Color like a Pro - by Chakriya Noimanee

Color like a Pro – Image by Chakriya Noimanee

If you are die-hard coloring enthusiasts who want to learn advanced coloring skills by learning new tips and tricks to color like a pro, here are a few tips to get you started. If you want to learn how to color like a pro, then this three part blog post series is for you. We are starting this series off by talking about using different mediums and tools to take your coloring to the next level. Two essential tips to understand 1) use different mediums to create a unique look to your art and 2) purchase the most high quality products you can afford.  High quality pencils, markers, and other mediums work differently than craft or education grade products.  The difference in color, saturation, and blend-ability is strikingly different in artist quality from hobby quality mediums.  I recommend you purchase small sets to get you started, then once you find a brand you like then splurge on a larger set.

A good alternative used by professional colorists is pastels. Pastels come in a variety of colors much like paints. Pastels are a medium created of pigment and something to bind it together to put it into a solid form for your use. There are chalk pastels, oil pastels, hard pastels, and soft pastels.  They are frequently used to cover large areas and they blend very well. You can use pastels to create a soft look on your coloring pages, but they also offer the opportunity to blend in large areas while using a small quantity of product.

Colored pencils are one of the most popular ways to color.  Of course many people love these, and they do create beautiful art.  Colored pencils can be used in so many different ways and using blending mediums like rubbing alcohol, baby oil, or Gamsol to cover large areas to provide additional details and color saturation make them one of the go to coloring mediums for adult coloring.  Using blending techniques & mediums makes all the difference.  There are oil based pencils and wax based pencils to consider and they behave differently, so experiment.

We all know of crayons and this is likely the first thing that you think of when you hear coloring and it is typically the first thing you started coloring with as a child. They are similar to pastels in form, but these are created with wax and a binding component. Where pastels will give you a matte look, crayons will give you a shiny look to your coloring pages.  Don’t be afraid to utilize these in combination with other coloring mediums.  They have rich vibrant colors and can cover large areas quickly.  Try using blending mediums with these to get different effects.

Watercolor is one of our personal favorites to use as it creates a one of a kind look for your coloring pages. The soft look of watercolors gives you a more gentle look to your art and allows you to mix colors with ease. You can easily use watercolors to get a well blended affect. There are also a number of water color pencils that allow you to put the color down in pencil form and then add a very small amount of water to spread the color out.  Watercolor colored pencils are a good way to easily obtain great detail and still get that watercolor look.  One set back when using watercolors is when coloring on poor quality paper the paper saturates quickly and will buckle and ripple out of shape.  Try to only use watercolors on higher grade papers.

Markers I love using markers and with all the different varieties and brands I suggest purchasing a small package to see how you like them before investing in a larger set.  They are great for lying down color in a large area quickly and they provide great saturation of color.  When using markers they don’t add pigment to the tooth of the paper and tint the surface leaving you with a clean slate to add your other coloring medium.

Gel Pens are a fantastic medium and there are so many different manufactures.  I prefer the fine point, but if you are doing large areas fine points are not ideal.  Gel pens come in translucent and opaque varieties.  This gives the colorist the ability to blend, shade, and cover.

Last but certainly not least, you can use charcoal to get a deep look that has a matte finish, similar to the pastels. Of course you can get a dark black look with crayons, but with charcoals you can create a completely different look.  Charcoal comes in shades of black and grey and are excellent for shading, but you should always use a fixative with charcoal as it will smear when brushed against.

Tools to consider using when coloring blenders, sharpeners, erasers, stumps, boards, Gamsol, rubbing alcohol, Vaseline, baby oil, heat gun, heat board, make up sponges, q-tips, clip board, and Chamios.

No matter what coloring medium and tool you decide to use, your art will be gorgeous. Using different mediums to create your art can have you coloring like a professional and creating one of a kind art that no one could recreate. If you want to color like a pro, try out a few different mediums today and take your coloring to the next level.

Also check out our list of top You Tube Technique videos to help you bring your skill to the next level.

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