Coloring a Doodle: Color Theory for Coloring Enthusiasts | Charlotte DeMolay | Skillshare

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Coloring a Doodle: Color Theory for Coloring Enthusiasts

teacher avatar Charlotte DeMolay, Art | Writing | Nature

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Basic Color Wheel


    • 3.

      Advanced Color Wheel


    • 4.

      Playing with Color


    • 5.

      Monochromatic Scheme


    • 6.

      Creating Depth


    • 7.

      Your Project


    • 8.

      Bonus: Marker Demo


    • 9.

      Bonus: Colored Pencil Demo


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About This Class

This class will give doodlers and coloring enthusiasts a basic understanding of color theory. We will start with a simple color wheel and color combinations.  Next we’ll add to our wheel and look at the effects of those color combinations. Then we’ll explore basic coloring materials and play with how to use them for our color schemes. We’ll conclude with easy shading and highlighting techniques to create depth in the doodle.

The class project will be to decide a color scheme and either color the doodle provided or another doodle or coloring page.

If you'd like to learn how to draw beautiful doodles like some of the examples used in this class, please check out my original class Coffee Break Art: Drawing a Doodle

My Coffee Break Art classes are designed for beginners. No prior experience is required. 

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Meet Your Teacher

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Charlotte DeMolay

Art | Writing | Nature



*I'm taking a break from Skillshare for a little while...if you need to contact me you can fine me on the sites below* 

click Facebook or @charlottebdemolay

click Instagram or @charlotte.demolay

click for my website, email list and blog


I don't just see the world as it is, I see the possibilities.

Part of my passion for art is teaching others. I have taught students of all ages for over 35 years. I love teaching the creative soul who thinks they 'can't' do art as well as the advanced student wanting to push their work to a new level.

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I work in acrylic, wa... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Are you a doodler ready to add some color to your art? Or maybe your coloring enthusiast, love coloring pages. Do you want to learn a little bit more about color and color schemes? Why some look better than others? Maybe you're trying to create some depth in your coloring. This class will give doodler and colorist and understanding of color theory. Hi, I'm Charlotte DeMolay. I have been an artist and instructor for over 25 years. 25 years. I worked in a variety of media. I like watercolors, acrylics, pastels, colored pencil, everything. I like a lot because I like to learn. And that's my favorite part about art. I'm always learning and I love to teach. That's part of the fun of the learning is to turn around and get to teach. Coffee break art is designed for the beginning art student. Someone who just loves art, loves to create, wants to learn something new. We'll start with the basic color wheel and it's color combinations. Next we'll add to our wheel and look at the effects of those color combinations. Will also explore basic coloring materials and how to create our color schemes using them. We'll conclude with easy shading and highlighting techniques to create depth in the doodle, you'll create your class project by coloring one of your own doodles or pages or one of the ones I'll provide. The goal of the class is to learn some basic color theory, different color combinations, and have some fun. So grab your coffee, or maybe something stronger and join me for coloring a doodle. 2. Basic Color Wheel: We'll start with the basic color wheel. Going to move through this fairly quickly. So if you want to create your own color wheel, waiting till the playing with color section, that's when we'll use our materials and create a wheel together. We'll start the color wheel with the three basic colors, the primary colors. These three colors can't be mixed from any other color. They are red, yellow, and blue. These three are the building blocks of all colors. You use these three to mix up the secondary colors. Red and yellow make orange, yellow and blue make green. Blue and red make violet or purple. Let's look at these two basic sets of colors. Primaries or popping primaries. And it kinda makes me think of pop art. They're bold and stand out dramatically as you can see in these examples. Secondaries are more subdued. You can see these are more subtle than your primary colors. Let's move on and add some more colors to our wheel. 3. Advanced Color Wheel: Let's add a little bit to our color wheel. So we have our primaries and secondaries. The colors in between are called tertiary colors, and they're named by the primary color that creates them. Red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet. You divide the color wheel in half. On the one side you have the warm colors there, fiery and hot. On the bottom half, you have the cool colors. Think of cool water, cool grasses, a warm color scheme, and a cool color scheme. Again, a cool color scheme, sets a different mood. Let's talk about complimentary colors. These are the colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. So the complement of red is green, blue is orange, and yellow is violet. This also works for the tertiary colors as well. Let's look at these combinations. Yellow and violet, blue and orange. And read and green, complimentary colors are just that, they compliment each other. They just look right together. Now let's talk about colors that are beside each other on the color wheel. These are analogous colors. First, we'll take away our tertiary colors and just look at primary, secondary. So the analogous colors for orange would be red and yellow. See how these look together. Again, this makes a warm combination, but it doesn't always have to be cool and warm. Look at this combination using cool and warm colors, but they're still all similar to each other. And the same here. Analogous colors help create some continuity when you're using colors that are similar to each other instead of opposite. For tertiary colors the colors immediately next to them. So you end up with a lot of dominance from the middle color. So the color effect is more subtle. There's less of a range of the colors. It can create a quite pleasing combination of soothing colors. Analogous color schemes can really help set a mood for our piece. So that's the full color wheel. Now it's your turn. Grab some colored pencils or markers. Let's create our own color wheel. 4. Playing with Color: Now let's see how the color wheel works with different coloring materials. First, we're going to build our color wheel out of markers. In a color theory or painting class like acrylics or oils or watercolors, you would mix your colors. If you color and you probably aren't using paint, more likely you're using markers or color pencils, which is what our examples are going to be here have a large collection of Tombow markers. So I have a list of what I have. I printed out the list and put a swatch beside each one because the actual color looks very different from the marker lids. Tombow helped me pick the basic colors for my wheel because they have a set called primary. I used mostly these colors, but I didn't like the red, so I picked another one. I use my best judgment for the tertiary colors. I actually speed up just a little bit while I'm doing this just so you're not spending a lot of time watching me color. I have both full-page and half page sizes of the color wheel in the handouts. So you can make as many color wheels as you would like. Let's start with the primaries, red, yellow, blue. And then we'll move on to the secondaries with orange, green, and violet. I just use my color swatches and pick the best tertiary colors. Again, my reds are tricky. But the others I felt were fairly true. Now you have a marker color wheel. Now if you want to use some of the other markers, you can take them and fill them around your color wheel. I didn't bother using my swatch this time and just make little marks on my sketch pad. And after that, fill in where I think it goes around the color wheel. This one's more of a tint, and we'll talk about tints