The blue marker method was likely born out of coloring frustration.
Because really, what color is clear?
The blue marker technique seems to have caught on like wildfire; you see it everywhere! And I'm not surprised. Look, we've all been there. The stamp or coloring book image has a transparent object in it and we don't want to leave large areas completely uncolored... so what marker or colored pencil should we use?
Most colorers drag out the ol' B00 or BG10 to color glass. Or maybe they think a little deeper and come up with some combination of a light gray marker for shade, softenened with a #0 Copic Colorless Blender.
The blue marker method is why most people would color dragonfly wings blue.
Glass is clear, water is clear, and we use blue markers on them...
So we should apply the same theory to insect wings?
But here's the problem:
Dragonfly wings are not blue.
Your viewers will look at your project and think "Well, she colored the wings blue but in this case, I think she really meant to say that they're clear."
Which basically means you're not fooling anyone.
We know what you meant to color and so there's this unwritten rule that when you color something blue, we're all going to politely pretend that you did a good job.
Is that really the message you want your coloring to send?
Stop and think!
Don't just do what everyone else is doing.
Your viewers don't really want to pretend that blue is clear.
And I'm sure you don't want to be treated like the kindergartener who just showed her mother a hand drawn portrait with three legs and no neck.
"That's nice dear, you color very well!"
Especially not when the tools and techniques for coloring transparency and translucency are here and waiting for you!
Color translucency with ease
"Dragonfly" is my latest Marker Painting Workshop; a fun and entertaining look at how to capture the look and feeling of translucency.
We're using a technique that dates back to the 17th century and Dutch Golden Age of oil painting.
Yep, we're stealing from Rembrandt and Vermeer; applying their trade secrets to Copic Marker and colored pencils.
And don't get intimidated by the long and fabulous history of the Glazing technique. It's as easy as a dragonfly's wing.
We're using the technique in a simple way here but you can use the same process to color advanced and even photo-realistic translucency.
And it's not just for dragonfly wings. This method works for anything that's sheer, translucent, or transparent:
some foods and lots of beverages
curtains and silk fabrics
And anything else you can see through!
I've got a whole series of resources designed to get you coloring translucency with realism, style, and artistry!
First, watch the free video:
(Click the image above to watch the video at YouTube)
Next, get a taste of vanilla
Taste of Vanilla is my FREE monthly program focusing on the supplies, techniques, and mindsets used by artists to work creatively and independently.
You can't get creative until you feel comfortable!
Learn and grow with monthly mini-lessons designed to reduce the intimidation that happens when you jump into the deep end of artistic coloring.
Fresh bite sized art lessons every month!
For July, we're looking at the opacity of our colored pencils.
Most colorers focus on finding the "best brand" and then collecting the all "best colors" but they completely ignore the most important factor, OPACITY!
To glaze your projects with ease, you'll need to understand your colored pencils better.
This mini-lesson gives you the background info to look critically at the colored pencils you own to see what projects they'll work best on.
Then, take the class!
Dragonfly is an intermediate level class but this is a technique that advanced students will find fun and interesting.
The best thing about Marker Painting Workshops:
They are NON-SEQUENTIAL!
You do not need three months of prior experience to understand the concepts and techniques in this lesson.
If you can handle basic Copic blending methods and if free tutorials aren't much of a challenge anymore, then you're ready for something more!
Learn to incorporate real artistry into your coloring projects, one concept at a time. Every Workshop details a new method for enhancing realism, depth, and dimension.
Each class stands on it's own as independent learning. You don't have to take six of my other classes to understand this lesson.
All of my Workshop classes are FOREVER ACCESS. Work at your own pace and repeat the project as many times as you'd like.
Come color with me. It's a ton of fun!
And don't forget!
Products used in Dragonfly:
(Affiliate links, not all materials shown)
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