So I've decided to write this journal to show a little bit of how I usually color my drawings. I use faber-castell and a few cretacolors pencils as well,but you can use whatever brand you find the most affordable/acessible, since what's really matter in the end its how skilled you are (though if you can afford expensive-but-awesome brands go for it!). This is the first time I'm writing something like this, so I'm pretty nervous >_____<'
Step 1) Basic lineart
So anh...here's this rather sketchy lineart. But you see, you can't just start coloring right away, because this lineart here, for example, was drawn with grafitti pencils, and if you start to blend it with colored pencils, they will blend in a way that it will look unpolished and not...hmmm very pleasant to the eyes (if you do want to know how this "cool" effect would look like, you can just do a quick search right here on DA). First you need to find a way to re-do this lineart, but with pens instead.
Step 2) Basic lineart, with pens
As you can see, Fefnir's face looks slightly different here... weell, anyway, there's quite a few ways you can re-do your lineart without having to begin from scratch: for example, you can use something called a lightbox, which is exactly what the name implies: a box (usually made of wood) with a light bulb, and a piece of glass. It's really good for tracing, and easy to use. But if you can't afford/have a lightbox (like me, *cough* cough*) , fear not! You can also use one of the windows of your house to similar effects, or you can even scan your lineart, edit on an image edit program to get something like this:sta.sh/027qcpg9b837) , print it and all you have to do is get the job done with any pen of your preference. Now, lets go color this tough cookie, shall we? *ok that was....laaaaame >_<*
Step 3) Coloring part 1
Well Fefnir sure has a weird color pallete...I mean, is this supposed to be pink-ish red or red-ish pink (if this even make sense)? Anyway, in cases like this, were a character or any other element in your artwork have to have a weird color pallete (whether its because you want to make a really faithful-to-canon fanart or you just happen to like to color your ocs with weird colors), you'll need to get used to blending colors. With this method you can create awesome effects, and even new colors! For example, for Fefnir main parts, I've used first pink, then red, then pink again. But the rest still needs to be colored...
Step 4 (and 5?) Coloring part 2
Ok so it seems like...err I got too carried away and...kind of merged step 4 and 5...buuut here's my solution to this shortcoming: a color palette sheet containing which colors I've used in the most important parts! Take a look...
Now I can talk more about the process of blending colors. First, I quickly explained about how I've colored Fefnir (well, most of him). But what about the rest? Well, you see that (not so) cool, shining lava over there? Well, at first sight, it may seems that I've just used a layer of yellow, and then some orange, but that's not quite like it. Actually, coloring with pencils takes a lot of time, effort and patience (that's why most youngsters tottally dismiss pencils and resort to photoshop, paint tool sai or whatever instead), but mainly patience. Weeeeell anyway, as you can see in the color palette over there, to color a (not so) cool, (not so) awesome lava, follow my steps:
1) apply a layer of orange in ALL the lava area;
2 ) then a layer of yellow;
3) do you have one of those eraser pencils? if you don't, go buy one. Now. Again, brand doesn't matter that much, but you'll need one to create cool effects and even blend colors with more ease in some cases, like this one. So you got your eraser pencil? Right. Start to use it in all over the lava, and you'll see how the orange and yellow will blend, creating a bright, smooth shade of yellow.
3) repeat step 2;
4) instead of applying orange all over the lava, this time you will use orange to create a watterfall-like effect, to get contrast with the yellow *see the color pallete for reference regarding this effect*
5)Apply red in the parts were you used orange, to get even more constract;
6)And to wrap things up, apply white on the yellow parts, so it will look smoother.
Phew! And that's was just for the lava o_o...well before we go to the next step, I should give you a few more tips regarding blending colors, such as...
*Mixing similar colors is something you'll want to do often, very often, to get darker shades of any color. For example, mixing different shades of green will result in a darker shade of green. Of course, though, to get a really dark shade of green, for example, you CAN'T mix colors that are way too lighter than the one you want to get.
* A nice way to get the darkest (or almost) shade of black possible is using, alternatively, layers of 6B and black pencils, or to simplify 6B>black pencil>6B>black pencil...(you can go even more further, depending on how thick the paper you're using is). I'm saying this because just the black pencil that comes with the rest of the other colored pencils (in those box sets and stuff) isn't usually very...hmmm "intense".
And well, that's it. Let's go to the last step, in where I'll give you a few tips about shading.
Step 5 (or 6) ) Shading
Finally the last part. Wow Fefnir looks gorg...I mean GREAT here. As you can see , he's already finished...well everything is finished. But as I've mentioned, there's still some tricks under my sleeve, and is my duty to (try to, at least) explain then. Soo about shading...you need to see first which areas you will want to shade, and which areas will reflect the light. For example, here you can see that all the light is coming from the oh-mighty-shiny lava (just trying to lighten the mood cuz my english sucks), so you would need to apply small shades of yellow and orange in fefnir's left side, for example, to add a cool shining effect. Regarding the rest, you'll want to use darker shades of the color in question to shade, and ALWAYS in the opposite direction of the light. Example, in fefnir's right thigh, I've used darker shades of red-ish pink/pink-ish red, and also some 6B combined with black, to add more contrast. Now for some tips...
*If your character(s) is(are) in an outdoor ambient without any light bulb or something similar, you don't need to use any color in the areas were light is reflected. Instead, leave just some small/medium white spots without coloring to make shiny effects.
*Use 6B and black in your favor to enhance contrast during shading process. Unless we're talking about most skin tones, light colors such as yellow, peach, etc. in those cases, I don't recommend it.
Finnaly, we're DONE here! If you read this far, thanks and I hope you've learned something useful from my tutorial...hey who knows, you may become even better than me (but you would need a decent art teacher for that, probably, instead of some random MegaMan fangirl on DA who've just decided to post a colored pencils pseudo-tutorial...but I digress)
See ya nowgowatchmeplz/