Togetherness, inspiration and creativity

How To Use Chameleon Pens and Color Tones: Louise Dunbar’s Colouring Tutorial

How To Use Chameleon Pens and Color Tones: Louise Dunbar’s Colouring Tutorial

Looking for advice and top tips on how to get the most out of your Chameleon Pens and Color Tops? Then you’ve come to the right place! We asked the creative Louise Dunbar to have a go with a brand new set of Chameleon Pens and Color Tops, and share her top tips for colouring success! Check out Louise’s colouring tutorial below – including how to achieve shading, beautifully textured hair, and what NOT to do when blending colours!

I thought I would do a run-through showing you exactly how I used the pens to colour in a stamped design, sharing a few techniques I picked up along the way! The image I used was one of the girls from Rare Earth’s Princess Dreams Collection – a fantastic stamp set for getting colourful and creative with!

You Will Need:

I prepared to experiment with the Chameleon pens by stamping the image three times, so I could do a side-by-side comparison. I did this using memento ink atop super smooth cardstock.

I’ll call the girls 1,2 and 3 from left to right, and explain the colours and techniques I used for each one.

Girl 1:

Hair – BR5, fuse 6 seconds
Skin – NU00, fuse 3 seconds
Dress – PK3, no fuse

Girl 2:

Hair – NU4, fuse 4 seconds
Skin – NU0, no fuse
Dress – V04 colour top with BG3, fuse for 8 seconds

Girl 3:

Hair – BR1, fuse 5 seconds
Skin – NU0, fuse 2 seconds
Dress – V04 colour top with BG3, fuse 8 seconds

Colouring Girl 1:

I used the same techniques with each girl’s hair and skin, and just experimented with different colours.

Starting with the hair, I used the pen in its pure colour to begin with, and used a flicking motion from the roots out towards the centre, and from the gathered hair out.

I then fused the pen for 8 seconds, and went from the centre out, to reach the colour I previously put down. I fused again as the pen got darker, and repeated the process until the hair was all coloured in, and I was happy with how it looked.  Tip: When doing the flicking motion, follow the hair lines that are stamped out, as a guide to how the hair would naturally flow.

For her skin I used NU00.  I started by using the pen in its true form, and coloured in a section from the hair line and cheeks.

I then fused for 3 seconds (lighter colours fuse quicker than darker ones)  and filled in the white spaces from the centre of the face out towards the cheeks.  I did half the face at a time, so fuse, then colour in from the centre out to the left; fuse again then colour from the centre out to the right.  There’s just a very slight hint of shading to the hairline and cheeks, but enough there to make it more realistic. Tip: I used small circular motions when colouring in the skin.

For the dress, I just used PK3 as a normal pen and didn’t fuse at all.  After all, these pens are fab just as alcohol pens, without having to fuse them all the time!

Colouring Girl 2:

I started with the dress this time, as I wanted to see how the colour tops would work together… but my first attempt didn’t go quite to plan! I’ll explain how I did it, so you can avoid making such mistakes with your projects…

I began by fusing the colour top with the pen for around 8 seconds, then started to colour in a zigzag pattern from one side of the dress to the other. As you can see, by the time you get back to where you started to colour, there’s too much of a shade difference to give you a seamless blend of colour gradation.

Colouring Girl 3:

Let’s try that again on girl number 3’s dress.  I fused the same colour top with the pen, and this time, I did a sweeping motion from side to side along the top, then moved down the dress in a flowing motion. As you can see, it blends much better, giving me the gorgeous colour gradation I was after in the first place!

I did the dress part first, then re-fused and went down the sleeves of the dress. I tested the fuse off to the side of the dress, so I could see what stage the colour was at, before committing.

As you can see, this is a much better technique… the results speak for themselves!

So there you have it, three images, different pens, all looking very different.  I hope I’ve been able to give you a few hints and tips to try with your own images and pens…  don’t be afraid to give it a go!

At the end of the day, if you don’t get the results you were looking for, don’t use that piece and simply try again… after all, it’s only paper!

Have you started experimenting with your Chameleon pens yet? Let us know how you’re getting on, and show us your pictures on Facebook!



2 thoughts on “How To Use Chameleon Pens and Color Tones: Louise Dunbar’s Colouring Tutorial”

    • Hi Denise, ‘Fusing’ refers to the process of using the toning medium in the mixing chamber of the pen to lighten the colour of the ink in the pen nib! To ‘fuse’ your pen, simply remove the lid, and replace this with the mixing chamber so that the mixing nib and the normal nib touch one another. The longer you do this for, the longer your colour blend will last as you colour on the page. For a graduated blend on the page, fuse for longer, for a super quick transition from light to dark on the page with just one pen, fuse for only a few seconds. Hope this helps! For more information, check out our page on Chameleon pens here: https://www.createandcraft.com/gb/chameleon-about

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *