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If you’ve been enjoying my coloring* books and you’re looking for a way to up your coloring game, you might be interested to try out my new Grayscale Coloring Editions! These books contain the same artworks as my existing coloring books, but printed as grayscale versions of the original paintings rather than recreated as new outlined versions. There are two books out already, and more coming soon! What exactly is grayscale coloring? Read on to find out and try a free sample yourself…
Grayscale Coloring- Unlike traditional outlined coloring
Grayscale coloring offers a different coloring experience than normal outlined designs. Coloring over a grayscale artwork where the tonal values are already in place means most of the shading has been done for you, creating much richer final creations like magic.
How Does Grayscale Coloring Work?
Begin by coloring a single color over an entire area, just as you would fill a blank space in a traditional coloring book, and the grayscale image underneath does the work of shading for you. Advanced colorists can use the grayscale values as a guide to layering their own choices of light and dark colors. Working with a grayscale image is very similar to how artists work with monochrome or grisaille underpaintings, and is a great way to help train your eyes and hands to understanding values and creating beautiful artworks.
- If you coloring pencils or mediums are too opaque or waxy and are covering up the grayscale image too much, practice varying how heavily you apply them. Sometimes you may need them thicker in the darker areas (when using a dark color), and sometimes you might need them thinner, allowing more black to show through (when using a lighter color), depending on the color you are using.
- Work from dark to light. Lighter pencils can be waxy and prevent darker colors holding, and using light last over darker colours will help blend all the colors together.
- Always keep your pencils well sharpened, you’ll get better results with less effort.
- Try picking a light, medium, and dark color for each area and use the grayscale image as a guide for where to place them. The three shades don’t need to be the same color, for example, try lemon yellow for light areas, orange for medium, and red or purple for shadows. This is a great combination for skin.
- To avoid skin looking muddy from the gray image underneath, use an orange-red color for the darker areas of skin, around fingers, toes, knees, elbows, shoulders, lips, cheeks, and nose to give the skin life.
- A colorless blending marker can help blend colored pencils and remove some of the waxy shiny.
- Instead of using black, try a very dark green, blue, or purple for the darkest areas for a more mystical look.
Ready to try it for yourself?
Not everyone likes grayscale coloring as it’s a different style to normal outlined coloring and requires a different way of working. So here’s are two free printable sample pages so you can try out grayscale coloring and see if it’s for you. I hope you love the results you get! Just click the image to download the full size.
Ready to try out a book?
There are two grayscale edition books out now, with more coming soon. You can get Fairy Art Grayscale Edition Coloring or Mermaids Grayscale Edition coloring from Amazon, or direct from me in Australia from my shop below.
*coloring, colouring, grayscale, greyscale! UK and US english differences are making my head spin! I publish in US english but I’m a UK english user naturally, so forgive me if I switch between the two sometimes!