Comics creator Jayleen Weaver shares tips for coloring three light skin tones using Copic: very light, average, and olive.
I'm going to cover three skin tones in this tutorial, all of which I consider lighter skin tones. The techniques with colouring are the same as any other thing, but with skin it can be difficult to choose the right colours. I won't be covering any other parts other than the skin in these walkthroughs, or else these would be the longest tutorials in history!
Very light skin tone
My character Stacy is from the snowy mountains and her people have a very light skin tone. It's not quite albino, but pretty close. I inked my drawing onto X-press It Blending Card with Copic Multiliner SP. I did my first base colour of R0000.
My next step is to lay in my shadow areas with my trusty old BV31. I use a quick feathering stroke on her cheek with the brush nib to get a soft transition, and more precise strokes along her hair and other areas of cast shadow.
Next, I used RV91 to darken up some areas on her face where the shadows are. Since she is going to be in the snow and out in the cold, I used RV91 to darken her nose a little.
Noses aren't usually darker than the rest of the face except in instances where there are broken capillaries, or they have a cold, or are in the cold. I blended the colours together with my original colour, R0000.
I used R11 next to add a bit of pinkness to her nose, cheeks, chin and around her eyes. Anywhere that would be nipped by the cold.
Lastly, I used B000 to bring out some subtler shadows along the bridge of her nose and around her mouth.
Here is a close-up of her face, along with a final colored image, where you can hopefully see the touches of blue.
Average Caucasian Skin Tone
The next skin tone is a more average Caucasian skin tone, using my archer character Victor.
The first step is my usual BV31, laying in all the shadow areas. I went over some areas a little more to darken up where I wanted the shadows to be deepest.
Next, I went over all his skin with a layer of E00 for his base color. This will be the color used to blend as in the previous example.
I tucked a little G00 into the corner of his eye, and use R11 on the cold nipped areas - his nose and cheeks - with feathering strokes to keep the edges soft, then I blended with E00.
I enhanced the previously added shadow areas with a layer of E11. I blended with E00. I didn't blend too much, though, because I wanted his face to be a little harsher than Stacy's was in the previous example.
I used E13 here to increase the intensity of the shadows. This time I just blended quickly with some E11 to keep it dark.
Here is the final completed image of Victor, all coloured.
Olive Skin Tone
The last skin tone for this tutorial is a darker, more olive skin tone, of my character Pehny.
This one, while probably more intimidating to take on, is actually simpler. When using darker colours you sometimes have to be more careful about layering too much, as the paper won't accept as much of these colours.
As usual, I started with my base layer of BV31 to map my shadow areas out.
My base colour here is YG91. It looks kinda gross now, but it will only show through a little bit on the finished product.
The next layer is E11. I go over the whole skin area just as I did with the YG91.
Now I've enhanced all the shadows with E13, blending with E11. It was all done very quickly, and I was careful not to over-blend.
Here is the final coloured image of Pehny.
- Copic Sketch markers
- X-Press It Blending Card
- Copic Multiliners
- Copic Opaque White
- Copic Wide markers (C0 & C2 for backgrounds)