Masculine Hello for Inkspirational - and winner of the blog candy!
It's a Beautiful Day for Addicted to CAS # 121

To Copic or Pencil? That is the question!

Hi Everyone.  Happy Thursday.

Tonight's post is all about coloring and is a result of many of you asking me about the class that I took after this post went live..  You either left me messages on my blog, or sent me an email. Coloring is something that I still have to work very hard at - and need a lot of practice at.  However, I find it so relaxing - and rewarding - to watching something that is black and white come to life when I spend time applying color to that image.

It isn't something that comes naturally to me.  Although color theory was something I studied in Interior Design (sadly my hobby, not my job!) - it's altogether a very different thing when I have to use color on cards.

Sometimes, I love doing a quick color, with only small amounts of light and dark - just enough to add a wash where I need it.  Other times, I really want to lose myself in an image and about a year ago found that I just wasn't satisfied.  I wanted to add more depth and vibrancy and I just didn't know how.

I watched multiple videos of people who were kind enough to share their skills for free on youtube.  I even paid for a course that really gave me no more knowledge than I already had.

Then, when I was wondering around on youtube, I found a young lady in Australia showing a video of how to color transparent objects.  I was making a fairy card at the time and thought her explanation was so well done.   You can see the video here.

I looked at a view more of her examples and loved how she created depth and shading and that she was like many of us - "not artistic".  Alyce talks about spending hours and hours and hours practicing, and how she found her own style.  I noticed that she had a Copic coloring class on her website - Elements of Nature and decided that I was going to pay up the money and give it a try.   Now, I had just paid almost the same amount of money for the last course that I took and was VERY disappointed.... so was a little trepidatious.

However, Alyce doesn't just create the videos - she also creates a full booklet that has step by step instructions of how she colors every single image.  She also gives you the Copic colors to use.  Don't like Copics and want to do pencils instead?  No problem, she has also done a video for each of the flowers in the class using pencils instead of Copics.  Alyce usually colors with Prismas.  You don't have Prismas?  No worries, she gives you the colors to use if you are using Polychromos instead.  Don't have Copics but have Spectrum Noir markers?  No worries, she tells you the colors to use for that instead.

Each lesson was so easy to follow and she encourages you the whole way and explains exactly what she is doing and why.  I was hooked.

Before I took the classes, I downloaded the images and decided to color them as I would normally do.  This helped me create a before and after view and I thought might help me to see what progress I had made.  What a difference a class makes!  Here are some examples for you.  Note:  these photos were taken with my iphone and were used to show Pammie the difference, I hadn't ever intended showing them on my blog... so they are completely untouched.

Let's take a look at this orchid with the BEFORE coloring:

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 4.50.16 PM

I didn't think it was too bad!    Here's the AFTER version:

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 4.51.33 PM

Mmmmmm... maybe a bit of an improvement :-)  Let's see my next effort.  How about my BEFORE coloring for Arum Lilies, Daffodil, Gerbera Daisy and Magnolia


I didn't think they were too bad.  I was a little confused abot what to do with the Magnolia... but... I thought the others were not too bad.

Now... let's see what the first take of the AFTER looks like:


No comparison!   Even the leaves on the Daffodil between the before and after is hugely different.  In all of them there is so much more light and shade - so much more definition.

Lastly, let's take a look at a couple of pieces of fruit that I colored.  Some delicious cherries, strawberries and blackberries.

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 4.59.42 PM

Now... let's take a look at those some fruit the second time I colored them - AFTER watching the video:

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 5.01.04 PM

Well... no comparison on the strawberry and cherries.. still struggling with the blueberries, though:-)   I'm not sayig the images were perfectly colored after watching the video - but you can already see the improvement!

So..... I learned some very valuable lessons from this class - and this is just a small subset of the coloring lessons contained in the Elements of Nature class.  This really helped me to gain some techniques - and the confidence - to try some more complex Copic coloring and I found that my coloring really did improve - pretty dramatically over the next few months.

Then... I decided to try the class again - but this time with Pencils.  Oh... boy... that was an incredible revealation for me.  I loved playing with my Prismas.  I could get so much more shade and light and depth of color.  I could mix 6 or 7 colors together on a single small image and I loved it.  Those of you who read my blog regularly will have noticed how my Pencil coloring has improved over the months.  It's not just my pencil coloring that has improved - my Copic coloring has, too.

I signed up for Alyce's monthly class for September.   I LOVED the digital image that she had.  (The images don't come with the monthly class, but they are available at a big discount, so I was happy to pay.   The image for this month is from a company called Power Poppy and I had the most incredible time coloring in the images with both my Prismas and also my Copics.  The big mistake I made was not using the right paper for my pencil coloring!!!  (Alyce also takes you through the different types of paper and when to use them in her classes!)

So... I took a photo of the Copic colored images - and also the Pencil colored images.


And here's version B


One is colored with Copics and the other with pencils.  The pencil one would have been even better if I had used the right paper!  However, these images are colored with more skill than I could have done a few months ago.  they are still a LONG way from being where they could be... but..... I still get great enjoyment out of coloring the images - and looking at them and seeing what I have done.   Mind you, I am also thrilled to be coloring a bouquet of flowers - most of which grow in my front garden!

There you have it... the story of how I worked - and am still working - to improve my coloring.  The Altenew stamps gave me the vessel that I need with their lovely floral images - and it was the class that gave me the confidence to give things a try - and to even show you close ups of my coloring on the cards that I make.

If you want the details of the class that I took - and the other classes that she offers, just send me an email and I will send you the details.  If you want to sign up for Alyce's class, you can do that without my sending you the details   BUT... if you do sign up and she knows you came from me... then I noticed that she has a referral bonus of $10AUD and I certainly wouldn't turn down $10AUD bonus to go towards another class.

I hope that answers the questions for those of you that were interested.  If you have any more questions - feel free to email me - the link is on the right hand side panel   with an envelope and "email me".  Or, you can leave me a comment on this post.  I'd be happy to answer any more questions.

I'll be back on Saturday with my Addicted to CAS card.  In the meantime, warm hugs and prayers for those of you who need a little lift tonight.