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View Poll Results: Do you color light to dark or dark to light?
I usually color light to dark. 144 57.60%
I usually color dark to light. 40 16.00%
I do both, depending on the image. 44 17.60%
I do both, depending on the medium. 19 7.60%
Other (please explain) 3 1.20%
Voters: 250. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-10-2012, 05:12 AM   #1  
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Default Do you color light to dark or dark to light?

This poll is for any medium -- markers, watercolor, colored pencils, you name it. When you are coloring an image, do you start with the lightest area first and work to the darkest, or do you color dark to light?

I usually work light to dark, regardless of medium. That's partly from habit and partly because I started with watercolors. I was just curious whether others are consistent in their techniques or whether they switch back and forth.

And when you answer, I hope you'll tell us why you color that way.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:29 AM   #2  
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For me it depends, on the image, I normally start with which ever is going to be the largest area...and sometimes if I am honest it depends on which colour I pick up first
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:57 AM   #3  
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I work dark to light. I tried doing light to dark and it just never seemed to work for me.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:20 AM   #4  
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I do everything light to dark. I always feel its easier to add color than to try to lighten a too dark area, if that makes sense.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:38 PM   #5  
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I am the "other" vote. I used Copics. I tend to lay down the light color then I start coloring from dark to light. Weird, I know, but it works for me.

I should add that it's not unusual for me to go back and forth adding dark and light on larger projects.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:19 PM   #6  
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I voted.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:31 PM   #7  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by CraftsView Post
This poll is for any medium -- markers, watercolor, colored pencils, you name it. When you are coloring an image, do you start with the lightest area first and work to the darkest, or do you color dark to light?

I usually work light to dark, regardless of medium. That's partly from habit and partly because I started with watercolors. I was just curious whether others are consistent in their techniques or whether they switch back and forth.

And when you answer, I hope you'll tell us why you color that way.
oil\acrylics& pen and ink I paint Dark to light ,this helps me define the painting. With watercolor, pincels and markers I go from light to dark; it's easer to darken the light then lighten the dark. Just is easer for me.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:39 PM   #8  
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voted both, depends on the image... some images are so finely detailed they have the shadows drawn on, some are so open they need them...

my hardest thing is making up my mind which way the light should be hitting the image fun poll
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:03 PM   #9  
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It depends of what colors I use. If I'm using a Distress ink I start with dark and make it fade out. When I use my Copics I start using light colors to dark
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:23 PM   #10  
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I use primarily copics for coloring and ALWAYS color dark to light. (I thought I was the only one!)

When I took a copic class at my LSS, the instructor taught light to dark. I could just never get the hang of it though! I felt like I was using too much ink, and the color was always bleeding outside the lines. Dark to light is the way for me!

Great idea for a poll!
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:14 PM   #11  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by thecraftysisterView Post
I use primarily copics for coloring and ALWAYS color dark to light. (I thought I was the only one!)

When I took a copic class at my LSS, the instructor taught light to dark. I could just never get the hang of it though! I felt like I was using too much ink, and the color was always bleeding outside the lines. Dark to light is the way for me!

