Only four colored pencils

I wanted to try to color with a little cute mini-set of four colored pencils "Famtoys" that I purchased here. These pencils look very basic but they have a very good color pigmentation and bright, bold colors. There are being made in only these limited basic four colors and you can use them as a super mini travel kit or just have them always available as a complement to your colored pencils sets.

So I decided to color one of my Dream Dancers illustrations - this time the Hip hop Dancer - with using ONLY 4 PENCILS: blue, red, yellow and green...

The whole magic is in color-mixing. You can achieve dozens of beautiful colors only by mixing four basic color pencils. Most important is using just a very very light pressure and making many light and thin layers of colors you want to mix together. I started with the red tulips - a few red layers as the base. I only put bigger pressure in shadow places that I wanted to make darker.

First layers of red
First layers of red
Adding yellow in a few layers, untill both colors unify
Adding yellow in a few layers, untill both colors unify
Flowers are done, it's time for green now
Flowers are done, it's time for green now
Basic layers of green
Basic layers of green
Yellow on top of green and the leaves are done
Yellow on top of green and the leaves are done
Skin tones are not that easy to achieve with two colors only...
Skin tones are not that easy to achieve with two colors only...

Let's have a look on the skin coloring now. I used only the red and the yellow pencil. The first layer is red - a very very light almost no pressure. The second layer of red goes to the shadow places I want to make darker. In this case the light grey scale on the image really helps with the shadowing.

Then another thin red layer, the girl starts to look as she has fever. It's time to use the yellow pencil and make her look more healthy. Layering has to be very very light, and once it looks too yellowish I make again a thin red layer. As we can't use any bigger pressure here, we can see white little spaces of the paper. As I need to unify the skin, now I decide for a compromise - I took a white pencil to unite and smooth the red and yellow layers. The last step - I used the blue pencil in the darkest areas to make a bigger contrast. But I need to be careful not to use too much blue or the girl would start looking a bit...zombie - like.

Skin colored by red and yellow only. I need to use a white pencil to unify the layers.
Skin colored by red and yellow only. I need to use a white pencil to unify the layers.
The skin is done here.
The skin is done here.

Hair - I used the red and blue pencil to make this purple - like dark color. It's a good idea to leave some ares white so the hair looks shiny.

I used the similar process for the trousers color, with adding yellow on top and mixing many layers again. Finally I couldn't resist to make a few white reflexions using a white gelly pen.

So here you can see that you can create a beautiful  image with only a few colors, and we don't really need to buy 200 shades of colored pencils. However, it's hard to create some beautiful shades from the basic colors, and the skin coloring was a real hard work this time with only red and yellow. And we want to relax with coloring and not to exert ourselves right? For the joy of coloring let's not be so minimalist and enjoy all of our big colored pencils collections :)