Tuesday 26 April 2011

Tutorial - The Country Cottage

I thought I'd show how I broke down the colouring of the country cottage scene as it's such a daunting image to approach.  My friend Jean sent me the image and asked for help in colouring it, so for her and for anyone else that is interested, I hope you find it useful.  the actual stamp is from a Papermania set called Gardenia.

Just to say before I start that it's simply my style of colouring to use a lot of shades to colour anything, I'll never use 2 shades if I can fit in 3 or 4! You don't necessarily need to use as many different colours as I did; as long as you don't colour anything in just one shade you'll achieve some depth without getting overly fussy. I'm not a certified copic teacher or anything, this is just to help Jean get started.....don't shoot me if I don't do it very well! lol.

I've listed the pen colours that I used at each stage, but if you just want a rough idea of the differences between these shades, or if you use something other than copic sketch markers and want to find an equivalent colour in your chosen medium, you can look on the many copic colour charts available on the net and compare with a colour chart for your own markers.....here is one, but bear in mind that the colour reproduction on screen isn't always accurate: http://www.copicmarker.com/products/markers 

Basic planning:

Because the scene contains a lot of different areas of foliage next to each other, I began by thinking about the greens that I would use. I didn't want the green areas to all merge into each other so I needed some contrast between the different areas of foliage. I decided to make the bushes and grass more yellow-green and keep the truer greens for the leaves in the trees.

It seemed best to concentrate colouring efforts on the cottage as it is the main focus. After the cottage, the eye seems to be drawn up to the tree on the left behind the building, so I wanted that to look good too. The other areas I felt would be Ok as long as the different green areas were distinct from each other, but I wasnt going to be overly concerned with them.

Another thing I did first was to determine my light source....I don't know why I decided to have the light coming from the right side but I'm glad I did, it worked out well and created nice shadows on the lawn and with the far left of the building (where the little room is on the end).

The Cottage Roof & Walls:

Roof and walls of the cottage
So the first step was to do the roof of the cottage......I didn't know what colour a thatched roof is, so I just went with a black colour as I felt this would give a lot of contrast with the surrounding areas. So I used 4 shades of grey C3, N4, N6 and N8 for this, colouring in the direction of the lines in the drawing. Having my light source from the right meant that the lightest areas would be on the top and right side of those bumps in the roof over the windows, and the left side of the bumps would be in shadow. So I put my lightest shade C3 down first over the whole roof, then went in with my next lightest shade, N4, covering all the roof except the parts I wanted to stay the lightest (the top and right side of the bumps), then my next shade N6 into the darker areas. Then the darkest shade N8 in the shadows of the roof bumps and the shadow side of the chimney. There's no special reason that I was combining neutral greys with a cool grey, I just didn't have a paler neutral than N4.

Next I coloured the walls of the cottage which I did in warm greys W1, W3, and W5. The lightest shade, W1 went over most of the wall at the front of the cottage except where the light was likely to hit, and the darkest shade, W5, under the roof area and to shade the very left side where the little room is on the end. The gable end would be lit by the sun from the right, so I only used a little W1 where there might have been a little shadow - just up under the roof. I used W1 and W3 on the chimney: W1 and a little W3 on the side facing away from the sun, and just a little W1 round the edges on the side facing the sun. This doesnt show up so well in the photos though.


Stippling in some G21 and G24 over athe first layer of ink (G20)

I built up colour on the trees in the background by using about 6 or 7 shades of green. I took a very pale shade (G20) and covered all the leafy areas with a fairly solid layer of ink. Then I took 2 slightly darker shades (G21 and G24) and kind of stippled these colours over the leafy areas by dabbing with the very tips of the pens to make dots over the whole tree.

Darkening parts with G85, G94, G99

 Then I used the same method of stippling with a darkish green (G85) over just some areas of the tree where I wanted a bit of shadow. Then I took 2 even darker shades (G94 and G99) and further darkened some of the areas where I'd used the G85.

