Topic: tips and tricks
I love coloring. I always have (just ask my mom). Now days I rarely use crayons, though. Instead, I use watercolor pencils, watercolor markers, distress inks with a water brush, or alcohol markers.
By far the most expensive of these options is alcohol markers, especially when you get into the 'Cadillac' of the medium, the Copic markers. I started out with a basic set of Copics (36, I think) that I got on sale. When I wanted more options I found the Bic Mark-It set of 48 filled in nicely at a very reasonable price. Then I picked up a few Prismacolor pastels on clearance. And, finally, I bought a small set of Spectrum Noir pens with flesh tones. All of these markers play nicely together. They can be blended just like they were all the same brand. The big difference for me is that they have different types of tips - some wide, some brush, some hard point, etc. You just have to make do with what you've got.
I found it was impossible to tell what a color was from the color of the cap, the dot on the end, or the color name on the label. So I separated all my pens into color groups and started scribbling little color swatches. This allowed me to place the pens in gradation order for choosing blending ranges. I then made 3 x 5 cards into color swatch cards by coloring the pens in order and labeling with the color name or number. There is a card for each color family.
When I want to color something I take out the swatch cards, select three shades of a color range and use them to color highlights, mid-tones and shading.
Here are the cards I use:
Some of the colors appear on more than one card when they cross between ranges. A reddish-orange might appear on the brown card, a dark red might be included on the purple card, etc. There is one card just for blacks and shades of gray, also.
I got the Prismacolors last so their colors are out of order. I need to do the cards over with these moved over and intigrated into their range.