can help you learn how to flick your brush to achieve the perfect effect. Why don't you try it out?

So, there you have it. Six techniques you can employ to make your coloring experience both fun and enjoyable. Enjoy!

Vicki Carballo

Vicki Carballo is a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina and is a grad school student. Between studying and exams, the stress can become very troublesome, but through Grace, Vicki found coloring books to be a viable solution for decompressing.