Darker areas blended in, and YG00 added for sun-lit parts

 After the G94 and G99, I went back in with the G85, G24 and G21 (in that order) and stippled over the whole area again to blend these darker areas in a little, and added some stippling in a pale yellow-green (YG00) over the parts that the sun would hit....this yellow really brought the tree to life.

I used the same colours and method to colour the tree behind the chimney, just added a little more yellow so that it wasn't quite the same shades as the 2 tall trees.

The tree at the gable end on the right of the cottage is more sparse and less bushy than the others, so I simply dabbed and dotted the various greens and yellow-greens on without too much care.

Not sure how clear this is in the photo, basically, I just dotted on G21, G24 and YG00 randomly over the leaves.

Next, I coloured some of the bushes in the garden, starting with the one on the left hand side of the cottage. I used various shades of green and yellow-green (YG00, YG03, YG63, YG67, G99 plus a dark grey to add further shading low down in the bush). I started by scribbling roughly with the palest shade over the whole of the bush, and worked down the bush using a darker shade each time in my trusty dabbing technique rather than scribbling as this won't overload the paper with wet ink and also gives a mottled rather than smooth look which is good for leafy areas. With each shade, I covered less and less of the bush. Then I did the same sequence but backwards to smooth the blending and deepen the colouring. Using the yellow-greens means that the bush is a different type of green to the tree right next to it, adding a bit of contrast there.

With the bush on the righthand side of the cottage, I used the same shades of yellow-green and green (YG00, YG03, YG63, YG67) to give another yellowy green foliage.  First I laid some YG00 over the whole bush, and as I moved to the left and into the shaded area I used the other shades over less and less of the bush, until my darkest shade was used only on the shadow areas. 

The Lawn:
I did the lawn in the same shades as the bushes as to me grass always looks yellow-green in the sun. I covered the whole lawn area with YG03, then added YG63 and YG67 to form the shadows that the bushes would cast over it.....for me, this gives a realistic look which is one of the first things the eye is drawn to

More Bushes
There are a couple more bushes on the left hand side of the garden, one to the left of the front door, and one at the far left of the image, both coloured in the same shades I used for the other bushes and the lawn. For the one by the door, I used the palest shade over the whole bush, and the darker shades as I moved to the left away from the light. I added a bit of pale yellow to the right hand side where the sun would hit it. For the other bush, the palest shade covered the whole bush, and the darker ones were used lower down where less light would hit the leaves.

I added some colour to the flowers in the garden next. For the 2 tall foxgloves, I used one shade of orangey-red on the side facing the light, and a slightly darker shade on the left side where less light would be hitting the plant. The other flowers in the garden were coloured in pinky red, with a darker pinky red dotted on here and there so that they didn't look so flat. For the flowers in the planter under the cottage window, I used the same pinky reds, the lighter shade on the side where the light would be hitting them.

The foliage around the garden flowers was first given a layer of YG00, then some YG03 was dotted into that, and then green G21 and G24 were dotted in to darken. Any individual leaves on the bushes in the foreground were coloured with YG63 and then some YG67 was added for a bit of depth.

Details on the cottage
I then took some brown shades - E34, E29, E49 - for the wood above the windows, using the palest shade where the light would most hit them. For the door and planter, I used E31, E34 and E29, again using the lightest shade where the light would touch them. I can't remember what shades I used for the curtains, but I wanted quite muted colours. Two tips for details in this picture such as the flowers and the curtains: there is so much green in this picture, so use the complementary colour to green, which is red, to make them stand out and give maximum contrast with the greens. Other tip is to make the curtains quite a muted colour. Even if you imagine brightly-coloured curtains hanging in that cottage, they wouldn't look so bright from this distance...vibrant colouring would look wrong. If you feel the colour is too bright, try toning it down by adding some pale grey over the top.

Nearly done!

The path is simply some warm greys dotted on top of each other....the darkest shade near the door and to the left of the patch of flowers as it rounds the corner, and the middle shade at the edge of the lawn and borders as the foliage would cast a little shadow at their base.

