Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Working With Reds

Hello Everyone and welcome to another CopicOz Tutorial!  Today I'm going to be talking about working with Reds.  Many people find working with reds challenging as the dense and intense colours have a habit of bleeding where you don't want them to!  I find that having a lighter hand and not over blending makes a big difference and also using a paper that is able to handle more ink helps a lot too.

Lets have a look at what I would do with reds.....
I've used Berry Sweet by Flourishes for my tutorial and have imagined the light source is coming from the upper right hand side.
First I lay down my base colour of R32, it really doesn't have to be very wet to saturate the paper, remember reds like to bleed and also, the colourless blender will not work well with reds, so you don't want to go outside the lines!

Next I've flicked in some R35 (I'm showing this before blending).  I find that using a Feathering action means not as much ink is laid down and therefore less likely to bleed! Then very lightly flick out with R32 to blend. 

Next I've added some R37 where the darker shadows would be, once again before blending.  If you are finding that your colour is starting to move where you don't want it too, leave it to dry for little bit so the paper isn't so saturated.

I like a lot of contrast in my images, so I've added a little R39 to make the berries look rounder.  Once again I've just flicked in a little bit and very lightly blended.

If you really want to deepen those shadow areas, try adding a little RV99 - look how much deeper those shadow areas are now!

One thing I always do with my images, is colour the red areas first.  Why? Well, if it does bleed and make a mess, at least I haven't spent a lot of time working on the rest of the image and can simply start again.
If you are struggling with your reds, here are some tips you may like to try.....
  • Work on an absorbent surface, but putting clean scratch paper or paper towel under your work.  This will help absorb some of the excess ink.
  • Try different paper!  A soft paper is much more likely to bleed.
  • Use less ink - it doesn't matter if the back isn't looking smooth, focus on the front and don't over soak your paper.
  • Feather blend or flick your colours rather than circle blend.  This made a huge difference for me.
  • Let your layers dry before adding the darker colours as your paper can only hold so much ink before bleeding.
  • Stay away from your edges so that a little bleeding will not go outside the line, remember due to the intensity of red, the colourless blender won't work to correct your mistakes.
I hope you've enjoyed today's tutorial and make sure you leave us a comment with a link to all your creations colouring with reds!!

Happy Colouring!
Kathy  :)Pin It


  1. Thank you for the tutorial Kathy, very helpful. Your berries look gorgeous!
    Hugs Cheryl

  2. I was just talking to my friend about reds last night. We both concluded that we needed to find a good tutorial. And then I saw yours this mornining. Thank you, you have given me a lot to think about and play around with. Oh and thank you for reading our minds, lol!

  3. I've not touched my Copics in months. Thanks for this tutorial. I love how you've worked with the reds. I'll bookmark this. Thank you.

  4. Such beautiful work. Just the lesson I needed. As simple as letting your work dry slightly before going for the next layer. Yes, that definitely helps. Thank you.

  5. Kathy this is fabulous - I love how the last layer really adds the extra oomph!