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Old 07-16-2019, 01:20 PM
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SketchiSketcher SketchiSketcher is offline
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Struggling With Colour


I've been working on a childrens illustration book project. I'm relatively confident on the sketching and drawing side... Well truth be told it took a LOT of work to get it to the standard I've wanted but I feel content in what I have managed to achieve. The drawings are on A3 Card which are 210gsm.

Since then I have been petrified in making progress as I know I'm simply not good a using colour. I've been practicing as I have scanned the A3 drawings I've done and printed them out, but all the times I tried certain mediums I just can't seem to get a result which sticks.

I got these on sale before chirstmas and have 2x packs of the same 24 shades + a few skin tones. I know I'm not using proper paper for this but I have tired out a few times on standard A4 printing paper and while experimenting I've gotten some good results - Even if the paper is completely transparent by the end.

The problem is when I applied it to the A3 White 210gsm of card I drew my drawings on the colour is less vibrant and looks just dried up - even compared to my A4 tests. So I'm just a little let down as I was sort of dependant on these.

Water Colour Pencils:

.... I just can't use these! I just struggle to coluor broadly without making it look like a smudgey mess, the more I spread the more blotchy it gets. I noticed I was good at using it for highlighintg darker sections of hair but beyond that... not a good option for me.

Felt Pens/ Crayons:

I find both of these options just leave such a rough texture, crayons usually look like it has gaps and felt pens seem to just get too scratchy and once layered it is apparent. So, I'm struggling with both really.

So after all that I must say I'm rather stumped, I don't really want to go digital but feel the projects demands colour for being a childrens picture book. I just seem to be lousy at colouring in general and if anyone has any tips I'd greatly appreciate it.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:03 PM
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Pinguino Pinguino is offline
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Re: Struggling With Colour

When you say children's book project, do you mean that multiple copies will be printed? Perhaps using one of those print-on-demand services?

If that's the case, you will eventually submit your artwork within a digital file, probably a large PDF containing all images and text.

So, since you must convert to digital somewhere along the way, you might as well do final color adjustment digitally, in a graphics program. My observation is that although it's hard to draw digitally, it's not so hard to do color adjustment digitally. A free program such as GIMP is more than you need for that purpose.

Be aware that except for high-end works (which would never be children's books), printing is done by CMYK press, somewhat similar to an industrial-strength color copier or inkjet. The colors won't be any more brilliant than the inks used. So, there may be colors that print a bit duller than you had hoped. Not a big problem unless your original artwork is excessively vibrant.
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:10 PM
BeLing BeLing is online now
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Re: Struggling With Colour

I think a lot of on-demand type printing is now done digitally, using PDF files, on machines like Ricoh, or Xerox--- digital printing, rather than press-printing. They "read" RGB color profiles extremely well. Of course you'll want a proof printout to check.

The felt-pen color (or similar) should do well. Even color ink: the fact they fade is not an issue when you're going to scan in the illustration. They were developed to be vibrant.

Can we see a sample of your work? Good luck!
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:01 PM
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Ted Bunker Ted Bunker is offline
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Re: Struggling With Colour

Gouache was a traditional media for illustration and reproduction, there's also modern watercolor marker for a vibrant but flat image. You may need to decide whether you want a varigated watercolor or sketch-pencil look, or smooth uniform swathes of color like illustration.

I used them for years, but I never liked solvent-markers. Too streaky and very difficult to create an even, lush field. And the colors are limiting, strange things happen when you attempt to blend or "glaze".
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:50 PM
picassolite picassolite is offline
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Re: Struggling With Colour

If color is the last hurdle in your project ...

and it's a children's picture book ...

why not ~ market the book as a children's picture COLORING book?

Let the children participate in the final result ...

as they can use crayons, pencils, whatever they have ...

to color the book.

A little thinking - 'out of the box' may be your best solution.

Best regards,

PS - and you may find that marketing your book as

a coloring book opens up international markets.
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