Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Glimmer In The Darkness

I'm still plugging away at my Utopian paradise (see previous entries: "Creating a Coloring Book Parts 1 & 2), but I've been waylaid by another idea for a book, and got super inspired, so I've been focusing on that recently.

That's one of the perks of self-publishing...I can switch up my projects if I want to because no one is imposing deadlines on me.  Yay!  I've finally gotten to the point where I have the luxury of working on the things that are actively stimulating my creativity - which truly does bring out my best work.

I've been seeing a lot of gorgeous pages from the "Midnight" books: "Midnight Mandalas", "Midnight Garden", etc.  What makes them distinctive is their black backgrounds, which really make the colors pop!  The results are so striking, I got to thinking that it would be fun to try my hand at something along those lines.

I've also been hearing requests for simpler images with bigger colorspaces, for folks who get hand fatigue or have trouble seeing the super-intricate stuff (both of which I also experience), or for those who aren't into getting really fancy and/or want something quick and easy-breezy, but that still turns out beautiful.

Turns out, coloring with transparent colors (such as markers and most gel pens) over a page with a lot of black facilitates these attributes because you don't have to "stay in the lines" when the shapes are surrounded by black.  Thicker lines in between colorspaces also has this effect.  So I've been utilizing those principles when designing pages for this book.

I'm playing with creating elegant, stylized images with simple shapes and lines.

My basic theme is "things that glow", and there's a lot of variety within that category to explore!

There are a few pages with some more intricate bits, but even those can be simplified by coloring multiple spaces a single color - and they still look great.  Also - if you DO want to get more elaborate with them, you can certainly use your colored pencils to do blends, or get in there with your gel pens and add doodly bits to embellish.

I've been enjoying the effect of doing most of my basic coloring with markers (I've been using Crayola Supertips), and then using gel pens over that to outline things with metallic, or add some glittery sparkle to some areas.

I may do a video about the techniques I've found that create cool effects on these pages.

The artwork is also going fairly quickly, since they are simpler compositions.  It's a nice break from the more elaborate artwork I've been doing, which takes a long time!  I've got about half the drawings done so far, and I think they are turning out pretty cool!

What do you guys think?  Would you enjoy coloring these images?
Let me know in the comments!