Those of you who have been in my workshops know that I like to build color very slowly, using multiple layers of transparent colors. This step-by-step shows an example of the process (though remember it’s unlikely you will have the exact colors, types of pens, etc. that I have, so of course whatever you do will be different!).
Using brown watercolor with a little green mixed in, I free-hand painted the alligator shape. The color should be very pale at this stage. (I didn’t use a pencil first… the darker green outline you see around the edges is green watercolor.)
When the first layer of watercolor was COMPLETELY dry, I added a second light layer of green right on top of the previous layer.
Using a light pink Copic marker, I added the “orange” lines you see. (They look orange because the pink is mixing with the greenish-yellow underneath.) Keep your hand loose.
I repeated Step 3 using a light gold Copic marker.
I grabbed a black ballpoint pen and started adding outlines, scales, and cross-hatching, again, keeping my hand loose and squiggly.
Keep working the ballpoint pen until you feel done!
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For those of you in the Northwest, I wanted to tell you that I’ve just added a day-long workshop on Saturday, March 12 in Port Angeles! It will be held at Art Supplies Unlimited. There are two ways to participate: I’m teaching a workshop called “Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists,” which will include things like the above and more. Also, I will be giving a “talk” during the lunch hour, which is open to anyone, even if you are not taking the class. Join me! All the details can be found here.
Thanks- now I understand how you make such wonderful drawings(I am a drawing newbie). Definitely need to put my hands on some copic markers.
Thank you for sharing this tutorial. I love your work!
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Thank you for the tutorial! A while back I came across your book and treasure it and was really happy when I discovered silly3 workshop.
thanx for that! I never thought about colouring first and adding lines after!!! how silly!
Karen G said:
Copic Markers are expensive, is there a cheaper equal?
You can use any kind of marker, really, even Crayola ones from the supermarket! I like the Copics because you can get very light colors, which work best when you are trying to build layers of color slowly. you don’t need a lot of them, 1-3 would be sufficient (I would choose a light grey, a light gold/yellow, and a light pink).
Karen G said:
Thank you for your help. I will get a few of the Copic and then I have some regular ones.
Kelli Perkins said:
Thanks so much for sharing that wonderful tutorial Carla. It means so much to learn these concepts. My head is now popping with ideas!! Kelli
Dale Wolfe said:
The silliness is really saneness. We just go along with the name!
lisa geiger said:
thanks for the fun! i was inspired to put a twist on with prismacolors instead of the markers… i linked to your post on my blog.
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Definitely ordering the watercolors from the States today 🙂 And, a few Copics here, maybe some pastels or conte crayons. Mine are all in deep storage 😦