Letraset Layering Colour Tutorial

Tutorial by Jill Czajkowski - Illustrator



Letraset Racoon Layering Colour TutorialI am a freelance illustrator, painter and costume designer -- I wear many hats -- but my first love is working with art markers. I mainly draw animals as I find them to be a lot more fun and expressive than any other sort of character. I love storybook illustrations as well as more contemporary, conceptual character illustration work


I taught myself to blend and texture with only a few colours accompanied with some coloured pencil highlights, and once I learned a bit more about being an artist in general, I was really able to develop a style and palette that really suited me. Being an artist is all about experimentation and practice, finding your voice and letting that voice change.


Letraset Racoon Layering Colour Tutorial
Letraset Racoon Layering Colour Tutorial
Letraset Racoon Layering Colour Tutorial
Letraset Racoon Layering Colour Tutorial
Letraset Racoon Layering Colour Tutorial

Step 1
Here's our inked image, ready for colour. Be sure to choose an ink that will not bleed or smudge with your markers.


Step 2
Start with a neutral base colour, putting your brighter colours aside for later. Here I've used a beige, O819. I have laid out where my lights and darks will be and have not completely blocked in the raccoon. I will layer on top of this colour.


Step 3
Now I will slowly darken the colour of my raccoon by layering. Here I have applied a darker beige, O928, where my shadows and darker colours will be. Take it slow and use broad strokes.


Step 4
Now we will start to blend. Using the lighter colour, O819, I go back over the harder edges where the darker beige was applied. Use thick, broad strokes. Continue to saturate the area until you achieve a soft, smooth blend. Try to always blend your lighter colours over darker colours.


Step 5
Here is where the raccoon starts to look more like a grey raccoon. I begin to layer a warm grey, like CG07, where my shadow areas are. Remember, light to dark colours. I blend the grey into the beige with O928, then O819 once more.


Step 6
Again, I continue with the layering and blending. I gradually darken the grey areas, always being concious of my light source. I continue to blend my darker colour into the lighter colours.


Step 7
The layering continues ... Do not be afraid to layer your warmer neutral colour back over your darker colours -- this will warm (or cool) your form and your lights and shadows will blend together much more smoothly.


Step 8
Even more layering! As you can see, shadows are worked up gradually. By layering, you are able to apply layers of colour that work with one another to create a form with much more depth and life. Use broad, quick strokes for a painterly effect.


Step 9
Almost done! I added a few coloured highlights to add more visual interest to the raccoon (V626, for example). Lighter colours may make things a bit muddy as your shadows get darker, so be careful. It also helps to brush up on colour theory as well! Very bright/dark colours are used sparingly in very select areas.


Step 10
Finished! I limited my use of very dark values in order to retain the integrity of the raccoon's markings. By taking your time and layering, you will be ale to achieve a great amount of form and detail with your markers. Smooth gradients are also possible with simple blending, it just relies on having a wide range of lighter colours to work with. Practice layering and blending on your own!


Don't forget to check out our growing  Letraset range to use in conjunction with these tutorials!