How to Color Bubbles


How to Color Bubbles

Have you seen those pictures where other colorists have added really cool details to their pictures like bubbles? Ever wondered how they do it or how you can add some really cool bubbles to your own ocean, sea creatures or underwater adult coloring pictures? It looks like it might be hard. Actually once you know how, it’s really easy!

I learned how to draw bubbles from another colorist, Selina Gascoigne, who had posted a step by step tutorial on a Facebook group I’m a member of, Coloring Books for Adults. I was blown away by how easy her technique was and just how brilliant the bubbles looked.

Here’s a picture of my first attempt

My First Attempt at How to Color Bubbles

What Do You Need to draw and How to color bubbles?

  • A white or cream colored pencil or a burnisher pencil to draw the circle outline
  • Colored Pencils for the highlights (pink, mauve, grey, silver, blue, aqua, turquoise, white, cream)
  • Soft Pastel chalk or eyeshadow in blue and / or green tones
  • White gel pen (I use a uni-ball Signo broad).

then

  1. Create the Bubble Outlines
  2. Add the Background Color
  3. Add Shadows to the Bubbles
  4. Add Shine to the Bubbles

In the pictures below I show four different color combinations for drawing bubbles using the tools listed above.

Step 1 – Create the Bubble Outlines

How to Color Bubbles Step 1 - Create the Bubble Outlines

I am using Crayola Colored Pencils in Sand and White, a Derwent Burnisher Pencil and a Prismacolor Premier Colourless Blending Pencil.

To start off I draw some circles of different sizes. I make sure that the outlines are fairly thick lines. This lays down a waxy resist onto the paper so that when I apply my soft pastel or eyeshadow background, the circles stand out.

Step 2 – Add the background color

How to Color Bubbles Step 2 - Add the background color

Here I have applied a background color to look like water.

I used Mont Marte ® Soft Pastel in a sea green color. I applied the soft pastel to a cotton pad and then rubbed the cotton pad over my bubble outlines.

You can see that in all but the Prismacolor Premier Colourless Blending Pencil quarter, the bubble outlines stand out clearly against the background.

You can also use eyeshadow instead of soft pastels which is what I have used in the picture of my first attempt above.

Step 3 – Add Shadows to the Bubbles

How to Color Bubbles Step 3 - Add Shadows to the Bubbles

Now I add some shadow colors to the circle to add some depth and dimension to the bubbles.

In the Crayola pictures I used a Crayola Mauve color pencil to draw a moon shape along the inside left hand side of the bubble. Next I used a Crayola Silver color pencil directly below the mauve to fill in more of the circle. To create a shadow under the bubble shapes I used a Crayola Cerulean color pencil. I colored a thick line along the outside right hand side of the bubble to create a shadow.

For the Derwent bubbles I used Crayola Pink and Mauve for the inside shadows and a Crayola Turquoise for the outside shadow.

For the Prismacolor Premier Colourless Blender picture I used a Crayola Mauve and a Crayola Silver color pencil for the inside shadows and Crayola Cool Grey color pencil for the outside shadows.

Step 4 – Add Shine to the Bubbles

How to Color Bubbles Step 4 – Add Shine to the Bubbles

The final step is to add some highlights (shine) to the bubbles. I used a white uni-ball Signo gel pen for the highlights.

Inside, towards the top left of each bubble I draw a longer curved white line and then a small white dot beside it. This adds the shine to your bubbles.

Once this small white highlight detail has been added to your circles, they magically look like real bubbles!

I love how the cream and white Crayola Colored pencil bubbles look. I also love the effect created by the Prismacolor Premier Colorless blender bubbles as to me, they look like water droplets. On a green background they could look like dew drops on a leaf.

Why don’t you experiment with this basic technique using the above guidelines on how to color bubbles and use a range of different background and shadow colors? I know I will be experimenting with them further in my own coloring.

 
Where to Buy Burnisher Pencils:

 
Where to Buy Colorless Blender Pencils:

 
Where to Buy uni ball Signo White Gel Pens:

Links to:

Other Pictures I have colored where I have added bubbles

Tutorials and Demonstrations

My guideline on how to color bubbles, is a summary of many ways to draw and color bubbles. In the table below you will find links to You Tube videos and website tutorials I have found helpful in my quest to color bubbles.

 

Video Link / Weblink Presenter Video Length Overview
How to Color a Bubble Marjorie Sarnat N/A In this article Marjorie Sarnat gives a step by step guide, including pictures, on how to color a bubble.
Bubble Tutorial Phantomgirl2510 N/A This is a quick 3 step guide on the Deviant Art website showing how to draw a simple bubble.
How to draw bubbles with colored pencils C is for Colorista N/A This article shows another way to color bubbles with colored pencils and an eraser.
Coloring Air Bubbles Marianne Walker N/A In this article Marianne Walker describes and demonstrates how to draw air bubbles using alcohol markers.
How to Draw Bubbles with Prisma Colors Bridget McCarty 4:18 In this video Bridgett McCarty clearly explains and shows how to draw and color bubbles using Prismacolor color pencils.