Week 2b: The Shadow Knows – Copic Grays and Inktense

This week’s technique focuses on a foolproof method of coloring images that have realistic shadows and bold, intense color.  I’m breaking this post into two parts.  You are viewing the second part.  Here is a link to the first.


Now that our shading work is done we can concentrate on coloring the image.  I am using a foolproof method of coloring known as Inktense pencils.  Long have I struggled with watercoloring.  Never enough control of the medium and I felt that it was too BLAH BLAH BLAH or too muddy and defintely not bold enough.  So hard to keep it from flowing into areas I didn’t want it to; especially messing up prior good work.

This is where Inktense products EXCEL.  You can use them wet or dry and wet on wet – but the magic is that once you’ve dried an area – it’s done.  It won’t rework when you layer another color over the top.  It will show up translucent and beautiful underneath – but it won’t MOVE.  So you can start with your lightest color and work up from there.  And the control!  I’m such a control freak.

I have the set of 36 Inktense Pencils, so I will list the colors I pulled out of the set for this project.  You can always buy colors open stock, or in a set.

So to get started, I’m using two colors:  the lighter color, Red Violet, I scribbled onto the paper lightly on the lower third of the petal.  The darker color, Mauve, is on the upper two-thirds.


Using a Niji waterbrush, or a damp paint brush, pull the Red Violet inwards and slightly feather it in at the edges leading into the darker Mauve.  Let dry, or zap with your heat embossing gun.  Nobody wants to wait around for paint to dry.  Or in this case, ink.


Now pull the Mauve color with your waterbrush, downward from the inside of the petal, just feathering over the lighter color.  Notice how the Copic marker shadow lines stay in place, and in fact become more pronounced as the watercolor paper is activated with the water and ink?  And yet the Copic ink WILL NOT MOVE, so all your hard won shading work will stay intact.


Now I’ll go back with the lighter Red Violet pencil on the curling underside of the petal.


And pull this color upwards, lightly feathering into the white area.


And that is it.  Lots of depth and dimension.  Like it?  Repeat on all the other petals, heating in-between color applications to ‘freeze’ your work.


At the end, I wanted to have a central ‘vein’ of color on each petal, so I put a thin line of Violet down the center of each and went over it with the waterbrush to blend it out.

The leaf and stem used: Felt Green and Leaf Green, in that order.  The center of the flower is Sherbet Lemon and Tan, in that order.

Feel free to click on any of the images for a larger view of the picture.

So now that you’ve seen this technique, let’s get over it!

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