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Tuesday Tips and Tricks: Warm VS Cool Gray

Hi everyone!

Samantha here with some black and white coloring for you! Make sure to enter this week's challenge, which is to color in black and white! Click here to go to our challenge.

When coloring in black and white, most of us have two options: Cool Grays (Labeled C) and Warm Grays (Labeled W). There are other sets of grays in the Copic collection, but these two are the most common so I wanted to talk about them.

Usually the grays are used for shading and shadows, but what set of grays you use depends on the main colors of your image.

Cool grays are supposed to be used with cool colors such as blues, blue-greens, blue-based reds, and pinks, purples.

Warm grays are supposed to be used with warm colors such as yellows, oranges, browns, and orangey-reds, and yellowy greens.

To make it easier, I found this graphic for you. A good rule of thumb is, warm colors are yellow based, where as cool colors are blue based.

I will talk more about color theory and shading in other Tuesday Tips and Tricks segments, but today, I want to show you the difference in coloring solely with the grays.

When coloring only with grays, you can do your shading just as you would if you were using any other color family. You can still get beautiful shading and nice looking light and dark areas of your image.

For my coloring examples for today, I used an adorable stamp from a stamp set from Pink Cat Studio, which is available in the iCopic store. Pink Cat Studio stamps are SO CUTE!!!

Below, I colored the same image two times. The one on the left is colored with Cool Grays. The one on the right is colored with Warm Grays.

Here is the cool gray colored image. You can tell, the gray is more of a steely blue gray color.  In my opninion, the cool grays tend to look more like what I would typically think of as "gray". To me, this looks more like an image taken from a normal black and white photo.

Here is the warm gray colored image. The warm grays have a yellow or golden look to them. To me, the warm grays tend to look more antique or vintage when used like this. This reminds me of the look of a sepia black and white photo.

As you can see, depending on what grays you use, you can achieve much different looks to your stamped images! 

Next, I did something a little different. In the following images, I added just a little POP of color! I used RV10 and RV13 to add a little color into the images. On the left is the cool grays and on the right is the warm grays.

And here are the close-ups with the color pop. This one is the cool grays.

And this one is with the warm grays.

Now that you have seen some examples using warm grays and cool grays, pull out your Copics and get to work on your challenge project for this week! I hope that you will give this a try and I can't wait to see what you make!


So informative, thank you! I think I need some warm grays now...:)

I like the the cool grays myself but it's nice to have a variety to use. Thanks for the gray lesson!

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