Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Tips and Tricks - Cheatin' Chalks

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday to you all and welcome to this weeks Tips and Tricks/Trends with Kim :D Today I thought that I would show you how to add a little extra shading to your images with a little technique that I like to call cheatin' chalks. This is a great little trick to do to finish off an image without having to worry about accidentally messing up your colouring.

Here are the supplies that you will need:

  • A pre-coloured image
  • A black chalk pencil (mine is General's brand)
  • Q-tips or something with a soft pointed tip for blending
  • Eraser

Here is a close up of the image that I started with. It looks lovely on it's own but I really like to add depth so I worked on it with my chalk pencil. It was originally water coloured with tombows and a water brush on 90lb Canson cold press paper. Please note that this technique works well with Copic coloured images as well :D

Let's start with a sharp tip to your chalk pencil and add some chalk where there would be a natural shadow. Here I have added some under the umbrella, birds and puddle and then I added some shadows to the right side of the birds, under their wings and where the umbrella overlap the bird. (This image is from the Under the Weather set)

Here you can see all of my lines before I blend/smudge them.

Next take a smaller blending tool to blend/smudge any of the lines on the inside of the bird and umbrella. You can use a small circular motion or a back and forth motion along the line to make the smudges. The reason I use a small/fine tip blending tool is because I don't want my smudges too wide on such a small area.

The final step is to take a thicker/wider tip blending tool and smudge any of the lines on the outside of the bird/umbrella. The wider tip makes a bigger and more natural smudge for a nicer looking shadow.

A couple of tips to remember when doing this is:
  • A little chalk goes a long way.
  • You can erase any mistakes that you make or use your eraser to lighten up any areas that are just a bit too dark. 
  • You can usually find these pencils in an art supply store.

Here is a comparison of the before and after pictures (You can click on the picture to make it larger).

Thanks for coming by today and I hope that you liked my little tip :D


  1. Wow! Thanks for the fabulous tip! I'm definitely going to try this. :-)

  2. thanks so much for the tips! im going to be getting into chalks and markers on my cards so i think its really amazing!
    super cute aswell!

  3. The way you do that adds so much dimension to the image very clever. I had a little play but don't quite have the right tools at the moment....I'll add them to my wish list lol.

  4. At last...mystery solved! I've been wondering how you've been doing that. Definitely your addition to your superb color selection and shading skills! Thanks ever so much for sharing your technique.

  5. WOW! LOVE all your coloring tips Kim - Thank You!! Hope you are feeling better!

  6. Your colouring is always stunning and this tutorial is just fab! Thank you for sharing.


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