Great idea for a poll!
I agree with you about using too much ink! I've seen videos where the person coloring with Copics uses like 10 layers of ink! I almost fell off my chair. They must spend a fortune on refills. I fill in with the darkest color the places which need shadows and then work from darkest to light. It helps blend, plus that's an easy way to lighten. However, I do admit that if I'm using a single color on skin, for example, I will just apply an even layer and then go over again where the darker shadows are supposed to go with the same color.
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:09 AM   #12  
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Primarily light to dark when I analyse it, but I tend to do one colour at a time, too. I mostly work with wet media - distress inks, watercolours.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:42 PM   #13  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JubleView Post
I do everything light to dark. I always feel its easier to add color than to try to lighten a too dark area, if that makes sense.
What Juble said!
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:40 PM   #14  
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I work in watercolour and prisma pencils & OMS and always go light to dark. It is much easier to add more colour than take it away.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:18 AM   #15  
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Hi,
I work light to dark and guess it does use more ink. The first light coat I always leave spaces where the light hits the image, then work up to dark with no blending.Then I work back down thro the colours again to the lightest blending as I go. Each to their own eh? lol
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:41 AM   #16  
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I voted both. I would normally color light to dark but if the dark color is moving well or it's a bit darker than I expected sometimes it fades out enough that I don't need the light color.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:12 AM   #17  
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Hmmm. Interesting to see how others like to color their images. I mostly use Prismacolor pencils (yummy) and go from light to dark. Sometimes when I just use more color and more pressure, it's enough to give shading by itself. But sometimes it also depends on how much time I have.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:17 AM   #18  
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With Copics, I usually colour light to dark then back again to blend. I rarely use anything else anymore. Heck I love them and spent a fortune on them so I am darn well going to use them! I do colour dark to light when I want the light area to stay very light. If I go over it again with the method I mentioned first, the light area darkens from a second layer of colour. But that's the exception.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:37 AM   #19  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by thecraftysisterView Post
. I could just never get the hang of it though! I felt like I was using too much ink, and the color was always bleeding outside the lines.
You may be using a paper that is too soft and not recommended for Copics. I recommend x-Press It or the CS sold by PTI or Taylored Expressions for Copics. And while I don't lay down as much ink initially as some designers, your paper should be pretty soaked when you are done. It doesn't take as much ink as you think. I only bought Ciao markers which hold less ink than the other markers like original or Sketch. I've had them for well over a year and use them often. Probably is closer to 2 years. I've only purchase 5 reinkers. My favourite light brown (E31)I use for animals and hair, the skin tone I use most as a Caucasian base colour (E21), my favourite light pink for flowers(R20), the yellow I use for backgrounds (Y21) and haloes around images and my favourite light green for leaves (G21). I use the pink for colouring ribbon too!

If you use too little ink, the inks can't blend. They are liquid and must mix within the paper in order to blend. If your paper is too dry, the blending can't happen. That why you need to resoak an image if you want to work with it again later if you decide you aren't happy with it. Beware tho that once you soak the paper through and all the layers are saturated with pigment there is no where for the ink to move so blends become more difficult. part of how Copics work is that when blending, you push some colour deeper into the paper so you see it less and see it through the next colour you apply. If you soak the paper completely before adding any blending, the next colour has no where to soak in.

The reinkers are not expensive, refill your marker many times, work for cool techniques too and you won't need many at once so it is worth it to use them properly and get the best look. Otherwise you might as well just buy water based markers!
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:50 AM   #20  
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I always work dark to ling, from painting t stamping, I like seeing those dark values right off the bat! Pluse people often make a mistake in the dark values s if you make a mistake you make it at the start before you are too invested in the project
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:30 AM   #21  
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I usually color light to dark when using copics. I'm not sure why. I think that is just the way I learned so that's how I feel comfortable.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:46 AM   #22  
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I don't mind using the ink with my copics if I am going to get it to blend right but whenever I do light to dark it doesn't blend as nice for me. I don't know why. Then when I use my prismas and OMS I always blend from dark to light
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:53 AM   #23  
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I like to decide when I am in front of the image to be coloured. Often I will start dark and I like to pull that colour to lighter shades or if not going for that type of colouring then I go light to dark so as to not muddy the colours.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:04 PM   #24  
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Depends on the medium and the size of the image.
Also depends on my mood
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:48 AM   #25  
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With an art (sketching) background, the basic idea is fill in the lightest color, erase for highlights, then work from dark to light. That's basically what I do in colored pencil. In watercolor, I do I light wash, then come back and do darker shadows.

The main thing is establishing a ground (the lightest color for that object, unless you can apply highlights), then make the edge dark and fade to the ground color from the darkest edge.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:27 AM   #26  
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I put other because, I don't know what I'm doing yet with my copics. I have tried light to dark but watched a video last night and the girl did dark to light so I'm getting ready to give that a try.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #27  
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I usually use prismacolor pencils - usually start dark doing the shadow areas then go to light. Great question and I'm loving the responses.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:42 PM   #28  
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I usually color light to dark if I'm blending colors for backgrounds. Actually, I start with the light colors, but I do add more light after I'm finished with the darker colors. I hope that makes sense.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:16 PM   #29  
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I usually color light to dark for the same reason that others have mentioned - easier to add more color than take it away.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:39 AM   #30  
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Another light to dark here. It is how I learned in school..much easier to add in thsoe shadows than to remove them. I should add that I only use colored pencils and water colors..so that may make a difference?
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