Hello! Colleen here… I’m taking a break from my whirlwind travel schedule to bring you a quick Copic coloring tutorial. I have to admit that I veered away from Zoe’s “list” this time to hit on something that I’ve been working on quite a bit lately… adding undertones as shadows.
Most often, I teach Copics using the “light to dark” method as it’s easier to blend and gives a more vibrant depth of color, but for this technique, I am actually going to start with the darkest shadows (in purple!) first and then go back to the “light to dark” method of coloring.
I begin by adding a light purple (V20) to the uncolored skin where I want the shadows to eventually be. I start light because I’m more comfortable “testing” out where my shadows will be. I use purple/or blue violet because that is the complimentary color to most skin shades.
Once I am comfortable with where I have my shadows placed, I go over them with a much darker purple color (BV23). This will ensure that the shadow tones will show through the skin tones.
Next, I begin adding the skin tones. I begin by adding the lightest skin tone (E00) to the entire skin area. Yes, even over the purple shadows. My goal is NOT to blend at this point, I’m just starting to build the colors.
I then darken the skin tone by adding more shading with E21. Notice again, I’m not blending yet.
I add E33 to deepen the shadows even more.
And then I add just a touch of E04 to the darkest areas of shadow. Notice that by this time, I’ve used the dark purple undertones as a guide. They will also create a nice blue violet cast to the shadows on the skin.
I know it looks REALLY weird right now… just be patient!
I then begin blending.
I blend gently with E21 to soften some of the darker shaded areas. I do want some of the hard lines visible, so it’s a gentle blend.
I blend with E00 softly. And then I finish off and soften some of the edges with E000. (To continue to blend with the E00 would just continue to darken the skin and I would lose my contrast.)
Next, I color the hair black using a base of B52 (should probably have used B41 for a brighter look, but that’s okay), C3/C5/C7/C9 and the black multiliner for detail.
I finished off the image by coloring the fin with BG000, BG53, BG45 and BG49 and the tail and top with BG000, B41, B14, B01, B04.
Random spots of BG09 and B29 add a bit of texture.
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial… next time you color up skin, give this easy undertone shading a try!
Happy Coloring! – Colleen
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