I get asked all the time “how do you know which color to use?”. The short answer is.. I don’t! I have a little process that I go through which I will try and detail below.
1. I look at the item I want to color. Not the whole page, but just focus on that one thing. It can be as broad as ‘I think it would look best in an orange/ yellow’ or ‘maybe blue or purple?’ If you try and look at the whole page you will be easily overwhelmed.
2. Check out your color charts if you have some. They’re a great way to see what your pencils look like on paper and to see what they look like when they’re mixed with other colors. Like maths, but with pencils.
3. Once you have some starting point (say, ‘blue or green’) you can pull out all the blue and green pencils you have. Do any of them look like a ‘match’ for the thing you’re coloring? You can change to a different color if it doesn’t feel right. Once you’ve got all your pencils out, start pulling them out and putting them together with other of a similar color. Light and dark blue. Light and dark greens.
4. You’ll need at least a light and a dark of the shade you’ve chosen to give the best depth of color and if you’re feeling really adventurous you can add 4 or more colors to this mix. 2 or more dark and 2 or more light shades.
5. You can then choose a ‘highlight’ color. I normally use a different color for this, like a yellow or light grey but it can easily be any light color you choose.
6. Put all the pencils to the side and just look at the few you’ve chosen. Do they look nice together? (We can talk about color wheels and such but I’m sure people will know if they like something when they look at it)
7. Start with the lightest layers first and slowly build up. As you’re coloring you might find (like I do) that I’m just reaching for other colors from my tin!
Here is me trying to decide which blue/ green to use:
I used approximately 5 different colors for each of these characters below:
How do you choose your colors?