Beginner Copic Coloring: Shading Yellows

 
 Learn to shade yellow and orange without making mud! Beginner Copic Marker lessons. | VanillaArts.com
 

Do you hesitate to color with yellow?

A lot of people do.

In traditional Copic blending, most colorers have been taught to shade with a marker that is two to three digits higher than your main marker color.

So Y15 would be shaded with Y17 or Y18 and YR12 might be shaded with YR14 or YR15.

But anyone with at least one working eyeball can tell that this simply doesn't work for yellows and light oranges.

That's because there's more to shade than darkness.

Let me repeat that for you- there is more to shade than simply coloring something with a slightly darker marker.

When you step up a marker number in Copics, what you're getting is a more saturated version of the same color. Saturation refers to the strength or the value of a color. To put it in really simple terms- Y15 and Y17 are the same exact ink, the only difference is that Y15 has been "watered down" or diluted with more colorless blender solvent.

So a higher Copic is MORE saturated, meaning it has more pure ink color in the mixture.

But that's not how shade works

 Learn to shade yellow and orange without making mud! Beginner Copic Marker lessons. | VanillaArts.com

Shade is the opposite of saturation.

Shade is an area of DE-SATURATION.

Look at any object around you right now, it doesn't matter what thing you choose, it could be a pen, a mug, or your computer keyboard. All objects have areas of shade on them and all shade is color that has been de-saturated with gray.

The color in shady areas isn't darker, it's grayer.

I don't know why Copic teaches shading differently. I don't know why so many instructors teach students to saturate their shady areas rather than desaturate them.

And it's a complete mystery to me why so few people notice the problem.

Until they try coloring yellow...

The shade version of yellow is not more yellow

I think a lot of people sense that something is wrong with the Copic system when they get to yellow. You can almost get away with shading blue with more blue or red with a darker red. But adding more yellow to yellow simply looks wrong.

So a lot of people avoid yellows all together.

And then there are the mud makers...

Every once in a while, I'll come across a tutorial or a project photo where the colorer has tried to find a solution to the yellow problem.

They'll try using a muddy yellow like Y28 or they'll try a browish yellow, like YR14.

And a very few, rebel kind of folks try adding warm grays to their yellow mixes.

All three of these solutions kill the sunshine. Your yellows get muddy instead of retaining that sense of joy and purity.

Yellow is a fragile color. It's tender. It can't withstand a lot of desaturation and still retain it's yellowishness.

 Learn to shade yellow and orange without making mud! Beginner Copic Marker lessons. | VanillaArts.com

Join me for a class on yellow

My live beginner classes will learn to shade yellow with ease.

This is a lesson that works on everything from bananas to little baby ducklings.

You can shade yellow accurately and artistically without sacrificing its sunshiney, optimistic nature.

We're shading Y35 in class but I'll also demonstrate how the same technique works with several of the pure yellows.

This is an incredibly practical lesson... but it's a fun technique too!

Three May sessions:

Remember When Scrapbooking in Macomb, Michigan:

 Learn to shade yellow and orange without making mud! Beginner Copic Marker lessons. | VanillaArts.com

Wednesday, May 10th from 1 to 3:30pm

Thursday, May 11th from 6 to 8:30pm

Lesson: Shading Tender Yellows

Stamp: Daffodils by Power Poppy

Medium: Copic Marker & Prismacolor Premier Pencils

Skill Level: Absolute beginners through intermediate colorers. No drawing skills necessary.

RSVP: Call 586.598.1810 to reserve your space or to order the class stamps or Copic Markers.

Bee Creative Retreat in Oxford, Michigan:

Wednesday, April 26th from 6:30 to 9:00pm

Same as above

RSVP: Purchase your space here. Sorry, no walk-ins.

 

Join me for a celebration of yellow

But hey, we can still make mud pies if you want! It'll just have to wait until after class.

For live class updates and the latest class supply lists-

 

Is Your Copic Coloring Flat? Learn to Color with Depth & Dimension

 
 Copic Club- Casual and beginner level coloring class, "Where's Bunny?" a lesson on depth and dimension for beginning colorers. April 2017 | VanillaArts.com
 

Do you draw arrows?

Are you one of those people that starts every coloring project with a little tiny arrow in the upper corner of your paper?

