There are so many techniques for working in different media, especially when you are mixing your materials. I do mix materials often, in fact I just designed my own Christmas cards and used a quadruple media; acrylic paint, colored pencils, white gel pen, and Micro Pen .02 marker. The trick to using to many media is knowing what to use when. You have to be careful trying to put a lighter color pencil for instance, over a dark acrylic or marker. I just won’t work well. So, let’s talk about the use of these different ways to create.
When using marker, acrylic and/or colored pencil together it is almost always best to begin with the background. Now, like everything else, there are exceptions. In the piece I finished tonight, I wanted pine needles in the piece. Unless you are using an opaque pencil or paint you almost need to put the needles in first. I know, you are probably saying that is insane to have to color in all of that background around those needles. Well, it probably is. It is time consuming to say the least. But this is the way it works for me. In fact, those needles had colored marker, colored pencil and ink all on them. Detail work makes me happy, but if you don’t care for close detail this may not be the method best for you.
So, after the sketch, begin with the background. Then hit the base color for all of the objects in the picture. It is like writing a term paper, begin with the big ideas and work down to the detail. Let’s look at some of the color detail in any given piece. The work I just finished has little red berries. I made sure to leave a highlight, laid a thin coat of yellow-orange colored pencil on the bottom side of each berry, then came back with crimson and colored the berry in. To give it volume I added some dark blue for the core of each berry. So not counting the highlight, there are three colors in each berry. Berries in the background or under the other berries were colored a flat dark crimson. When adding the crimson leave some of that yellow-orange on the bottom. That gives those berries a beautiful glow. It is the same technique for painting pearls only different colors.
There were pinecones in this work as well. Pinecones are a little tricky to work with. There is so much detail on the outer edges with the seed scales getting realism can be a bit challenging. The scales of the pinecones were done in a light tan, then I shadowed those and made the core of the pinecone rather dark with black/brown. Shape is crucial as the cones on different pines are shaped differently. That is, of course if you are shooting for realism.
A couple of little pointers I hope will be of value to you painters/drawers. If you have any comment or question about this information please use the comment box below and I will be more than happy to talk about the article.