This tutorial will focus on using Spectrum Noir Blendable Pencils to color with a sepia-toned effect. Coloring with sepia tones creates a wonderful nostalgic feeling in a piece of artwork.
For the clothing (and landscape as well), I chose the following colors: 100, 094, 090, 088, 008.
Always use a light touch with the pencil coloring throughout the tutorial until reaching the “burnishing” stage, which is when we will use a light-toned pencil to do a final blending and smoothing of the colors.
I have tamped my image on watercolor cardstock. To begin, use pencil number 100 to add a touch of color in areas where darker shadows would appear. Here I have added shadows around the arms, sleeves, neck line, and shorts as well as some of the landscape elements that would have shadows cast onto them.
Next, using pencil number 094, color over and then extend past the previous coloring out towards the white areas.
The third layer of color will be created using pencil number 090. Repeat the process by coloring lightly over the first two layers of color and extend the 090 past those out into the white areas.
You can see that the white, or “highlight” areas are getting smaller as we add more color.
Using pencil number 088, color using the same procedure as the previous two steps, filling in most of the remaining white areas of the objects that are being colored.
When you have completed the first four layers of color, repeat the entire process using the same four colors (100, 094, 090, 088) in the same order, coloring over the top of the existing coloring.
This will add more vibrancy to the coloring as the layers of color build up. You can see in my picture here that I have done the second layering of all four colors on the shirt, but not yet on the rest of the image.
Once you are happy with the way your shading looks, the final step will be the burnishing. Using pencil number 008, color over the areas that you have completed, pressing a little harder to blend the colors together and smooth out the texture of the paper that still shows through.
For the hair coloring, I used the same four colors – 100, 094, 090, 088 but then used 005 for the burnishing. Also, instead of working darkest to lightest, I reversed the sequence and worked lightest to darkest.
To begin, use pencil number 088 to draw in “strands” of hair by drawing some lines in the open areas.
Next, using pencil number 090, draw in more lines in some of the remaining white areas.
Repeat the process of drawing in lines, this time using pencil number 094, in more of the white areas that are left. Some of these lines can cross over strands that have already been drawn in.
Take the darkest color, pencil number 100, and draw in lines only where the shadows would be. For this image, I followed the artist-drawn lines that were part of the stamped image.
Repeat the entire process of coloring the hair, beginning again with the lightest color (088) and working your way up to the darkest color (100) until the hair is mostly filled in.
Some white areas left are desirable to give the effects of highlights, so it isn’t necessary to have it completely filled in.
When you are happy with your hair coloring, use pencil number 005 for the burnishing.
Finally, we have the skin tones. For these, I used pencil numbers 089, 088, 006, 005.
Use pencil number 089 and color only in the shadow areas.
In the photo above, I have colored in at the edge where the arms and legs meet the clothing, as well as the undersides of the arms and legs and wherever other elements in the design would be casting a shadow on the skin.
Next, using pencil number 088, color over the first layer of skin color and extend the 088 out past that layer into the white areas a little bit.
The final layer of skin color will be colored using pencil number 006. Color over the first two layers of color and extend the 006 out into the white areas.
Using these same three colors in the same sequence, color another layer over all of the skin areas to build up the color and create vibrant sepia skin tones.
When you are happy with your skin tone, use pencil number 005 to burnish and blend the colors.
I hope you will give this technique a try! Share a card or other project you make using this tutorial with us on our Facebook page, tag us on Instagram (#spectrumnoir or #spectrumaqua) or on Twitter (@SpectrumNoir)! We’re also on Pinterest so tag us there as well for a chance to get re-pinned to our Colorist Creations board! Please feel free to leave your comments below, we very much appreciate reading them.
Tutorial credit: Fiona Robertson