7 Tips to Improve Your Coloring Technique
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Guest post by Neely Beattie
Today I want to give you a few tips to make you feel more confident when you start coloring your first page, or maybe you’re just looking for some tips to take your artwork to the next level!
As with anything in life, unfortunately, we have to practice at them to get to where we want to be. If you’re not happy with the way your pages are looking, just keep trying! Relax. Smile. :)
2. Color in one direction.
Be sure to color in the same direction so you can’t see your pencil lines. When you color in the same direction, your picture will look more consistent, and your lead will blend together easier.
3. Don’t push too hard.
Instead of pushing hard when you first pass over the spot you want to color, build your color up. This way you will be able to blend your colors better, and you can add shading easier. If you want something darker, just go back over it. This will also help you keep from breaking your pencils or ruining your marker tips.
4. Keep your pencils sharp.
When you keep your colored pencils sharp, it’s easier to get into the nooks and crannies of the details. HOWEVER, before you do start coloring, I recommend lightly coloring on a scrap piece of paper to get one edge slightly flat, so you don’t rip into your page when you start. So you want a sharp pencil, but with one slightly dull edge to color with.
5. Pick a color scheme.
Color schemes are all around you if you look. I especially love looking at the natural color schemes of flowers. I just planted some super bell that are pink with yellow stripes coming through the petals. (The whole flower would be a great example of a triad color scheme pertaining of pink, yellow and green. ;) )
I don’t want to get down the rabbit hole of color theory, but I do want to give you a very basic explanation of color schemes.
If you’re more of a visual learner, this website is GREAT for choosing a color scheme and looking at a color wheel to see which colors complement each other. You can follow along as you read these descriptions.
Here are a few of the most common types of color schemes.
Analogous - These colors are located next to each other on a color wheel. (Example: Yellow, yellow-green, and green. Purple, violet, and magenta)
Monochromatic - These colors are different shades/tints/hues of the same color. (Example: Dark blue, blue and light blue. Dark green, bright green and light green.)
Complementary - These are colors that are across from each other on a color wheel. (Examples: Red and green, orange and blue, violet and yellow)
Triadic - These are evenly spaced around the color wheel… like a triangle. (Red, yellow and blue. Purple, green and yellow.)
There are also cool colors and warm colors. A cool color scheme would include lots of blues, greens and maybe even some purples. A warm color scheme would include oranges, yellows, and reds.
Also, keep in mind that some colors that aren’t a part of a specific color scheme still look really great together! You don’t have to go by these color schemes definitively. If you think something looks good together, go for it!
6. Consider the light source.
A light source is especially helpful if you’re using colored pencils so you can shade well. Like I mentioned earlier, pay attention to the pressure you’re putting on your pencil so you can leave room for shading. Push a little harder where there would naturally be a shadow and lighter where there would be highlights.
So, whatever is furthest away from a light source would be darker and whatever would be closest would be lighter.
For example, if you’re coloring a flower, the inside of a flower might be darker because it’s furthest away from a light source and the tips of the petals would be lighter because they’re usually pushed upwards toward the light.
And the most important part, be consistent with your shading. Choose the direction you want your light source to be when you start coloring and then shade accordingly throughout the picture. You can also blend colors to create more depth and texture.
7. Find your inner child!
That might sound silly, but I’m serious. How many blue puppies and purple skies have you seen kids color? And they are dang proud of those pieces of artwork they created. Be free with what you’re doing. Color how you want! How stress relieving is coloring when you’re stressed over coloring?! Not very. There are no rules here. Just create what makes you happy.
There ya have it! 7 tips on how to improve your coloring pages! I hope that you found these tips helpful! I’d love to see what you’re creating. Find and tag me on Instagram at @neelysphoto and tag your coloring pages with the hashtag #BloomColoringBook
If you don’t have the coloring book yet, you can purchase that here.