Colouring & Shading Skintones

How to colour skintones with Copic Markers

5th November 2018

Colouring skin can be daunting, whatever the skin tone you are trying to achieve, dark skin or pale skin, it’s important to think about where highlights and shadows need to be added to give the face a 3d effect. Careful blending and shading can transform stamped cards from looking ‘coloured in’ to looking like professionally coloured illustrations, making your cards extra special. We share a step-by-step guide to getting the shading when colouring skin just right.

copic colouring tutorial

We have a fab free digi-stamp set for you to download from Time for Tea Designs you can print this cute winter girl and snowman stamps and practice colouring her face with our step-by-step tutorial below, or if you want to use the stamp we’ve used in the tutorial you can order it from Whimsy Stamps or one of their stockists in the UK.

Click HERE to download the free digi-stamps now

Shading and colouring skin tones using Copic markers

We’ve used Copic Markers and have included the marker number, you can find a really good blog post on the Copic website which shows you how the Copic marker colour system works. Understanding the system can really help when it comes to building up your collection of Copics.

If you don’t have Copics you should be able to look at a colour chart and work out which pens to use from your own set of alcohol markers. Most alcohol marker sets will come with a chart or you can find a colour wheel online so you can find coordinating tones to suit whichever colour skin you want to achieve.  It’s important to remember that to achieve highlights it can feel as if you’re going very dark, but once you add the highlight colours it will look better.

colouring skintone tutorial 1

1 Decide on where your light source will be coming from. We have decided the light source will be coming from the top left. Use a medium colour to mark down where the shading is going to be. (Copic colour E100)

colouring skintone tutorial 2
2 Using BV20, add shadow to areas the light cannot reach, for example under the fringe, under the chin and the left shoulder.

colouring skintone tutorial

3 Step up to the darkest colour (E21), blend out the BV20 and add more shading, using the original E00 as a guide.

colouring skintone tutorial 4
4 Using E00 extend the shading towards the light source, leaving some white space for the highlights.

colouring skintone tutorial 5
5 Touch up any shading you want to deepen with a light touch, before closing the white space with the lightest colour E000.

copic colouring technique

This article was first featured in Issue 167 of Simply Cards & Papercraft written by Faye Wynn-Jones

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