In on-going admiration, Curator Prime colored another piece by James A. Owen from All The Colors of Magic – Book 1 coloring book. For this Curator Coloring, the image is the Green Dragon, also known as the cover of Here There Be Dragons, the first novel in James’ Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series.
Presented with over fifty work-in-progress images, Curator Prime will relate how she used Copic markers to provide color to this highly detailed illustration.
While the alcohol-based Copic markers can be used on the paper provided in most adult coloring books, the coloring books printed by James contain paper exceptionally well suited for blending and re-working of some ideas that were better left unexplored.
Thus, here are the steps with photographic documentation of how the final coloring of Curator Prime’s Green Dragon came to be, should you wish to re-create it.
1. Thanks to the presence of perforations, it is easy to remove the page from the coloring book. Due to the amount that Curator Prime rotates her coloring pages while coloring, this is a necessity for her.
2. Holding the E35 Copic Sketch marker as upright as possible to get as small a tip on the paper as possible, color in the twigs/vines. Color the leaves with YG17.
3. Color all instances of rope with Y28. Small metal rings are C7.
4. For the helm, use G99 with a touch of E18 for the shadows.
5. On the bow, use E18 for the base color and blend in E47 for the shadows. Use E18 again on the antler-like projections on either side of the helm (see next image).
6. The main body of the ship is colored the same as you did the helm: G99 for the base green. For the darkly shaded/thick-lined areas of the ship, add another layer of G99, and then blend in E18 as shown in the right side of the image.
7. Step back and admire your progress. Eating and sleeping are also recommended, as there is still very much coloring to do.
8. For the dragon’s head, multiple greens were used. For the lightest areas (directly above the eye and all thin tendrils), use G43. The previous practice of an upright marker to achieve a tiny tip with which to color in tiny spaces proves you in good stead at this point. By the end of this step, you will be a master.
9. For the face, used G24.
10. For the upper neck and shadow areas on the face, use G24 again, with touches of G46 for the darker dark areas. The upper part of the neck is a few layers of G24.
11. For the lower part of the neck and blended into the main ship’s body, use G46.
12. Now back to the sails. Use E42 for the large areas of cloth. Then use E43 for places that are shadowed or the flapping bits of a torn area.
13. Use YR15 for the edges of the flag and YR68 for the middle of the flag. This is an other instance where holding the marker as upright as possible will yield the tinniest tip. Thanks to all of the practice you have had so far, this part is rather simple.
14. Step back, look at the wonders you have accomplished, and pat yourself on the back. Once again, food and rest at this point are advisable.
15. Color the water with B45.
16. Using the denser hatching as an indicator, add shadow to the water with V25.
17. Step back, take a breath, snap a picture.
18. Use B63 and coloring in small circles, lay in a fairly thick layer for the sky. Be sure to address all of the holes in the sails through which one would see the sky.
19. The following is one of those aforementioned ideas that should not have been explored. But in the nature of transparency, this is what Curator Prime attempted and highly recommends that you do not – add BV13 at the top of the image to create a gradient from dark to light in the sky.
20. Realize the gradient was a grave mistake and re-color the sky with B63. Give thanks you have not completely botched this page beyond redemption.
21. Hold the entirely-inaccurately-named Colorless Blender (0) in place for a moment in several places so that it removes the color under its tip. The result will be a series of stars in the sky that look quite lovely.
22. Step back and take a commemorative photo. Give thanks again that the sky looks like a respectable sky and the stars which where actually placed on a whim, are as magnificent as they are. Perhaps take a day (or two) off from this coloring, as the waves lie in wait for you and you have no idea what to do with them.*
* You will, should you keep reading. Curator Prime, while in the midst of this adventure, was making it up as she went along.
23. Take a good look at a small section of waves. Using the original ink illustration as a guide, decide which areas are froth\light, waves\mid-tones\ and shadow\dark.
24. Color froth with B000. For a darker areas within the froth, use B000 twice or three times.
25. Use B21 for the main body of the wave.
26. Add B45 in heavily hatched areas for shadow.
27. A few touches of V25 will bring in the purple that is elsewhere in the water.
28. If you are not fond of hard edges of contrast, use B21 to soften them.
29. The following five images show the same wave-coloring process as above, using the same colors.
30. Color all the waves. While far quicker written than done, once you have finished, the results will be impressive.
31. After a no doubt well-earned break, Curator Prime came back this coloring, and while still pleased with what was there, something felt lacking. In a daring display of coloring courage, she heavily darkened the shadow areas of a wave with more V25 and a bit of B99, especially in areas that bordered the froth. There was also a bit more B45 and B21 blending going on within the wave itself.
32. The resulting increase in contract was a noticeable improvement, so Curator Prime repeated the process on another wave. And another. And another.
33. Stepping back to admire her handiwork, Curator Prime realized that yes indeed, the reward for good work is more work, as now all of the waves needed more attention in order to present a united front.
34. Once all of the waves were of the same higher-contrast of quality, Curator Prime turned her attention to the dragon bubbles. The lightest parts of the bubble are B000.
35. The dragon reflection within the bubble is YG93.
36. The darker edge of the bubble highlight is B45, while the darker water behind the dragon is B99.
37. B21 is used on the darker areas of the dragon. Once all areas of the bubble are dry, a light layer of B000 is used over all of the bubble to add a bluish tinge since it is a bubble of water.
38. Repeat the above process for all dragon reflection bubbles.
39. For the eye, use YR68.
40. At the bottom of the eye, add a bit of R39.
41. Blend the R39 up and around the center of the eye with YR68.
42. As you did for the stars, hold the Colorless Blender (0) in the center of the eye to move the ink away to create a small white area. Match this area to the shape of the eye if you wish, or leave it as a more of a circle.
43. Fill in the newly cleared area with Y17.
44. Fill all bubble dragon eyes with Y17.
45. Add a touch of YR68 at the base of each bubble dragon eye.
46. Scan image, add artist and colorist credits, and export jpg. Should you wish to imbibe, this would be an appropriate time, as you have created a work of art.
The back side is also rather interesting.
For your convenience, here is a list of all colors used in this Curator Coloring:
G24, G43, G46, G99. E18, E35, E42, E43, E47. YG17, YG93. Y28, Y17.
C7. YR15, YR68. R39. V25. B000, B21, B45, B63, B99. 0.
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