Coloring Tips: Adding Detail

Types of details

There are soooo many different things you can add as details. Here are just a few ideas...

  • Shading and Hightlights.
  • Spots, Stripes, and Patterns.
  • Texture.
  • Small things like stars, falling snow, dust, smoke, sparks, sand.
  • Rays of light, or sparkles, or an eerie glow.
  • Things in the distance, like birds in the sky.
  • Scars, or wounds, on a scary Halloween page.
  • Motion liines to show movement.

The only limit is your imagination. What else can you think of?

Choice of Brushes

Adding details is usually done using either the regular brush or the magic brush. The magic brush is great for staying inside the lines, but the regular brush offers some extra flexibility in being able to paint across parts of the picture. Each brush can be used in a variety of sizes, for super fine detail to big chunky coloring and shading.

Texturing

There are some parts of a picture that will look really great by adding a little texture, especially anything that is furry, fuzzy, woolly, or hairy.

Use a small brush size in a color similar too the main color of the part you are working on. For example you might color in Santa's beard grey and then add flecks of white, or you might have an orange cat, and add brownish flecks to make the fur look furry.

adding complementary details
adding imaginative details

Adding to a Picture

You can even use the brushes to add whole new parts to a picture. Sometimes you might add something that fits with the existing picture, like drawing a present under a Christmas tree, or sometimes you might add something that changes the meaning of the picture altogether, perhaps in a funny way.

In the first example on the right (by Lily from Shawnee), the addition of a volcano in the background fits with the existing picture of a dinosaur.

In the second example on the right (by Kailey from Plymouth), the addition of a disco ball and dance floor, is completely different from what we think of when we think of dinosaurs - and it is very funny!

Use the Zoom

Adding details is sometimes easier if you zoom in. Try zooming in on the area you are working on, adding details and then zooming out again.

Try it and see!

Not sure if something will work? Just try it out, you might be surprised. Try adding small flecks in random directions, or all in the same direction, or crosshatched. Try using similar colors. Try using contrasting colors. Each different combination of methods and color choices will have a different effect. Try them out for fun, and then see how you might use them in other coloring pages.

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