How to colour a stack of books



Hi everyone, today I would like to show you step by step how you can colour a stack of books using the Spectrum Noir Illustrator alcohol markers.



Step 1:

Print the image you are going to use on alcohol marker friendly paper (this image is by LOTV and it’s called “Brainy Books”) or stamp your image on the paper. Die cut around the image so that the rectangle panel is two sizes smaller than your card base, leaving room for the sentiment underneath the image.

Stamp the sentiment of your choice underneath the image using Spectrum Noir Alcohol-Proof ink in “Noir Black”. The sentiment is from the Clearly Besotted “Many Mini Messages” stamp set.



Step 2:

Take out your Spectrum Noir Illustrator alcohol markers and get started on the colouring: start with the graduation cap using Ice Grey 2 (IG2) and Ice Grey 5 (IG5) in combination with a dark grey/black or brown, in my case Black Brown (EB8), since that is what I have. The goal is to create a shadow, so that the cap looks 3D. Add multiple layers until you are happy with how dark the cap looks. I used the same colours on the bottom of the image beneath the books.



Step 3:

Next colour the little critter, use a colour combination that is contrasting the graduation cap so that the critter stands out. I used: Moonlight (GY1), Yellow Ochre (GY5) and Tan (TN6). I also used the Moonlight colour on the labels of the books.


Notice how I let the same colours come back in different area’s of the image that I’m colouring! This makes the image look well put together.


Step 4:

I wanted the books to look like vintage books, so I created a gold band on the books using Moonlight (GY1), Gold (GY3) and Sunshine (CT2).

Around the image I used a little of the Sky Blue (IB1).


If your lines are to harsh or you want to add in a little more highlighted areas than you can go over the harsh lines/highlight area’s using the Blender Illustrator marker.



Step 5:

Colour the stack of books. Now that you know what colours you haven’t used yet, pick three colour family’s and colour the books. In the image the book covers look like the shapes are rounded. When an object is rounded some parts will catch the light and other parts will not catch the light, they are in the shadow. Area’s that are in the shadow will be much darker then area’s that will catch the light.


Also, the part where the graduation cap is hanging over the books, will be darker because it’s also in the more shadowy part.


Start with the thickest book in the stack to practise on: choose colours that are not to close to each other because you will then loose your highlight and the object will look flat.

For my blue colours I choose Sky Blue (IB1), True Blue (TB4), Cobalt (TB5) and Petrol Blue (BT9), as well as Regal (PL4) to create my darkest shadows, and yes that’s a purple!

Key is to work on the shadow parts mostly (adding multiple layers), to create the rounded shape!



Step 6:

Next work on the red books : Pink Tint (PP3), Poppy (DR2) and Cardinal (DR5), again with Regal (PL4) as my darkest shadow colour). I coloured the three top books all red because the text on the books is one word, you can of course do whatever you like.



Step 7:

Lastly colour the green books using Pale Mint (BT1), Alpine Green (AG4) and Holly (JG7) in combination with the purple colour Regal (PL4).


You can find all of the Spectrum Noir Illustrator markers HERE.



Step 8:

When the colouring is done, you can add some highlights using a white gelly roll pen. This is of course optional.



Step 9:

Time to put this card together: die cut a slightly larger rectangle panel from matching dark blue card stock and adhere both rectangle panels together using liquid glue. And to finish your card adhere this combination to a white linen textured card base using one millimetre foam tape.


Detail picture:



And that’s it for today’s fun stack of books project! I wish you a creative day!

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