Sunday, February 27, 2011

My First Attempt at Shading

Yesterday Sandy Allnock (A Colourful World) hosted a tutorial on UStream Live TV.  We used one of her freebie digi stamps found on her blog (see link above) and followed along while she colored the bunnies.  Since this is my first attempt, I am soliciting REAL CRITIQUE for my coloring.  I would like to know which bunny looks better and why.  I would appreciate knowing if I colored/shaded appropriate parts of the bunny and other specific comments that will help me to improve the next time I try to shade something.  I have absolutely NO formal art instruction and really have a hard time grasping shading.  We did have art classes when I was in grade school/high school 30+ years ago, but I must have been daydreaming because I don't remember a thing!

The bunny on the left was colored with Bic markers.  The bunny on the right was colored with SU watercolor pencils and a blending pen.

Thank you in advance for your honest and specific comments.  :-)


  1. I think the bunny on the right is better, but only because of the ears on the other bunny. The coloring on the left bunny ears is strange to me. The dark brown does not match the rest of the bunny, and the pink is too dark. That said, I like the body of the left bunny a lot more than the one on the right. It looks more realistic because it looks like a white bunny with brown patches, rather than a white bunny strangely outlined in dark brown.

    Actually, they are both really, really good and you should confidently be able to use them both. My opinion is not based upon being an artist in any way. I've just been owned by many real bunnies since 1978.

  2. Thanks, Adele! That's great feedback for me. I was kinda feeling the same about the left bunny's ears as well. Also, you can't see it in the photo but the 3 different browns I used on the left bunny didn't blend at all because they were Bic markers. It does give it a strange look. I think I'll stick with pencils that I can blend for this type of project. Thanks again for taking the time to leave me REAL CRITIQUE!

  3. It was a good class and we're both learning. It takes practice to get the shading correct. Were your pencils wet when coloring or did you use them dry, then blend? I like the regular colored pencils for blending. Your different colors are still evident and need to be blended a bit bit more.

    Sandy's advice to use short strokes is helping me to mix the colors a bit better. It seems to keep the lines from showing so much. We both need to practice some more. I just printed a page of smaller ones to play with tomorrow.

  4. Hi Allison! I'm so glad to see you diving in with gusto!

    I think Velda has a good tip there with using short strokes; it makes the blending a lot easier. I should have mentioned in the class, and will do so next time, that less is more when it's concerning dark colors - you can always add MORE color to something, but it's a lot harder to lighten what's there if you get too heavy on the darks.

    I think I agree about the lighter ears on the bunny on the right too, they look more like they go with his coloring. :)

    How big are the images you printed out? I wonder if it would be good to practice on larger images first (I just thought of that while typing this), so there's more "real estate" to get the idea of the blending? I might have to try that and see if it'll be a good tip for next time :)

  5. Hi Allison, Thanks for the blog award! I enjoyed reading the 8 things about you and visiting your blog today.

    I thought I'd comment on your coloring. I think the bunny on the right looks better with the shading. I have a couple of suggestions that have helped me, one is take your image and look at it & color it section by section. I break an image into sections or areas and color and shade from there. Another thing is when light enters onto an object that's the lightest spot, where the light would leave the object is the darkest. Not sure if that makes sense, but it seemed to click for me. I use Copic markers to color with and I like the fact that you can go back and add your dark colors back in if your image needs a little darker shading.

    Sandy is an awesome colorist and there are wonderful videos on U Tube and tutorials all over blogland. Lucky for us! :)