I wanted to color this gorgeous drawing done by my aunt (Amanda Lee Condict) but I wanted to add some flair to the fabric.
I scoured Pinterest and YouTube looking for some tutorials and inspriation and found nothing that sparked my interest.
So, I realized I needed to create my own tutorial because if I was looking for it, surely others were too.
As always, I ended up getting sidetracked and the printed coloring page sat on my desk for two days.
I would look at it and think, 'oh yeah, I need to work on that' and then scurried off to do something else.
When I finally found some rare time with nothing to do (well.. more like nothing I FELT like doing), I grabbed my Prismacolor pencils, sat down, and .......
.... *blank stare*
Then it hit me. I knew what it had to be.
For some reason, this outfit just screamed 'leopard' to me.
I immediately went to Google and searched for leopard prints. I stared at them and studied them and then printed out a swatch for reference.
I chose a couple of my yellow and brown-toned pencils.
From there, I just started coloring and hoped for the best.
Below is my step-by-step process that is far easier than I thought it would be.
I'm not an expert colorist so if I can do this, then so can you!
Using your lightest color, lightly fill in your base layer. I used Yellow Ochre (PC942). I used a light pressure and colored with the side of the tip instead of directly placing the tip straight down on the paper. So, essentially, your pencil is more parallel with your paper instead of being perpendicular.
This allows you to cover more surface area and have a lighter touch. Plus, you'll have less lines in your coloring.
If I wasn't coloring leopard spots, normally I would choose my second darkest color to start shading. But I decided to color the spots first so when I did the shading, the spots would get shaded too. I used my third darkest color here which was a light brown. It's called Light Umber (PC-941). I scribbled some random spots and tried to keep the majority of them the same size. I made subtle differences in the shapes so they weren't too uniform then I went back and added smaller spots in just a few areas. I used a medium pressure with my pencil for this.
This was the fun part. I used my darkest brown which was Dark Umber (PC-947) and colored the rings around the spots. I used a hard pressure with my pencil for this part and kept a nice pointy tip by sharpening my pencil after coloring a few rings. When I was studying the leopard spots, I noticed that the rings weren't closed and they had a blobby random look to them. I started by coloring one ring and made part of the ring thick and part of the ring thin while following the shape of the spot. Before moving on to the next ring beside it, I looked to see where there was extra space in between the ring I just colored and the one next to it, and that's where I colored in the thickest part of the ring. That's how I kept them from touching each other. However, in the folds of the fabric, you want them to look like they're touching each other because you want it to look like the fabric is overlapping itself.
After coloring the rings, my hand was cramping so I got up to get some more coffee. I couldn't find my mug. During the search, I realized it was still in the microwave from the last time I reheated it. Cursing my unreliable memory, I heated my coffee again and sat back down to finish coloring. Now, I grabbed my second darkest color which was Goldenrod (PC-1034) so I could start the shading. This particular image was nice because it already had the hatching lines of where the shadows should be. I colored with a medium pressure over those lines and also around the edges of the fabric where it would be curving away from the light source and where it would be bunched up (such as underneath the belt).
The final step was to go back to my darkest brown that I used for the rings (Dark Umber, PC-947) and color in the outermost edges of the shadows I just colored in Step 4. I used a hard pressure just inside the lines and a lighter pressure as I moved away from the line.
I added some red to her belt and gloves and left the skirt blank so I could show you how to do this technique in my video.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful and show off your leopard colorings! You can share your work in my Facebook group, The Sassy School of Coloring or tag me on Twitter or Instagram using @cristinapril.
Here's an all-in-one graphic you can pin or print for later!
If you want to request a specific type of coloring technique or tutorial, please let me know! You can tell me here or in the comments below.
Did you miss the live Facebook video?
My husband joined me and we did a Couple's Coloring live video tutorial over on my Facebook page. It's no longer live but you can still rewatch it to see me finish coloring the skirt in leopard print. We also colored some galaxy leggings and more. Click here to watch!
To get some free coloring pages that are fabric and fashion-themed from a variety of artists, check out my other blog post Fashion, Fabrics, & Freebies. You can use these to practice your leopard prints on!
You might also like my free leggings practice page!
Until next time... stay sassy!