In this Curator Coloring, Curator Prime will walk you through how she created the cover for the second patronage Vintage Coloring book, The Art of John R. Neill, Vol. 2, using Crayola colored pencils.
This is the color chart worked from. The colors represented are of the 50 pack which provides the most colors in the long pencil form.
This is the image to be colored, printed on Neenah Classic Crest cover, Solar White, 80 lb. [product #03249]. Curator Prime tapes thin strips of paper to the image to designate the area to be colored in. As this will be the image on the cover of a coloring book, only part of the image will be colored.
If you notice something amiss, you are smarter than Curator Prime because she did not, until much later, which will be documented in this post. Or, you may go straight to the truth of the matter right now.
To begin with, Curator Prime uses red and red orange on the flower petals of the Tin Soldier’s helmet. As she is fond of strong, smooth color areas, she burnishes these petals as much as the paper allows.
The center of the flower is colored with mango at the edge and golden yellow in the middle.
Captain Fyter’s helmet is layers of navy blue and violet and blue.
Being the Tin Soldier is made of tin, Curator Prime chose gray for his skin/metal tone. Being careful to hold back her burnishing tendency, she used the colored pencil lightly for the majority of the face and neck, and only serious bore down for selected shadow areas, as well as adding a touch of black.
The buttons use the same colors as the center of his flower, mango and golden yellow. The same gray with shadows of added black are used on the arm.
The mid-tones are a matter of layering the gray.
Fyter’s uniform is layers of the same colors used on the helmet: navy blue, violet, and blue. There is shading at the vertical edges to give the appearance of a flat front and angled sides. At least, that was Curator Prime’s intention.
Given the position of the Tin Soldier’s left arm, interlocked with the arm of the Tin Woodman, Curator Prime colored the upper arm shadowed and the lower arm as if it were forward in the light.
The sword is colored with slate.
For the Tin Woodman’s flower, the petals are mahogany and red, while the center is lemon yellow and golden yellow.
Curator Prime is also starting to play with colors for the background at this point, by adding a very light layer of pale rose.
As the Tin Woodman is also made of tin, Curator Prime wanted a “metal” color, though one slightly different from the Tin Soldier. Thus the Tin Woodman’s skin/metal tone is obtained using layers of cool gray and adding black for the darkest shadows.
The Tin Soldier’s legs were more black than gray.
The table was colored using harvest gold and mango. Layering was attempted. Burnishing was accomplished.
The blue strips of paper are coming in quite handy at this point to remind Curator Prime that not all of this illustration should be colored if it is to fulfill its purpose.
Curator Prime chose to interpret the illustration as the the Tin Woodman having a more cylindrical torso, and thus slight shadows were added at the vertical edges. Colors used include layers of light brown and tan, and brown and dark brown for the shadows.
The buttons are mango and bronze yellow.
Curator Prime feels it is important at this juncture to point out that all of the above coloring took place over several sessions over several days. She finds the use of colored pencils trying upon her wrist and hand, and spaces out her time using them. Her preferred coloring tools are Copic markers, however every cover of every Vintage Coloring book is done with Crayola colored pencils as Curator Prime believes, and wishes to show, that great art can be produced with less than greatly expensive materials.
Having completed the tin men, Curator Prime turned her attention to the background. She experimented with layers of navy blue, then violet. While initially displeased with the result, adding enough orchid resulted in a lovely background indeed. She left the streaky, obvious pencil lines as an artistic touch … and more to the point, to burnish that amount of area would take more time than available and cause immense wrist and hand pain. Curator Prime seeks to avoid missed deadlines and physical pain as much as is within her ability to do so.
Had you not just read that, you would have assumed the background of this piece was intentional, and not the end results of somewhat directed wild guesses as to what would look good. This is a Life Lesson, for unless you expose your process and thoughts during that process, those who see your work will only know the beauty of the final product. Curator Primes hopes that in exposing her process and thoughts during the process her readers will find something of value and perhaps not judge themselves and their own artistic endeavors too harshly.
The bit of floor under the table is composed of a very burnished area of taupe and mahogany.
For Polychrome’s hair, Curator Prime decided upon a pastel bouquet of aqua green, bubblegum, and lemon yellow. Her inner burnisher was quite relieved to be let loose in order to lay down strong swaths of color. The Rainbow’s daughter is, of course, wearing a raspberry beret.
The boy Woot was now the final element in need of color (or so Curator Prime still falsely believed at this point).
Skin colors are peach and tan.
With hair of brown and black.
For his outfit, Curator Prime decided to pull over some of the colors used in Polychome to balance out the illustration. Hat base and jacket are a lot of teal and a bit of lime green. More lime green than teal for the eyes.
Hat band and shirt are layers of raspberry, violet, and orchid.
Lips are burnished bubblegum.
And realizes there has been a mistake.
Not a Titanic sort of mistake, but more along the lines of a what-the-bloody-hell-was-I-thinking-well-obviously-you-weren’t-thinking-were-you kind of mistake.
For Curator Prime is rather specific in her branding.
Vintage Coloring books have covers of an inverted triangle:
Patronage Vintage Coloring books have covers of a bend, to make use of heraldic terminology:
And thus, while in the midst of a celebration of The End, Curator Prime is sent back to the drafting table (literally) to somewhere roughly after the center of the Swampy Middle, as she adds paper strips for the correct type of coloring book to designate what area is to be colored.
Fortunately, all of the areas that now needed color have a precedent.
More background, more floor, and the pant leg of Woot’s suit as well as the metal of the Tin Soldier’s leg and feet. Polychrome received a skin color of peach, as well as more hair. The Tin Woodman filled out a bit as well.
This time, once the paper strips were removed, the areas that needed color were indeed colored.
As were some areas that did not need color.
Fortunately, the skills developed over decades of using Photoshop are meant precisely for just such an occasion. Deciding it would be easier to add a section of black-and-white than remove the color, Curator Prime fused a scan of the uncolored illustration with a scan of the colored one, touched up the intersections by hand, and there by produced the final cover of the second Patronage Vintage Coloring book.
Should you wish to color your own version of the cover, that illustration is the first coloring page of that book, The Art of John R. Neill, Vol. 2.
Curator Prime wishes you well, thanks you for your time, and hopes you find something enjoyable to color within her website.
For your convenience, here is a list of all colors used in this Curator Coloring: red, red orange, bubble gum, pale rose,
raspberry, magenta, mauve, mango, golden yellow, lemon yellow, bronze yellow, harvest gold, peach, lime green, aqua green, green, slate, navy blue, blue, violet, orchid, teal, taupe, tan, mahogany, light brown, brown, dark brown, cool gray, gray, and black.
Vintage Coloring also participates on: