Monday 13 May 2013

Fun with Skin Tones

 I decided to challenge myself to make a picture using just the FLEXMARKER skin tone sets   These are great sets and if you are worried about picking out skin tones then these sets do all the work for you. 

So what could I do with such a limited colour scheme. There is an African theme going on this month so I decided to go with that..
I collaborated with a fellow artist, Jay the Viking and came up with this drawing of a giraffe girl. I inked the image using my LETRASET FINELINERS

I asked Jay to draw out an initial sketch of a girl that looked like a giraffe. I was really pushed for time and just needed some proportions and placements working out, as that is the bit I struggle with.

 So here is the sketch that Jay drew on the right... and on the left is the one I drew, changed up to be more my style. 

I then started to blend and layer the skin tones. 

and more layering and blending..

Before I started I made a photocopy of the inked drawing, I can't stress enough how handy this is. Use the spare copy for working out your colours and layers. Even if you are just stamping, take time to stamp a spare image to try out your colours. Markers are unforgiving and it is heartbreaking to get part way through a project only to mess it up by using the wrong colour. 
This is my spare copy, with extra spots and extra mouths, you can see where I tried different colours. 

Each time I was happy with a colour I used it on the main image..

I continued this system of trying out the colours,making decisions and filling in the main image till all the colouring was done. 

Next I needed to do something with the background. I wanted to make the image really pop, so I decided to do a green wash. However I didn't want to just colour with Flexmarkers around the giraffe girl, I felt this would look flat. So I used AQUAMARKERS to scribble on a craft sheet. I spritzed this with water.

I then dragged a second piece of card through the wet ink. This gives a lovely marbled blend of colours. To add a little texture I dabbed the craft sheet onto the card several times, once lifted it leaves behind these marks. 

Finally I cut out the giraffe girl and glued her onto the green background. 

I hope this has given you some inspiration. Why not try making something with a limited colour selection. You might be surprised at what you can make with just a few colours. 


This month I have a pack of skintones to give away, they are set number 2 . They are the darker of the two sets, but ideal for creating all kinds of skin tones from Caucasian to African-American.

To win as usual I ask you to do TWO things for me. 

1. Go to my post over on the Letraset blog and leave a comment.... GO HERE...

2. Come back here and add your name to the linky list. Only names in this list will be entered. 


  1. Love how the giraffe lady came out. :) How the hell did you come up with this idea? :)

  2. Is this the linky list?? I'm here, appreciating your work.

  3. Love how the giraffe lady turned out. I'm just starting out in the world of promarkers and hope that my work looks half as good as yours x

  4. So incredible how you worked with each feature to so closely resemble the giraffe's!!! Love love love this!!!

  5. So incredible how you worked with each feature to so closely resemble the giraffe's!!! Love love love this!!!

  6. Thanks for this! You're just oozing with red lace talent!

  7. Aaahh crativities powerful hand has made the bed of your future for sure, and it's up to you to lie in it. Iyou are destined to be a super crafter gluer and maker of many o'wicked thing dressed with the shiniest halo. To right wrongs, and to pound two-fisted creativity into the hearts of none crafty evildoers everywhere. And you don't fight that sparkly stickly destiny!! oh No indeed. don't eat crackers in the bed of your future either, or you get all... scratchy...

  8. Fabulous giraffe girl Darcy. I too usually have scribbles of colour around the outside of my drawing or on a scrap of paper at the side :)

  9. Fabulous use of the skin tones, and what a great range of colors! :)

  10. I really like 'Giraffe Girl' very clever! And thanks for the chance to win these yummy skin tones hun Dxx

  11. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world!