Unrealistic colors get realistic results when coloring over grayscale

Coloring Book: Beautiful Creatures. Colorist: Jones Flores.

One of the wonderful things about coloring over grayscale is that you can be very creative with your colors and still get a really realistic result. As long as you follow the guidance of the grays when determining where and how dark or light to color, you’ll be able to get that realistic result. Here are a few examples:

Coloring Book: Beautiful Creatures. Colorist: Nicole Stocker.
Coloring Book: Beautiful Creatures. Colorist: Jones Flores.
Coloring Book: Beautiful Creatures. Colorist: Nicole Stocker.
Coloring Book: Beautiful Creatures. Colorist: Jones Flores.

​In the following two time-lapse videos done by Jones Flores you will see grayscale images being colored in unlikely colors. Watch as Jones follows the gray and brings the image to life.

Giraffe time-lapse video
Specific techniques used:

  • Using colored pencils to color over the gray on the giraffe.
  • Using soft chalk pastels and colored pencils for blending & coloring the background.
  • Considering the color the background will be when deciding on the colors for the giraffe.

Mediums used:

  • Prismacolor Prismacolor Premier colored pencils
  • Faber Castell Classic Colours colored pencils
  • Soft Chalk Pastels
  • Dong-A Ink Pens
  • White Pigment Marker

The Horses time-lapse video
Specific techniques used:

  • Using colored pencils to color over the gray on the horses.
  • Using turpentine and a paint brush for blending on the horses.
  • Using soft chalk pastels for coloring the background.

Mediums used:

  • Prismacolor Prismacolor Premier colored pencils
  • Soft Chalk Pastels
  • Berkeley Rectified Turpentine with paint brush
  • White Pigment Marker

Need more inspiration to try coloring with unlikely colors, check out these examples:

Learn more about grayscale coloring with these resources for beginner & advanced grayscale colorists.