Saturday, September 01, 2018

Monthly Coloring Series - September

Happy September! And also, a very happy birthday to my one-and-only, Matt Stengel! Plus, we are celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary on Wednesday! So, a wonderful month, indeed!

Well, folks, I am going to be starting a new series here on the blog. And before you start throwing things, I know that my track record for starting things is spot-on, but my finishing record is pretty poor! I have GREAT intentions... I really am going to try to stick this one out, honestly. (Now is the time for booing, hissing, and throwing things....)

For everyone who is still waiting for me to finish my Graphic 45 Folio are in LUCK, because that will continue, starting TOMORROW!!! {applause and cheering may ensue}

This NEW series is a COLORING series! I will be coloring one image each month, using the Power Poppy digital flower images, found HERE. I have already printed all my images, and actually have THREE already colored! {and there was much rejoicing}

Let's get started with SEPTEMBER! 
Each finished panel is 6 1/8" x 6 1/8". I have used a stitched square die to cut out the main image panel (which measures 5 1/4" x 5 1/4"). My plan is to display each monthly image at my desk, as shown above.

I will confess, I originally started this back in January with a 2018 calendar printed below the image. I colored a few months (namely January and February), and then lost track of the project, which means the calendar is pretty obsolete now. So, I started over in August with just the images and the pre-printed month. {best laid plans and all that malarkey}

September heralds all the "fall colors" especially chrysanthemums, sunflowers, and the beginning of changing leaves. Well, that does not happen here in Southern California, but it was common in my home state of Pennsylvania! I love the colors of fall, mixed with those left from the summer!
Which is why I chose for my September image, Autumn's Opulence, which is currently a $5 download. Using Adobe Illustrator, I created a series of panels at about 5 1/4" x 5 1/4". I rotated the image slightly and sized it at approximately 4 3/4" wide.  

I chose "Great Vibes" as my font, which I sized at about 45pt. I did a test print to make sure everything would fit into my stitched square die. Then, I printed the panel onto Hammermill 100# cardstock with my Epson ET-3700 using black ink. So far, I have had excellent results using Copics with this printer ink and paper combination. 

Before I begin a coloring project, I look at actual images of the flowers I am about to color. I check to see what colors they are in nature and make some notes about what combinations I wish to use. (Please note, I am NOT a botanist, so I don't always know what the flowers are! There are times when I just color the flowers whatever colors I wish!) 
My images are colored with a combination of Copic Markers and Prismacolor Pencils. You can see a bit of my process above. I create a lot of test color blends before I start, with the help of the Sandy Allnock Hex Chart. (Sandy has Hex charts for Copic, Prismacolor, Luminance, and Polychromos. Each download is $5.99.) 

Once I have all my blends sorted out, I begin coloring. It takes me several days of coloring to finish a piece. I color about an hour or so at a time. I try not to rush the process, because that leads to mistakes and "do-overs"! At least in my world....   
I am not going to show you a step-by-step tutorial or coloring process video. Mostly I think that there are so many out there already that I cannot improve upon them. What I will do with this series is give you tips and pointers, plus tell you all the color combinations I have used for the finished project.

Orange Chrysanthemum: Y02, YR14, YR16, YR18, E08
Yellow Chrysanthemum: Y00,Y02,Y13, Y26
Wine Chrysanthemum: R56, R59, R89, E04 
Daisies: C00, C01, C05, BV000, Y02, Y17, YR16, 30% Warm Gray pencil
Asters: RV32, RV34, R81, R85, Y02, Y11, Y13, 70% and 90% Warm Gray pencil
Leaves: YG03, YG17, YG21, YG67, Chartreuse pencil, 30% Warm Gray pencil
Oak Leaves: Y02, Y15, YR16, E25, YG21, BV23, 70% and 90% Warm Gray pencil, Chartreuse pencil, Dark Brown pencil
Berries: R35, R46, R59, white pencil, white pen
Background and Shadows: BG0000, BG000, BV20, YG91, Colorless blender 
Once I have finished coloring with my markers, I go back and add details and shadows with the pencils. I also add any highlight with a white pencil or a white gel pen. 

I noticed that the areas where I put down the colored pencil wanted to "shine" a bit during photography. It is not noticeable in person, but I can see it in the photos.

After all the coloring was finished, I die cut my image and then quadruple matted it, choosing black as my neutral color and adding other layers based on the colors within my image. For this image, I chose a American Crafts Leaf and Rust. 

Thanks for joining me today. I will have the next image in the series posted on October 1st. A little hint on the image can be seen in the process photo at the middle of the post! {wink}

Digital image: Power Poppy Autumn's Opulence
Cardstock: Hammermill 100# Digital Color Copy, WorldWin Smooth 80# Black, American Crafts Weave Leaf and Rust
Markers: Copic (see list above)
Pencils: Prismacolor (see list above)
Gel pen: Sakura Gelly Roll White
Twine: Really Reasonable Ribbon Antique Gold Burlap String
Button: stash
Die: Elizabeth Craft Designs Stitched Squares
Tools: We R Memory Keepers Guide Layers
Adhesive: ATG tape, Scor-tape, hot glue


  1. It looks amazing and I´m also one of those who¨s applause and cheering about the G 45 folios, as I have really been wishing for those to get finished too. So I´m sooo exityed to get them soon too, and also looking forward to see this done as well. You´re such a clever bunny.

    1. June folios are posted! Enjoy looking at them! ;) Hop hop hop. hee hee