I was at a loss to know how to colour the windows, as leaving them totally white was too stark. So although I am sure there is a better way to do them, I simply scribbled a little C1 over them in a diagonal scribble. Anyone with an idea how to do windows, please let me know!

The tree trunks were simply E31 and E34, with some YG95 added for shading (I like wood to be a bit greenish!).

Sky was added very simply with just BG000.

For a final touch, I used pencils just to deepen any shadows where I felt it was needed, such as on the bush at the right side of the lawn, and at the corner of the lawn where this bush casts a shadow.

The finished image
There we are! If you do have a go at colouring this image or something similar, I'd love to see it so leave me a message in the comments for my latest blog post, whatever that is, and I'll pop along to visit you.

Carole x


Jacki Daniels said...

Wow what a great talk through tutorial love the image and how perfectly you have coloured it all in wish I lived there lol
Jacki xx

Jacki Daniels said...

Hi Carole yes they can I have seen a few people do it so I thought I would give it a go the only thing I did a bit different was as usual use your A & c plate and put a piece of card down onto C plate then put cap on this (with the opening facing the C plate) then put the B plate on and put it through it needs a bit of a push but it goes through fine and doesn't damage you bug hope this helps thanks for comments on my tutorial blog and my main one
Jacki xx

Jacki Daniels said...

Lol me again pop over to my blog there are a couple of awards waiting for you
Jacki xx

Renkata said...

Love your tutorial. You have done it so well.
Thanks Carol.

Jackie said...

What a great tutorial Carole, the finished effect is marvellous. Thank you for taking time to show us :o)
Jackie xxxx

Doreen said...

What a fabulous tutorial Carole,very informative.Thank you.xxx

chrissy xx said...

WoW! Carole you have been busy!! This is Fabulous.

Stamps and Paper said...

What a great tutorial.....thank you for showing us


Dotty Jo said...

Just amazing - what beautiful colouring! BTW, I've got candy on offer until Thursday evening so why not drop by and take a look! Jo x

coldwaters2 said...

Hi Carol this is a brilliant tutorial I have bookmarked it so I can have ago I have just mastered face colouring but this tute will come in very handy.

Lorraine x

Teresa said...

Carole this is stunning, you are so clever, it looks really beautiful, thanks for doing the tutorial please keep it here I may need to come back (many times) hugs Teresa xx

Joanne said...

Fantastic job! Quite a project of coloring and you did a beautiful job, just lovely! Hugs, J:(

Shree's Blog said...

Ohhhhh this is Out of This World!!

Carole S said...

Hi "ME", Great work, brilliant tutorial. I have not done one for a long time !!!. I have painted the "cottage in watercolours (dificult ) but it is Ok, I am doing a second one in diferent colours and style (still watercolour), and am almost finished it, I will put it up on KK first then make cards with them and put on my blog. love from "HER", Carole x

Gibmiss said...

Hi Carole
Beautiful colouring.....Gorgeous scene ...my Mum always wanted a cottage like that ...hugs


Joan Ervin said...

OMG, Carole...what a fabulous tutorial...WOW!!!! I'll have to print it off and keep it handy when I color my next image...you have given us sooo much wonderful info!! I can't imagine that my humble attempts would ever look this good but I'll keep trying!!! I sent you an email a few minutes ago...I'm looking forward to hearing from you!!

melsanford said...

Oh wow! This is beautiful! Fab colouring :-) Love 'n' hugs, Mel xx

Jennie said...

My gosh Carole! How awesome... I could never have the patience to do something like that hehehe! :) xxx

MagsB said...

This is incredible! Fantastic colouring!

luv, Mags x

Anonymous said...

Brilliant tutorial. And did you know you'd won 3 prizes in the Aud Sentiments blog hop - well done you! xx

China said...

Brilliant tutorial Cobs - easy step by step instructions and the end result ... beautiful.
Congrats on the 3 prizes in the Aud Sentiment blog hop too - well deserved I'm sure.

Mel said...

THank you Thank you Thank you!
Your just a wee star!
I have wanted to do a wee scene like this for a while and I have the fab know how now!
Thanks sweetie!
Hugs Melly xxx