What’s the easiest way to Improve your coloring?
Are you beginning to feel comfortable with Copic Markers or colored pencils? You’ve moved past the clumsy stages and now you can blend. You’re starting to get some depth and dimension too. Your projects are looking much better than they did than a few months ago.
Which means that from here on out, the only way to improve enough to get really professional looking projects is to practice, practice, practice. Right?
You can be the most talented and amazing colorer in the world— but if you keep printing your stamps with big fat black lines, you will always look like an amateur.
I’m not kidding.
Your best coloring will always look like coloring if you print in black ink.
I write more about the problem here:
“But wait Amy, I’m just a colorer and I…”
Coloring isn’t much different than painting!
Most artists start with a line drawing. Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Vermeer, Beaugureau, Rockwell, even freakin’ Grandma Moses all started with a sketch.
That sketch looked a lot like your stamp image.
Except most artists paint over their lines.
Meanwhile colorers leave the stamp lines showing.
Which is a little like toilet paper stuck to your shoe as you walk down the street. It tells the world what you’ve been doing.
If you want to color like an artist, you need to actually start coloring like an artist. That means hiding your stamp lines.
Pssstttt… camouflaging your stamp lines is a lot easier when you print in light colors pale gray.
But most digis come in black!
Luckily, we’ve got Kathy for all things tech related. She’s our resident computer geek here at Vanilla Arts Company and she’s here today to share her expertise on printing no-line images to add more realism to our projects!
Check out our other issues of Computers for Colorers for more tips & tricks, click the button below.
Computers for Colorers: Printing No-Line Images
by Kathy FS
You're back! At the end of last month’s tutorial, I promised to show you how to turn your bold digital images into “no line” images for coloring. Before we get down to work, let's make sure that you understand what I mean when I say “no-line image".
You know those heavy black lines that kill realism and make even the most gorgeous marker painting look like it was copied and pasted from a 4th grade coloring book? Well, we’re going to make those nasty lines disappear like magic.
(Don’t panic…there will still be illustration lines for you to see, but they will be printed very lightly in gray. Thus, as you color, the light gray lines will blend in with your Copics and virtually vanish right before your very eyes!)
Occasionally, artists include a no-line option with your digital stamp purchase. Yet, often these no-line versions are still too dark to fade completely into the coloring. No worries! You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to create no-line images for yourself using your photo editing software by following along with me as I explain how I do it.
Learn to Print Black Lined Digital Stamps in gray!
Subscribe below for the printable PDF. This lesson covers step by step instructions on how to print gray lined images using four different editing options:
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2019
Procreate App for iPad
Affinity Designer (for PC/Mac)
Affinity Designer (for iPad)
There are lots of ways to print no-line images and many programs which can get the job done BUT they all use a similar process.
Even if you are using a different program or a different device, you can use the instructions here to find comparable buttons and actions!
Pssst… want to color this Iris?
It’s a full page digital stamp, designed for watercolor but perfect for Copic or colored pencil too!
This Vanilla Arts digital image is an original stamp used in my H2Oh! watercoloring classes in 2016. It was designed as a full page stamp (8.5" x 11") but can be scaled down if desired. (Check out Computers for Colorers: Resize Digital Stamps for Realistic Copic Marker & Colored Pencil)
"Iris" has wide open areas with no texture marks and is perfect for colored pencil, alcohol markers, watercolor... your options are endless!
Lettering is not included in the digital stamp, it was hand lettered by Amy after project completion. This stamp was taught as a watercolor class, therefore there is no recipe guide to include in the stamp package. You can view Amy’s “Work in Progress” photos for this project on Instagram here.
PNG digital stamp file of "Iris", hi-res 300 ppi
PDF easy-print option, prints one (1) "Iris" per 8.5" x 11" page
Computers for Colorers: create No-Line Digital stamps
Subscribe below to receive the full PDF of Computers for Colorers - Issue #3
Download includes instructions for printing no-line images.
This is information so useful, you’ll want to keep it handy in a binder or notebook.
You’ll also receive the next issue of Vanilla Beans, a weekly 2-minute newsletter this Saturday. C4C and Vanilla Beans are both full of handy information, coloring inspiration, and exclusive discounts.
Already subscribed to Vanilla Beans? No problem. Use the same email address so that you don’t get a double serving of Beans!
Kathy FS is a Vanilla Arts student who enjoys hand-lettering pointed puns, realistic coloring, and getting up early to sleepwalk the dogs. You can follow her on Instagram here.