Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial: Tips for Achieving "Soft" Coloring

Hi Everyone! Showcase Emily here with my very first tutorial! YAY!!! I thought that I would share with you today how I achieve a soft-looking colored image, as it is the one thing that I get asked about the most. I tend to color very lightly to achieve a very soft look with my colored pencils, and this masking technique is a very subtle way to boost your highlights. This is the number one thing I do to soften the look of my coloring. I love how this just makes a soft image pop!

To begin you will need to gather a few items that I am sure you have in your stash including: cardstock, A light Tim Holtz Distress Ink by: Ranger ( I used "Old Paper") , A piece of printer paper, stamping ink, colored pencils, an eraser, and of course your favorite TGF stamp! I used the new chair stamp from the Sitting Casual set that was just released this month.

1. Ink your stamp with your favorite stamping ink.
2. Stamp your image onto a piece of cardstock.

3. Set your image stamped on cardstock off to the side
and get out your piece of printer paper.
4. Ink up your stamp again.

5. Stamp image again onto your sheet of printer paper.
(This will become your mask.)
6. Here is a photograph of what you should have so far. On the Left is my image stamped on cardstock, which will be used on my final card. On the right is the same image that I just stamped again onto printer paper.

7. Carefully cut out the image that you stamped on the printer paper.
8. Now you should have your cardstock image and the mask that
you cut out of the printer paper.

9. Place the mask over your image stamped on the cardstock and hold in place.
You can also use a bit of removable adhesive to help hold the mask in place.
10. Begin to ink over the mask. I like to start on the mask and blend outward.
This helps to achieve a smooth gradation of color without splotches.

11. Continue inking around the entire image.
12. Now remove the mask, and ta-da! You a great distressed background
around your image. Now you can go ahead and color in you
image and add it to your project.

To color my image I used Prismacolor Colored Pencils. I do not use odorless mineral spirits to blend like many people do. Because I like that soft look I simply use an eraser to blend. This allows me to slowly build up color and easily preserve my highlights.

1. I lightly start to color my image with my colored
pencils, building up the color in layers.
2. Then I go in with my eraser, lightly, first on top of the color to blend it,
and then I lightly pull the color out to achieve a smooth gradation.

You can see how the light "halo" of distress ink really makes
the highlights pop in the pictures above!

Tip: Play around with stamping your image in different colors. Recently I have been stamping my images in brown ink, rather than black. It's a fun alternative, and I find it helps to soften an image even more!

If you are interested in seeing in more detail how I color you can visit my blog. I have a video tutorial there that I created several months ago that goes into a bit more detail, as I color one of the Sweet and Toxic images. I hope that this has given you some inspiration on a new way to color your images up!

Here is a card that I created using these techniques, that features the new Sitting Cute set!

I hope this inspires you to try out a "soft" look one of your next projects!
Have a great day!


Aideen said...

Super tutorial Emily :) I must try the "masking" haven't done that yet! Thanks

Tammy Ortiz said...

Emily Great Tutorial hun. I love what you have done here.

Denice said...

You've got a wonderful style Emily. I know I'm going to try a few of these tips, TFS them with us.

Arabella said...

Fab tutorial Emily! Thanks for sharing!


Tracy Valure said...

Oh Emily, you have one of the most unique coloring looks and I always love they way the come out. So pretty!!!!!


Shazza said...

gorgeous and great tutorial x

grandmabonnie said...

What a great idea, Emily. One day i know i will be able to color in the lines and accomplish this. LOL

Naomi said...

WOW, Emily this is OVER the TOP GORGEOUS!!!!


Rachel Parys said...

Wow Emily! Your a great teacher! This is a fabulous step by step for everyone! Thanks for taking the time to make that, it must have taken a while!

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