Why?

No really. I sincerely want to know.

Why?

 Confused about shade? Stop drawing arrows and worrying about which direction the sun is coming from. Shade can be as simple as pushing or pulling. Copic coloring lessons that make sense! Ideal for beginners and self taught colorers. | VanillaArts.com

Because someone told you to.

Correct?

Because that's supposed to remind you which direction the light is coming from and somehow if you just remember that key fact, your coloring will be full of depth and dimension.

And yet you still have shading problems, right?

Yep. Drawing an arrow in the top right hand corner of your paper doesn't solve much if you don't understand what it means. And frankly, I'll bet the person who told you to draw that arrow doesn't really understand what it means.

Look, I don't know who started this idiotic idea of arrows and directional light charts. I've seen 'em all. Clear acetate versions, penetrating line versions, even one that involved the earth with a little pink equator going around it.

If those things actually worked, I could have saved myself four years of art school tuition and fees.

Sunlight charts and arrows are snake oil. They don't teach you diddly-squat about how to shade objects for depth and realism.

Yep, it's no wonder that you're confused about shade and shadow. You basically bought the Brooklyn Bridge. Instead of teaching you how to shade, all that tutorial gave you was a headache.

 Confused about shade? Stop drawing arrows and worrying about which direction the sun is coming from. Shade can be as simple as pushing or pulling. Copic coloring lessons that make sense! Ideal for beginners and self taught colorers. | VanillaArts.com

the secret to depth & dimension...

The secret to shade has nothing to do with which direction the sun is coming from.

I know that sounds strange, but that's because you've been brainwashed.

When the sun goes down, do you suddenly turn into a pancake?

Does your dog flatten out at the stroke of midnight ?

Oh... so you're still three dimensional when the lights go off?

That's because the shape of an object is completely unrelated to the lighting conditions around it.

I teach beginners, people who have never picked up a marker before in their whole entire lives, I teach them to color with depth and dimension and we do it all without a single arrow or sunlight chart.

You can learn it too. No advanced degree necessary. No mathematics, no rulers, and most especially- no arrows... just you, me, and a few Copic Markers.

End the confusion about shade. Join one of my Push & Pull classes. It will change the way you color forever.

Three live sessions in april:

 Copic Club- Casual and beginner level coloring class, "Where's Bunny?" a lesson on depth and dimension for beginning colorers. April 2017 | VanillaArts.com

Remember When Scrapbooking in Macomb, Michigan:

Wednesday, April 12th from 1 to 3:30pm

Thursday, April 13th from 6 to 8:30pm

Lesson: Push & Pull Technique for Depth

Stamp Sets: a collage of Chirpy Chirp Chirp and Happy Easter by Lawn Fawn

Medium: Copic Marker & Prismacolor Premier Pencils

Skill Level: Absolute beginners through intermediate colorers. No drawing skills necessary.

RSVP: Call 586.598.1810 to reserve your space or to order the class stamps or Copic Markers.

Bee Creative Retreat in oxford, Michigan:

Wednesday, April 26th from 6:30 to 9:00pm

Lesson: Push & Pull Technique for Depth

Stamp Sets: a collage of Chirpy Chirp Chirp and Happy Easter by Lawn Fawn

Medium: Copic Marker & Prismacolor Premier Pencils

Skill Level: Absolute beginners through intermediate colorers. No drawing skills necessary.

RSVP: Purchase your space here. Sorry, no walk-ins.

Want the Online Version?

I teach the same Push & Pull technique in my online workshop called "Flutterby".

Flutterby is 1.25 hours of fully narrated video instruction plus learning aids and printables. Flutterby uses my original digital stamp, designed especially to help you learn and practice Pushing and Pulling.

My classes are thorough! I don't do "watch me color" videos. Instead, I break down the techniques and explain what we're doing every step of the way.

My goal isn't to teach you how to color butterflies. I want you to leave the course knowing how to layer and shape objects for maximum depth. That's not just a butterfly lesson it's an every-stamp-you-own lesson!

Forever access, instructor feedback, work at your own pace.

(Free sample class here if you want to try me out!)

Join me for a class that clarifies the shading process

We'll burn the arrow charts in a bonfire afterwards.

 VanillaArts.com