Take a quick look at the above video! Its pretty self explanatory. You probably know most of it already ... but then you might not. What follows is a more detailed explanation of why I choose to do the things in this video the way I do.
Chromatek Pens are the best glitter pens currently available, anywhere. They will write well on almost any paper and lay down super thick super vivid ink that is packed with glitter. They never clump or skip. But for the best results you'll need to use paper that matches the quality of the pens.
I like to use A4 sticker paper, the same style as sticky labels. The surface is really smooth. Its not very absorbent so the ink takes a little longer to dry and for the same reasons the colors look fantastic, they stay vivid and keep their crazy sparkle. There's no lining that happens with large block colors and most importantly, there's absolutely no bleed through.
1: Try as many different papers as you can. If you find a paper that works really well then use that to print your coloring pages and try and find coloring books that use a similar kind of high quality paper. A lot of coloring books use cheap paper that won't give you the best results from any pen.
A great deal of choosing a design comes down to personal preference however there are certain things to bear in mind whatever picture style you prefer.
2: Consider avoiding pictures with large empty areas to color. It is time consuming, uses a lot of ink and despite the sparkles it will look much less interesting that an area with detail.
3: It is good to avoid any images with crazy small details. The line weight of Chromatek pens is 1mm. If the design you choose has a lot of areas smaller than this it will be difficult to color.
4: In most circumstances its best to avoid images where there are a lot of thick black lines, or large black areas. The bright colors will be drowned out by these black areas.
5: I have always found that its good to look for images where there is a fairly even distribution of detail. Meaning most of the areas that require a single color are about the same size. Here’s a good example.
6: When you start out coloring its a good idea to pick small images with a reasonable amount of detail. For example this....
It is quick to color and it will keep things interesting. You'll learn what color combinations work well and quickly perfect your technique. And if you make any really terrible mistakes you can always start again without having destroyed your masterpiece.
Planning is by far the most overlooked part of coloring.
It can make a huge difference to the outcome of the piece you're about to color.
For me one of the most important things to consider is the contrast between the different colors in the image. Both colors that will sit next to one another and in the image as a whole.
7: Really look at your image, and really think about what colors would work best together and suit the subject matter. Once you have some idea which colors you'd like to use then grab a sheet of spare paper and try out a few combinations on it. Or alternatively print out a couple of copies of your design and test some colors out on different parts.
8: If you’re planning to use as many colors as possible that’s awesome too and I wouldn’t worry about testing the colors before starting. More tips on that next.
9: Work with your lightest colors first. Exactly the same as if you're painting with watercolor. There are a number of reasons for this, most importantly...
If you make a mistake, don't sweat it. Just move onto your darker color when you're ready and it will cover up easily.
10: The exception to this is is you wish to blend colors in which case it is best to use the darker colors first.
11: If you're right handed then work from left to right where possible. If you're left handed work from right to left. Chromatek lay down really thick and vivid ink that is full of glitter. Chromatic ink dries quickly but like any pen immediately after you have used it it can smudge. To avoid smudging and to retain all the glitter it is good to avoid brushing your hand over the ink.
12: Where you can’t work from one side to the other then consider using a piece of paper like this. Make sure the ink you have just laid down is dry before putting the paper over it.
13: If you are using all the colors in the pack then keep a bit of spare paper next to you while you work. Before committing to a new color test it on the spare paper against the one it will sit net to on your image.
14: When coloring large blocks this is the technique I favor. First, carefully draw around the outline. This provides a little buffer for mistakes. Secondly fill in the blank space by coloring in little circles, this will make sure the color lays down as a really solid block. Thirdly if necessary to smooth out any uneven areas you can go over it in lines.
15: Once you’ve finished its always worth taking a few minutes to assess your work. What areas do you like? Which colors worked the best together? What could you have done better. In the left picture I wasn’t happy with the graduation between the colors. I tried it again and was happy with the results.
16: Occasionally even the best pens in the world will have little problems. If one of your pens dries up, firstly check if there is still ink in it, then check that you’re using the right kind of paper that matches these pens. If this happens after you’ve been using them for a while then take a spare piece of paper and roll the pen between your fingers while running the nip back and forth on the paper. Try different angles until the ink starts flowing again.
17: If your coloring of solid blocks looks patchy then follow the earlier advice. If it still looks patchy then it is almost certainly the paper you are using. The same is true if you are ending up with lines or if the glitter is not very prominent.