Light up your quarantining day with some dynamic strawberry pancakes – live on paper. Creating them with colors is no less fun than actual cooking – you’ll love the shadows and blending that make up those fluffy golden cake edges, the whipped cream top, the maple syrup and the juicy berries. After this blog, present your work to your beloved ones and see who’ll reach out and want to take a real bite.
Note: The tutorial is beginner-friendly! Don’t worry if you cannot draw a line straight, trust me myself for it.
Step 1: Sketching
We aren’t going to draw a plain paper in full, so let’s start with partition. The whole picture is wider than the long side, so we have to frame a rectangle first with guidelines, and divide the upper and lower areas into strawberries and pancakes.
For example, the pancake part is on the left to one-fifth of the picture, and on the right is about four-fifths. (Measure roughly with your fingers). This guarantees that we won’t have any positioning error in the following steps. (eg. The pancakes are too big to push the strawberries out of the picture.)
Then we begin to sketch the basic objects.
Do not worry if you are not a sketchbook master, all you have to do is to “see the world differently”. It means we’ll break the world down to simple things: strawberry? No, a triangle. Pancakes? No, oval shape with edges. You’ll quickly get a rough sketch -- like the picture in highly-myopic eyes or a screen in disrepair.
Notes: Use guidelines! – these little elves will help you build up the whole image and then disappear.
Step 2: Detailing
After we get the general shapes we begin define the object with the powerful 2B pencil in our hands: Grid the strawberries to create small pits for strawberry seeds (Every intersection is located a seed); Curl up the pancake edges to make it more real; Mark the color blocks inside these objects, such as browned cake edges and orange berry flesh, to prepare for future coloring.
Notes: Pay attention to line quality! If you are not able to create a shape directly, try to use repeated long lines to refine it and you’ll get want you want in the end. For shapes in the front, try to use heavier lines.
Now continue with two micron marker pens to refine the sketch. Use 0.5mm needle pen for basic outlines and add light strokes at detailed parts with the 0.2mm one. Put small oval seeds into each of your designed pits.
For example, remember to slightly recess your lines at the intersection of grid lines and edges to make the strawberries more “fleshy”. After finishing the outline,
Step 3: Coloring & Blending
With the outline ready you already see a great work coming on the way, let’s add soul to it. One thing that makes marker different from watercolor/acrylic/pencil painting is that the coloring is to use dark color to cover the light color, while the latter is to fill the picture with color blocks.
So we need to pre-blend the colors on another piece of paper to find out the perfect match. I call it the ‘Color test’. Take strawberries for example, in comparison with the color board of the markers set, we divide a strawberry image into 3-4 colors from light to dark, overlay them on a piece of paper and write down the color numbers. I chose the R304, R105 and R107 for strawberries from the Artify 24 Colors Skin Tone Markers Set.
When you find the right color, paint the lightest color tile the entire graphic, and then superimpose on the shaded up with deeper colors. Try to use smooth brushstrokes when superimposing to create color blocks. After drying, use a lighter color marker to paint at the junction of light and dark colors, making the color transition more smooth and natural.
Notes: The ‘color test’ is crucial, sometimes it’s not to find the best colors but to find the right blending. Every test should begin with the lightest color.
Step 4: Highlighting
The final step is to add highlights to the painting, normally the lightened parts, sugar frost, water drops, etc., to make the picture more real.
The right color is so critical for marker painting that your real delicious strawberry may turn fake pink if you choose the wrong colors. It’s important to find a quality marker set with the most frequent colors, which also deliver satisfying results on paper. Check out the “strawberry tricolor”: R304, R105 and R107. Here are some recommendation from our shop below for your creation.