Do you want to color realistic and lifelike Jellybeans with Copic Marker, colored pencil or even watercolor? Today, let’s see how a few Vanilla Arts students approached a Jellybean digital stamp.
Introducing: Vanilla Voices
We have a new feature here in the Studio Journal!
Welcome to Vanilla Voices where we hear from some of my favorite people in the whole world… the Vanilla Arts Team.
And here’s the cool part: My entire team started out as students!
Yep. Every single one of them wandered into one of my classes and stuck around long enough to make themselves absolutely indispensable!
And that’s why I want to share their Vanilla Voices with you.
They’ve been there.
They’ve done that.
They’ve felt the same joy and frustration as you. They’ve suffered through Copic volcanoes, broken pencil leads, and funky smears in an otherwise perfect Distress Ink background.
They know exactly how you feel.
And there’s a lot of value in that. I can give you advice but that advice is always coming from me. No matter how I try to phrase things, it’s always going to sound like a professional illustrator who doesn’t remember what it’s like to struggle with basic concepts.
Vanilla Voices to the rescue!
They know the struggle because they were doing it yesterday!
And they’re here to share the struggle with you.
Periodically we will have students of Vanilla Arts classes share their perspectives on projects, art concepts, techniques…
And they’ll let it all hang out: the struggles and the successes.
With that said, I’ll shut up and turn it over to the Team!
Welcome Frankie & Pam!
We invited Frankie B. and Pam G. to color the same Jellybeans project using different media…
But the trick was to use the same general color palette.
That way, we can compare apples to apples instead of apples to angsty teen poetry.
We asked them to consider:
Their approach to the project—how they thought about the process and what they wanted the finished project to look like
The colors they chose (especially if they chose them without a recipe)
How their medium of choice affected their process and their decisions
What worked well and what caused problems
How do they “read” the objects they’re coloring to achieve depth, dimension, and realism
Below you will hear their responses and see their works in progress. How does their experience mirror your own? How is it different? Enjoy the process of coloring these sweet treats!
Frankie: Watercolor & Colored Pencil
Frankie here to chat about colored pencils and jellybeans.
I feel the most comfortable with a colored pencil in my hand. When I look at an image, the first thing I think about is what colors can I layer on top of each other to create the colors I see. This time I wanted to practice my watercoloring as well.
I layered a base coat of watercolors on the image. (I struggle to watercolor evenly.) I wanted to create a nice background that would let the jellybeans pop forward.
I probably should have put another layer of watercolor down but I was too excited to pick up my colored pencils and start shaping the jellybeans. I choose my colors based on what will shade and what will highlight. So on the red beans, I chose purple to shade around the edges and a pink to give it a highlight.
I found that the watercolor paper I used is a bit more challenging for me as I am used to using sketch paper. I found the groove as I slowed down and started to build the layers.
I get too eager to see what the end result will look like so I tend to rush my strokes.
Rushed strokes are ugly and difficult to fix. Rushed strokes look uneven and clumpy and that’s the red flag I am going too fast.
Looking at the green jellybeans you can see my clumping of color!
This is when I realized I needed to sloooooow down. I truly believe that everything is fixable and imperfections add character. The clumps on the blue beans just mean they are a funky flavor like blueberry.
Ok maybe not, but I am going with it.
It was challenging to decide the shade color on the yellows and pinks. I decided to go with lavender and blue grey. I didn’t really like how it looked. I decided to layer on top the yellow and pink colors back and forth until I got to the shading I liked.
I know I could have added twenty more layers on these beans to get the smooth texture I prefer but I’m pleased with how the imperfections give each bean a bit more character.
I learned quite a bit from this project.
I decided that I should have tested my shade colors better before starting my project.
I learned to take my time and go slow.
I know when I try this project again or another one similar I will plan it out better.
Frankie B is a Vanilla Arts student who is joining the Vanilla Arts Team as our Practice Corner cheerleader (more info coming soon!) Frankie enjoys portrait drawing and all things colored pencil.
Jellybeans Workshop Now Available!
Want to learn how to take a basic oval shape and turn it into a jellybean? The Jellybeans workshop will take you beyond underpainting,.. beyond push and pull. We will be delving into
Reading objects as surfaces
Color bouncing and highlights
Color kissing for artistry
Pam: Copic Markers & Colored Pencil
Wow, I think answering questions about coloring is harder than coloring the image!
I don’t approach it with any of that in mind.
I colored based on the recipe provided and Amy’s speed video on YouTube since I didn’t have a photo reference of the image. I guess I could have googled jellybean images!
What worked well:
I approached it as Amy has taught to create a dead image of where the form would be defined and then searched out the colors as I applied them.
And not so well:
I ended up using a lot more colors than called for in the recipe because I didn’t like all of them when I first tested them before putting them into the finished project.
By the way: All the colors I have in the swatched image were used in my project.
What also worked well:
Having the dead image out and easily viewable while I applied the copic and colored pencil. Without a photo reference it was the primary reference I used to solidify the beans.
I always swatched out the colors on my test image to make sure the colors worked well together before applying them into the actual project.
Adding the colored pencils and the flecks of color helped pull the image into a more realistic final image. Without them it was very flat and uninteresting to look at.
Pam G is a Vanilla Arts student who is joining the team as our Sketch Journal Specialist (even though she claims she’s “just a doodler”.) Pam enjoys sketching and doodle journaling and she owns the world’s cutest French Bulldog.
Watch Amy color “Jellybeans” with Copic Marker and colored pencil, a free taste of her new online advanced coloring class.
Students learn to look at the form of objects rather than the color to create greater realism in all their coloring projects.