Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ophelia...in Black and White

Good morning friends! Are you ready for another challenge at Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps? This week the very lovely and very talented Donna has issued a "Black and White" challenge to us!

I adore black and white photography. I love studying the play of light and the depth of shadows in those photographs. My husband is a photographer, and I love when he plays around with black and white finishes on wedding pictures...they're so beautiful. So I was just thrilled to see Donna's challenge!

I decided to pull out one of the Kraftin' Kimmie Fairies illustrated by Crissy Armstrong, as it's been a while since I coloured one of them. I adore these stamps...the flowing hair, intricate clothing and delicate features...they are so beautiful. I thought "Ophelia " would be lovely in black and white. I stamped her on Neenah cardstock (Classic Crest Solar White Smooth) with Memento ink and then coloured her with a combination of cool grays. I cut Ophelia out, and eliminated the rock she usually sits on so that I could have her perched on the edge of the medallion made out of my circle Nesties. I also gave her pretty wings some sparkle with Stardust Stickles.



When colouring with Copics, I almost always lay my colour down starting with the lightest colours and work towards the deepest shades. However, when colouring something black, I lay down my darkest shadows first and then gradually transition to the lightest shades. I find this helps to keep the intensity of the deeply shaded areas. The lightest C's behave similar to the blender (in my opinion), and they can really dilute the intensity of your deepest shades. This is why I find it more effective to apply them last, and only blend then into the adjacent shading rather than over the entire area. This is just a personal preference....not a rule! This is just what works best for me.


Copics: 100, C7, C5, C3, C1, B60 (I think this is officially the shortest list I have ever used for an image!)

Conte Crayons: I added in some additional shading with a black Conte crayon and a paper blending stump. I've had quite a few questions about the Conte crayons. I don't always use them....just occasionally. I find they work nicely to give a little more depth to your shading, and they also produce a bit more of a soft, almost smokey finish. You must only use these after your markers though. They are messy, and will get all over the nibs of your markers. They are almost like a mix between chalk and pastel. I usually pick up a little colour from the crayon with my paper stump, and apply it to the deepest shading. I then blend it out very carefully in a slightly circular motion. Use very little at a time, as you can gradually build it up. Also, because they are slightly chalky, you want to be careful not to pick up the colour on your skin and accidentally spread it over other areas of your image. I generally work from the left area of my image towards the right since I am right handed...this way, I avoid dragging my hand across areas that have already been shaded with the Conte crayon.

TIP: I taught a colouring class a while back (along with my partner-in-crime Krista!), and some of the ladies there were talking about having difficultly in identifying a light source, and then creating the appropriate shadows. I suggested to them that they first stamp the image on scratch paper, place a pen/pencil where their light source was located, direct that pen towards their image (like a ray of sun...it just acts as a visual reminder of the direction of your light source) and then try shading it with a pencil...sometimes, when we remove the distraction of colour, the shading suddenly becomes easier to understand. So if you ever have a complex image that is baffling you as far as the shading, try blocking it out in black and white first...you just may be surprised at how it suddenly "makes sense"! Then you can use this as a guide when you colour your final image...and always remember to make full use of your highlights and deepest shadows to create dimension in your colouring. Areas or objects "closest" to the viewer will appear the lightest or brightest, while the deepest shading should be reserved for those areas of an image that are "furthest" from the viewer. Dynamic shading makes your images appear three dimensional...this principal applies to images coloured in black and white as well as in colour.

Ok..class dismissed! lol...kidding.

We'd love to have you join in with Donna's challenge this week! Hop on over to the Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps Blog for some inspiration...the Krafty Girls and Krafty Guests have created some stunning projects this week! Make sure to use a Kraftin' Kimmie stamp (find them HERE) on your project, and you just may be the lucky winner of the stamp featured on Donna's beautiful card this week.

Oh, and we are now officially only one week away from our First Annual Krafty Day!! I cannot believe how quickly September 25th is coming up. I am so excited for this event, and I can't wait to meet all the Kraftin' Kimmie enthusiasts who are attending...you will not be disappointed stampers, as I know this day will be jam packed full of fun! There are still a few spots left, so if you're thinking of attending then check out THIS post for information on registration. I'm really looking forward to hanging out and colouring with all of you!

Thanks so much for stopping by friends!

Blessings,

Melanie

Stamps: Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps "Ophelia"
Ink: Memento, Copics, Conte Crayon
Paper: Neenah, Bazzill, Karen Foster, Best Creation
Embellishments: Ribbon, rhinestones, Stardust Stickles
Tools: Spellbinders Circles

19 comments:

Zoe said...

EYE POPPINGLY STUNNING!! Wow Wow Wowsers! :) I could go on... but you get the gist. hugs xxoo

Renkata said...

Wow, just wow, that is ART dear!
Amazing colouring.

Victoria said...

saw this on the KK challenge blog and had to come and comment as it it is an outstanding piece of work xxx

CraftyC said...

Wow, this is stunning. The card really pops and such a pretty image!
Clairexx

Lorraine said...

OMG, this is an AMAZING piece of ART! It is truly breathtaking! I so love it. Bowing down to you & your copics! Thank you so much for sharing & for the inspiration!

Rosa Witten said...

WOW! It's beautiful! Your coloring is fantastic, just stunning!!!! :)

Linda Carson said...

Most EXCELLENT artwork! Thanks for the shading tips! I am shading challenged.....

Donna said...

Ummmm I have no words... Ok, I have STUNNING, GORGOEOUS, BEAUTIFUL and did I mention how STUNNING this was...Mel you absolutely rock!! Xx

Amanda B said...

Absolutely incredible my queen!! hahaha JK!! It turned out awesome......and yes there is enough shading and dimension to your master piece!!
xoxo Amanda B

TaraG said...

Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, Melanie! I am in so in awe of your skills and talent! I sooooo need to...want to take one of your colouring classes! Thanks for the pointers very helpful!
Hugs,t

Mary Lou said...

OH Melanie~~BEYOND AMAZING!!! ME EYES POPPING OUT AND JAW FALLING OPEN!!!LOL
Thanks for tips~~always love your advice!!
Blessings

Michele Boyer said...

Melanie, your work is nothing short of amazing. And stunning. Thank you for sharing the tips on shading. I'm going to give that a try (stamping on scrap and using a pencil). You are a TRUE artist.

Nana Diana said...

Oh Melanie, stop it already!! This is so gorgeous, your colouring is just amazing. I don't know how you can give your cards away, they are always such works of art.

ms.espresso said...

This card is CRAZY GORGEOUS! I'm constantly inspired by your colouring and this card is no exception! Love it!

Cathy's Rubber Room said...

Oh Melanie this is SO ELEGANT. Breathtaking....
Hugs
Cathy

Sarah Schwerin said...

This is jaw-droppingly amazing! Off to check out those fairy stamps....

Maria said...

I'm in awe again Mel!! Colouring is ooooh fantabulistic ~ I don't want to sound redundant so I'm coming up with a new word just for you!! Gorgeous papers too and I looove that border punch. Have a great day, Maria

Sharon Caudle said...

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!! This is breathtaking!!! You are so stinkin' AMAZING! Thank you so much for the shading and highlighting tips, Melanie! YOU ROCK!!!
hugs, Sharon

Crissy Armstrong said...

Mmmmmmm so beautiful Melanie! I just love it!!