and shades later. So I put that on the inside. And that's more of a shade. So again, I'll put that inside, you don't need to do this. It's just if you want an idea of where the rest of your markers go on the color wheel, you can also write the number or the name of the market depending on the type of markers you're using. And you can do this for your color wheel as well as write in the numbers or the names. And this will help you just know at a glance you without having to do sketches or doodles, know which one at a glance, or you can just kind of do it on the fly. Now let's look at some of the color combinations colored with marker instead of with my computer. First we have primaries, and we have another version of just primaries. And we have those subdued secondaries. And another one as well. You notice I didn't even use violet and the first one, so it's even more subdued. This mermaid was done with secondaries. One thing I like about coloring with markers is it's very quick. So if you want to play around and do a bunch of different color combinations, print out some of the doodles and experiment and have some fun. Okay, now we're gonna do the same thing with color pencils. I have kind of a hodgepodge collection of color pencils. I have a couple of sets of Rembrandt and a lot of PRISMA color. But you can use any color pencils, even ones you get on sale when the school supplies come out or go borrow some from your kids. I pulled out several sets to get what I wanted from our color wheel with color pencils and don't make a color chart. I just look at the leads, the ends or the casings or a not a good representation of the color, but the lead usually is. So I picked out the ones that I felt would best be on the color wheel. So let's make one. We'll start with the primaries and go with our secondaries. And again, I did the same thing with the tertiaries. I picked out the ones that look like they would fit visually best on the wheel. The nice thing about color pencils is you can get a different tone by controlling how hard you press down when you color. The other thing this means is you can do a little color mixing. Let's try orange. Oops, I won't really make my point if I use orange. Okay, I'm gonna put down a light red. I'm just going to use light strokes on top of each other until I feel like I'm probably about halfway to the solid red color. I'm just going back and forth again with light strokes building up the color. Now I'll take my yellow pencil on top. It's not as pure of an orange that we get from paint, but it's pretty close. It matches that orange color principle pretty well. The reason I wanted to demonstrate this is if you want a different color, you can change it a bit with color pencils. And this creates what I feel is a little bit closer to a blue violet color. Okay, let's look at a few examples with colored pencil. Here's a primary color scheme. Here's an analogous color scheme. And a secondary color scheme. And another secondary color scheme. 5. Monochromatic Scheme: So with the color wheel, you see how blending colors creates new colors. But what about black and white? When you use only one color or hue and lightened with white or darken with black, you're creating a monochromatic color scheme. Lightening a pure color or hue with white creates what's called a tint of the color and darkening with black creates what is called a shade. All gradients from the white to the hue to the black are called the value scale. You can do this with any color on the color wheel. Here's a monochromatic scheme with a primary color, a secondary color, and the tertiary color. Let's do this with color pencils. First, I want to show you again about blending colored pencils. I'm going to color lightly. So this'll come across on the cameras pretty light on my paper. And again, you control that lightness about how hard or light you press down on the paper. When you press down the hardest, it makes that pure hue. The white of the paper and the lightness of the pencil makes a tint. But I can also use a white pencil to blend and smooth out the tint. And use the white right on top of the orange. That makes it different than just the lighter orange. To make a shade, I do it in reverse. I color very lightly with the black and very my intensity with the orange on top. I can also do black on top of it, but it's pretty intense. You can go back and forth with several layers to get the shade that you want. So I've created a small value scale with orange. You can do this with any of your colored pencils in the same way. Now let's use the pumpkin doodle and do a monochromatic colored pencils coloring using only three color pencils are true monochromatic scheme. I'll be using white, orange, and black. I'm going to speed this up and show you some of the technique. I'll do areas with lighter and darker orange hue just from the pressure I used with the pencils. I'll even vary the pressure from lighter to darker on the same shape like on the leaf. Remember with tints and shades, white and black are the extremes. Feel free to use the white of the paper or the outlines as part of your monochromatic color scheme. Now let's take a look at doing monochromatic coloring with markers. I took my color chart. And I went down and looked for orange, didn't really get into the brown. I tried to stick to something that was very clearly orange. So let's make a little color charts. As you can see, this isn't really a true monochromatic. For example, this one's more of a red orange, but we're not going to be too picky about this. We're going for the one-color look and they're all shades or tents of orange. Or maybe you wanted tertiaries. That's good enough. Because unfortunately with markers you can't really blend to make a true value scale. There's no white, so there's no creating tints at all. I'll show you what it looks like to make a shade with black. If I take orange and add black right on top, it covers it up so it doesn't do any good. And if I do it in reverse, then my tip gets kind of nasty. There's a lovely shade, but it's really hard to control. And I don't want to spend the time cleaning my markers. So to do a monochromatic marker coloring, just picking out all of that color is good enough, like me picking out all the orange here. So let's take that pumpkin again and do a quick coloring with a marker monochromatic scheme. Since there's not really any blending, I'm just gonna show you the finished color noodle. Here's the color pencil monochromatic scheme again, so you can see the difference. Now let's talk about creating depth and your coloring. 