Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fuzzy Fur Watercoloring

(originally posted HERE on August 5, 2010)

Here is a coloring tutorial for the fuzzy fur of this Koala Bear, latest release at Doodle Pantry.  Their fur is quite varying in shades of gray.  Here is how I get the look using Tombow markers and a waterbrush on watercolor paper.  Allow for periods of drying time though.
Materials needed for coloring Koala:
  • Koala Me digital image from Doodle Pantry
  • 90 lb. Canson watercolor paper and laser printer
  • Tombow markers N65, N75, N15, 177, 992, 899, 800
  • Waterbrush with reservoir in handle
  • paper snips
  • craft sponge wedge
1. First, go ahead and make your mask that you will need for the sponging of the sun/sky behind him. Print a second copy of your digital image sheet on plain white copy paper.  See how his fuzz sticks away from his body? When you cut him out, cut down the MIDDLE of the little fuzzy hairs that stick out along the edge of his body, so essentially you are cutting off the outside edges of those hairs.  Also cut in the middle of the other lines, NOT outside of the lines. Set the mask aside.
2. Begin by adding the lighter gray N75 to the areas on his face as shown.
3. Blend using the waterbrush and don;t worry if it looks a little blotchy, this is just the shadowing of the undercoat. The outter parts of his ears and his chin are generally white, so I left them with no color on them. ALLOW TO DRY COMPLETELY.
4. Once the face is dry, use the writing tip point of the Tombow marker and add short strokes of hairs with the SAME N75 marker color. Start in the areas of the shadows and work your way inward and all around the head until desired coverage is attained.
5. His head should look approximately as shown below. I know he looks a little scary at this point, but we fix that later, I promise.
6. Now is a good time to add the light pale pink to the center of his ears and the very  bottom tip of his nose, if you want a little pink on him. Go ahead and blend that lightly with the waterbrush.
7. Using the darker N65 marker writing tip, apply the same very short and light strokes of hair around the head, starting in the areas where there is darker hair coverage and moving inward, making the strokes lighter as you go inward.
8. Now he looks even scarier than before. 
9. Using the waterbrush tip, use short, gentle strokes, brushing in the same pattern as you drew the hair lines, and very little water flow, you do NOT want puddles of water coming out. You want just enough that makes the paper slightly damp as you brush it over the hair lines you just drew on the Koala bear.  Do NOT "try" to blend, just brush over the hair lines starting at one side of the head, and work your way around, using short strokes in the same direction of the hairs.   Stay away from the areas that you want to remain mostly white.
10.  If you've done it correctly, you will get a gentle softening of the hairs you drew, but not a total blending together of them, like below. Allow to completely dry.
11. Once the face is dry, you can add the black on his nose. Don't add too much, the black is a very strong color.
12.  I tried to leave the pale pink color on the end of his nose, but the black took over.
13. Now, following the same steps and rules as we did for the face, do the same for the arms and body.  Think about where your shadows will be... under an arm or chin, on the backside of an arm behind something else, in this case the branch. Below is the result.
14. Put removable adhesive on the back of your copy paper "mask" and put it down carefully lining up the image.
Note: I chose to mask my image and sponge the "sun" prior to finishing the coloring of the branch and leaves.  However, you may want to choose to finish coloring the rest of the image first. It is personal preference.  And I suggest that if you are new to watercoloring with Tombow markers, go ahead and finish the coloring prior to masking and sponging.  Reason being that IF water from your waterbrush touches the sponged ink around the branch or leaves, it WILL pull that color into your image, and you don't want that.
15. This is just the basic masking technique.  Using the sponge with ink color on it (I used pumpkin pie by SU), dab the sponge STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN, do NOT swish in a circle pattern, and do NOT swipe back and forth.  To get the depth of color that I have below, I kept adding more ink to my sponge and dabbing up and down in the same spot until it got as dark as I wanted.  Then I moved over a bit to the next area and dabbed up and down on that area, and so on.  Here, I have created a "sun" behind the Koala bear.
The reason for dabbing up and down and not swishing or swiping, is so that the skinny edges of the copy paper mask that you cut out don't get pulled up by the swiping motions accidentally sponging onto the image underneath.  I have done that before and ruined an entire image, so I learned from personal experience to just be patient and DAB with the sponge.
16. Next I did the SAME thing except with a marigold ink color around the pumpkin color.
17. Mask removed too reveal the soft sponged sun background.  If you completed your branch and leaves prior to sponging, you are done.  If not, you can finish it now.
18. On this image, after removing the mask, there is a TINY spot inbetween bear and branch that should be the orange color, so I came in with a matching marker and just colored it without blending.
19. Finished main image.

Finished Card:
After taking the photo above on step 19, I added some darker shading of the branch to the image, as you can see in the closeup photo below.
The tiny tags in the photo above are punched using SU's new jewelry tag punch out of CDS hot cocoa cardstock. I then glued them down to CDS wild ginger cardstock and using snips, cut a thin border out around them. Then I glued them on a final layer of CDS spring leaf, also cutting out a thin border.
    • IMAGE: Koala Me by Doodle Pantry
    • CS/PAPER: 90 lb. Canson watercolor paper, CDS spring leaf, CDS wild ginger, CDS hot cocoa, Basic grey max & friends DP
    • INK: Pumpkin inkpad, marigold inkpad, Tombow markers N65, N75, N15, 177, 992, 899, 800
    • ACCENTS/TOOLS: waterbrush, sponge, snips, MS frond punch, EK border punch, SU jewelry tag punch, SU mini flower punch, PTI ribbon, Basic grey button, Kaiser pearls, linen thread, sewing machine, glue dots, foam pop dots
      I hope the tutorial was a little useful for you.  I also hope it was easy to follow.  I value your feedback!  Either comment here or send me an email
      THANKS for stopping by (again) today!

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