Suggestions for Hand Tinting

From page 111 in the field book

While its gray scale images are pleasing and accurate in their own right,  In the Company of Redwoods Fieldbook and accompanying Note Cards were designed to be colored to maximize the learning experience.  There is much written about colored pencil technique in books and online articles that you may want to research.  Listed below are my own humble suggestions.

  1. Practice on a sampler printout from the website.
  2. Add color slowly and err on the subtle side by stopping early.
  3. Work from the tips of leaves or flowers, following the veins you see as you move into the center of the plant.
  4. Don’t try to color to the very edges of a leaf, stem or flower, but start back a bit in the gray of the margins of the picture for safety.  In a traditional coloring book, the idea is to color right up to the edge of the black  line, and mistakes are easily made by crossing it.  However in this book, the pictures are what is called ‘grayscale’.   This means that you can stay a safe distance back and let the gray shades on the page ‘fill in’ to the edge.
  5. You may be interested in trying water color pencils and using a fine tipped, moistened watercolor brush to blend your pencil strokes and/or colors.  You will find that the color on the page  is intensified when moistened, and you may need to scale back you application of color pigment in preparation for the water.  The resulting image is quite often an improvement over dry pencil color, and seems to reveal the veins and other fine details better.  For sharply veined plants the effect is kind of like that moment in The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy steps from the black and white world into the land of color.


Early Bloomers pages 7-31

Mid Bloomers pages 33-57

Late Bloomers pages 59-79

Last to Bloom pages 81-107