Coloring in can be a wonderful way of relaxing and taking your mind off things.
It can also stimulate creativity and your imagination. It feels great to complete a picture and to appreciate what you have created and the actual coloring in process can be just as important as the final product.
In this article I will share a few tips that can help bring your designs to life and add dimension to them and make them your own.
If you add areas of light to your design, you can begin to visually define the picture and bring it to life. For example, using a white gel pen, add highlights to eyes, to make them appear real.
Some well thought out highlights can make all the difference.
Although you might not have a real image to refer to, think about where the light values might be and use a lighter shade or revisit that area with a blending pen. Some well thought out highlights can make all the difference.
Think about where the shadow might be in your design and reveal it by using a darker shade of the original color.
It is advisable not to use black when indicating shadow with pens. It is better to use darker shades.
By overlaying different shades of the same color, you can used blending to give depth and indicate dimension.
Also using darker and lighter shades of the same color beside each other can give the impression of movement and depth.
The great thing about coloring in is that is doesn’t have to be realistic or follow any rules, so its good to experiment and have some fun.
Outline the whole area with a darker shade or a different color completely.
A way I have found to make an image appear more 3 dimensional and stand out is to outline the whole area with a darker shade or a different color completely.
A good tip to enhance your final designs is, once you have finished your design, overlaying your picture with some final shadows, highlights and finer details, which run outside of the ‘coloring in’ lines and into all of the image or design.
The contrast between the highlights and shadow will make your drawing look more 3 dimensional, as you are accentuating the lights and the shadows.
If you would like a powerful and strong design, you can use very dark shading right beside the light areas, to make the drawing very eye-catching indeed. It is important not to go overboard though, or it will start to have the opposite effect.
Choosing different shades of the same color can help to give a realism to your images. Although this isn’t true in all occasions, try experimenting with your color choice within your pictures to see which works best for you.
Try experimenting with your color choice.
Sometimes you will find that the most unusual combinations can really work.
Fine Black Pen
Again, once you have finished coloring in your design, by using a fine black pen (maybe a 0.05 or 0.1 nib) you can add your own details and additional designs to enhance and customize the pictures, to make them ‘your’ creation.
You might wish to include ‘zentangle’ inspired designs or finer details which complement the image you are working on. See TanglePatterns.com for some ideas.
If it doesn’t work, then you get the opportunity and delight to start coloring in again, and having some more fun with it.
You might wish to include ‘zentangle’ inspired designs or finer details to your image.
If you have created a design which you really like but one which you would like to try something different with too, if you have the facilities you could scan in the image and print it out to add your additional ideas to, rather than doing them straight onto your original piece.
This means you are less worried about making ‘mistakes‘ and can try lots of different ideas to find the one you like the best.
A lovely way to bring your picture together and highlight areas is to use a dark color for all of the background area.
This will make the lighter colored areas really stand out and can give quite a dramatic effect.
Whatever you decide to do with your designs, it’s worth taking time to stand back, really look at what you are creating and think about what ways you can add to it to make it extra special.
What ideas do you have to personalize your designs and give them dimension? Let me know in the comments below: