Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Blue Nose

I always bugger up Stimpy's nose. I can never get the right kind of blue out of a marker.
The names of the colors and the colors on the label tend to lie about what color the ink actually is. COLOR TIP: Don't be influenced by the names of colors on your paints, markers, crayons - whatever. Test each color first and judge it by your eye and taste.
I have the worst luck in finding good light blue markers. Stimpy's nose is mainly a "middle blue" - a blue that is neither tinted with red, nor green. But most of the light blue markers I can find are either light turquoise (blue with yellow) or light blue-violet.
-I put my base color down first -the lightest blue I can find.
Then I find the closest thing I can to a "middle blue" that is neither dark, light, nor tinted to the red or yellow. Unfortunately, the one I used is slightly tinted to violet - or purple. I use the pointy part of the tip to draw lines around the borders of the other colors. (If I used the wide part of the tip, it would likely bleed into the lines and make a Godawful mess)
Then I use the broad flat tip to fill in between the edges. I have to go over the whole area in circles a few times to tamp down the streaks.
It still ends up kind of blotchy, but that's what I get for using markers instead of learning to paint like a real artist. I left a strip of the light blue at the bottom of his nose to make an underlit effect.
Now here comes my theory again about how to make colors look rich and deep -as opposed to monochromatic. Since the middle shade of his nose is a neutral blue (pure with no red or yellow tint) then I will make the shadows and highlights in opposite tints,
I went over the highlight at the top of his nose in a light turquoise (blue with yellow tint)

and then did the opposite for the underlit part of his nose. There I am tinting it towards purple (blue with some red in it)
Now, after I did all this and not got exactly the blue I wanted, I found a perfect middle blue - a prismacolor called - "true blue".
And I found an even nicer one by Copic - the super expensive brand. But too late!
I continue to go over the underlit part with purple tinted blues out of sheer frustration while I try to figure out what to do next.

Next: Coloring the areas that use "neutral colors". -or colors from nature.

17 comments:

Gordeaux said...

If I wasn't a poor unemployed artiste I would be paying what these lessons are worth!!
Thank you Mr. K.

Luis María Benítez said...

Great stuff!. By the way John, is your cartoon college active?

ickybones said...

Mhmmmm tasty ol' blue ol' nose. No matter what I always think of Stimpy's nose as some kind of shiny blue raspberry (or I guess a blueberry but fake made up fruits seem to be more delightful). Don't think it would taste quite as nice but I'm willing to take a bite.
Onward to neutral!

José Arenas said...

I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy! so cool dude! child hood/artist hero!

Joshua Marchant (Scrawnycartoons) said...

The opposing tints on Stimpys pure blue nose is a neat insight! Keeps the drawing alive.

I like your quote "Without contrasts you get monotony"

Scott Cardona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Cardona said...

you should give me all the unused blues you dont need. They'll goto a worthy family!

Erik Butter said...

i always wondered how you make your marker paintings.
I had to buy copic markers for graphic design school, but we rarely used m there. although i drew with them i never got quite the hang of it.
Also i had very vew colors and these markers where expensive!

Maybe Ralph Bakshi has some painting lessons for you :P
He makes beautyfull paintings!
that guy is very inspiring.

Gad said...

interesting...
i have never used markers, mainly because it's really expensive to have a varied collection of colors.
unlike oils, water colors and gouache... or Photoshop, where you can create many colors out of basic blues greens and reds.
so i never really had such problems.
as classic colors are very defined, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Blue... Phthalo Blue are almost the same no matter where you are in the world for hundreds of years.

i wouldn't trust such definitions as Ice Blue or Dark Mint...

Roberto Severino said...

Who knew one could accomplish so much with mere markers and pens? These look just as good as if these were painted. I love your theory on color depth and adding variety to the color schemes. It seems like most of the Cartoon Network shows just stick with those sharp primary colors and such. This Ren and Stimpy drawing is eye candy in comparison.

Steven M. said...

Stimpy's nose still looks nice to me, even if you didn't find the right color for it.

martinus said...

Geez John, if you can't paint just learn it.
I hardly ever have time to paint with gouache-my favourite medium-but when I do, there are few things that I enjoy as much.
Gouache is an incredibly easy medium to learn, and you'll pick it up real quick.

jeaux janovsky said...

I am SO envious of your marker collection John. Can I come over some day and draw w/ you? Holy cow, that'd be fun! Wanted to write again and ask if you'd be interested in a "Worked W/ Ralph" Interview on Fuck Yeah Ralph Bakshi. Check out our latest interview w/ Tom Minton! We'd really sincerely love if you'd be a part of it. Feel free to reach me at jeauxj(at)gmail(dot)com, and I'll send you the details and Q's. Quick, easy, and painless email interview, 5-10 questions max. You can be as unfiltered as you wanna be, no dicing of your words, straight up as is, honest John K style.
Whaddya say?
Take care!

kurtwil said...

The latest of a nice set of coloring topics, all very enlightening, JK.

Do you find any computer tools equivalent, or somewhat close, to mixing/blending marker color? PAINTER's been around for years but its programmers focus on fine art, not animation.

fandumb said...

With Ren I usually use the 'Satin' skin tone pen. He comes out looking kinda greyish, which suits me fine.
Stimpy's nose... I don't care what shade of blue I use for it; it's blue.
One time it was REN'S nose I screwed up: I coloured it brown when it was supposed to be red!

Trevor Guitar said...

Try looking into designer markers like tombow, they tend to have more saturated colors. I have copics and designers. Well I suppose copic is probably considered designer too. The tombow's may run out a bit quicker but you'll get a good quality color out of them and they are good if you are looking for a straight 'color'.

I especially love their straight red.

Paper might count a bit more with them as I don't believe they are acohol based or whatever the heck copics are.

They are a few cents cheaper than copics, so not much difference there pricewise.

Kirby said...

Its nice to see a dedication like this from such a well-known animator and cartoonist, it gives me hope for my artistic future.