Tuesday, November 22

Day 22 - "T"

"T" is for Christmas Tree, often the centrepiece of our holiday decorating and a point of gathering early on Christmas morning. I've included a little colouring tutorial below to show you how I colour pine trees to get a great three dimensional look.

YOUR TURN: Create a card using the letter "T" as your prompt.
Click the link below to add a photo of your creation to the challenge:

Three Wise Men, twinkle, turkey, tidings, tinsel, toys, tree, trimmings, teal, turquoise, tutorial, techniques, tent card, tilt card, tri-fold card, two-fer cards


Colouring a great looking Christmas tree comes down to getting an obvious contrast between the light and dark areas. The dark colours will recede, creating the illusion of depth, as if the branches are disappearing back into the tree toward the trunk. The light areas will pop forward, making the tips of the branches appear much closer to the viewer and tricking the eye into believing it's seeing dimension. Sound confusing? Let me show you how simple it is in practise...

Start with the dark areas. I'm using green copic markers - G29, YG67, YG17 and YG25. There's a good range of tones across these four markers, from the deep pine green of G29 to the warm yellow green of YG25.
Have a look at the image. You'll notice there are little branches within the tree represented by jagged, pointy lines. The tips of the points will be the lightest part of the branch since they are the ones that are extending out of the tree. On the other side of those same lines will be the darker areas, and that's where you want to start with your darkest marker.

Now colour over the dark marker with the YG67, bringing the lighter colour a little bit further. This will help to blend the colours while also creating the transition between light and dark. Remember to keep those pointy tips blank for now.

Repeat the process again, this time using the YG17. You'll only have a little big of blank space left at the end of the branches, which is more than enough to create that illusion of depth.

Complete the branches with the YG25, remembering to colour a little over the previous colours to help with blending.

Since you really don't need ultra smooth blending, it's fine to colour the entire tree at one time, which is how I usually do it. Add all your dark green first, then come back and add the other colours one at a time.

Don't worry too much about the colours not blending together smoothly, the effect is better when you have a stark difference between dark and light. Take a close look at my colouring... you can see the definite change between each of the four colours, rather than a smooth blend.

Time to colour the ribbon. I'm decorating this tree with cool blues and violets, so my shadow colour is BV04. I've applied it using little flicking strokes, which have a jagged sort of edge and help to give a much smoother blend to the finished image. 

The next marker is BV13. Again, start by colouring over the darker ink and flicking a little further out. You want to leave just a little bit of white space where the ribbon would naturally curve outward, that would be the position of the highlight.

Blend the ribbon with the BV02, filling in the remaining white space.

Colour the baubles using three tones of blue - I chose B16, B14 and B12. As you can see from the photo below, I added the darkest colour around the entire bauble, adding a little more under any overhanging branches, on the right hand side and underneath each bauble.

Blend the B14 into the B16, bringing it a little further in until you're left with just a small white space in the upper left quarter of the bauble. There's no need to be overly particular about the size or location of the highlight, but do try to keep it in the same basic area.

Finish each bauble by blending with the B12. That means adding the colour to the white area and also over-colouring some of the B14 and B16. (If you wish, you can add a little white dot with a gel pen to each of the baubles for a very high shine).

Since I wanted a silver star on this tree, I added a cool grey "glow" around the outside of the star by blending from a C3, which was right up against the outer edges of the star, through to C2, C1 and C0. With each application of grey, I gently altered the shape of the "glow" so that it went from a star to a circle by the time I was adding the final colour.

The last step was to fill in the star with a silver metallic gel pen. 



Suze said...

Tree-mendous cards Beccy. I assume from the tutorial that there are another two cards in the set. Love how different the cards look with just changing up the colors.

Suzanne H said...

You make me think I could color a tree!!!

Suzana said...

Thank you for the tutorial. Chrystal clear!
With the proper tools we can do fabulous images!
Otherwise, we improvise with joy!

Sarah said...

I love your cards. Thank you for the tutorial.

Liz said...

Fabulous cards, thanks for the tutorial. xx

Pamela Duncan said...

Lovely completed projects and always great coloring. Your depth in coloring is amazing.

Denise Bryant said...

These are just gorgeous! Thanks for the coloring tips!

Aunty Sue said...

What a fab and informative tutorial always struggled with trees but will remember your advise and try but dont hold your breath to see it as i think it might take a while. You make it look easy.

Mel C said...

Lovely coloring Beccy, I love the blue and purple!

Twórcze pasje Danki said...

There was always a Christmas tree in my house. But since we live only with my husband, our tree takes different shapes. last year we had a tree made of a ladder to which branches cut from the garden were attached. We decorated it very richly and only the legs of the ladder were visible and a cat was sitting on the top. Our Christmas tree was the hit of the season, everyone was laughing. It's a pity that I can't show you a photo to put a smile on your face. Your card is beautiful Beccy

TracyM #6773 said...


I don't have the right words to describe how delightful your cards are Beccy and how fabulous your tutorial is too ... two beautiful trees, stunning colouring and four gorgeous cards ... THANK YOU for sharing and INSPIRING!!!

PS - your "T" post is a Triple Treat, a Tree, a Tutorial and Two-fer cards

terrie said...

What beautiful cards of half the tree but the tutorial of the coloring is outstanding...I'm not a colorist but I sure do love watching how it is done.
Well done Beccy and always thank you for sharing your talent with us.

Margreet said...

Gorgeous cards with the tree in halves.
Thanks for the clear lesson in colouring the tree. I will give it a try for sure!
xxx Margreet

Mandy said...

Now a Christmas tree chopped in half is fine by me.....

Beccy your colouring as always is just perfection. Thank you very much for the super clear tutorial. Hopefully after the madness of Christmas is over I will be able to follow them and create my own masterpiece.

NanaConnie said...

What a fantastic card, Beccy, and your coloring tutorial is superb! Thank you so much. I'm going to have to save this one and refer back to it in the future. :-D