6. Creating Depth: Now let's talk about creating depth. We're going to start with color pencil. I'm going to show you three classic ways and then another fourth. That's good for coloring. Here are three red balls for our examples. To show depth, you're essentially creating an illusion based on light and shadow while draw an imaginary light source over here. All three of these will have light coming from this direction. So the side will be in shadow. Using the tent and shade is an easy way to show depth. Anything on the light side uses white and for the shadow side uses black. We are not worried about casting shadows because as color theories for coloring books, pages, and doodles, we're not really rendering or drawing new objects. The next method is to use the complimentary color to create shadow. So for red, this means green. So I'll use the green for the shadow side. This isn't going to give me a light for the lighter color, but you can either leave it red, color it lighter to begin with, or add a little white. The third method is using blue for shadows. Shadows are usually very cool and color especially casts shadows. This usually looks more natural than using black. A final way that's really good for coloring. It's using your analogous colors. For example, use orange for the ball, and I'll use red and yellow for shade and highlight. We talked more about shade than the light side. You can also use yellow instead of white. Light is often sunlight or another warm light source. So using yellow was very natural-looking, fun fact with using your complimentary colors, essentially a color and its complimentary color is all three primaries. So if you have a red and use yellow and blue to make green, you'll have all three primaries. This works all the way around the color wheel. When you blend the three primaries, it creates brown. So if we do red again and add its complimentary color of green on top of it. You have brown. This comes out strong with paint, but will still work fairly well with the color pencils too. That's why when you use the complimentary color for a shadow or the shades out of an object, it creates a nice warm shade. Now let's look at creating depth with markers. Will start with the red balls again. We don't have a white marker, so there's no white for the light side. Let's do black for the shape. Tombow has a clear marker, that's the blender. You can use that to blend the black into the red. Now let's do the complimentary of green. If you don't have a blender and your marker set, you can also use your red marker to blend in green and the red together. Oops, it happens. Now the blue shadow. I'll go back to the blender for this one. And if you've been noticing, I'd like to clean my tips after each use. Okay, now let's do the example with analogous colors. Another tip, when you're doing this with markers, you'll want to work a little more quickly than with color pencils because the markers blend best when they're fresh and before they've had a chance to dry, they'll still blend when they're dry, but not quite as well. Let's look at some examples with marker. This mermaid is using analogous colors. For the shade. I use blue against the green, a little bit of violet on the red, and then orange on the sun. This mermaid was done with color pencils. And in the same contexts using analogous colors for the shading. This was done with complimentary colors with the green I used red to shade, with the orange, I use blue. I did sneak in little yellow to make the highlight a little brighter. And then I used violet in the background. This is almost a monochromatic scheme. I use two colors instead of one though. To create the depth in this picture, I used darker and lighter versions of the blue. This was a combination of several schemes. I use darker blue to show the depth, some white up at the top. I used analogous colors on the fish and on the sun. And that concludes our color theory portion of coloring the doodle. Let's talk about your project. 7. Your Project: So thank you for joining me for coloring a doodle. I hope you've learned something new from this class. Our project is to take a doodle, either one of your own or I uploaded several of the examples I use in this class in the handout section. Take one of the doodles or a coloring page and pick one of the color schemes we talked about. Try markers or color pencils, whichever you prefer, pick one of the color schemes and color doodle. After you're done, take a photo or scan it and upload it in the project section. More than one if you'd like. I'd love to see your work. I try and comment on everything that comes through. And if you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to me. Thank you. And I hope to see you for more classes here on Skillshare. Thank you for watching coloring a doodle. I hope you learned something. One thing I wanted to mention, all of these different things about color, the complimentary color, color schemes, all these lessons about color, are simply to expand your knowledge to help you grow as an artist. They're not rules. That is part of my art philosophy. I don't like rules, I don't like it when an art teacher says, you must do it this way, you must do it that way. That's the way it's done. No, no, there's no shaming in my classes. If you want to , combine blue and pink because those are your favorite colors and that's how you want to color them by all means color. Hopefully you can take some of the lessons and still apply it. But don't look at any of this as rules. It's your art. You do it your way. If you enjoyed this class, please leave a review and don't forget to follow me. So you'll know when I release more Skillshare classes. Thank you. 8. Bonus: Marker Demo: Good. Okay. Okay. Which brings us good. Yes. 9. Bonus: Colored Pencil Demo: Okay. So this week, the baby. In this movie? It would be okay. The answer is maybe. Okay. Hi. Yes. Section two. Okay. Okay.