As always, before starting a new piece of colouring we suggest making a plan for your vision for the piece. By this we mean looking at the design and imagining what you want your unicorn to look like and in turn, how that will affect your colouring.
For example, is your unicorn very regal and majestic? In that case, you might focus on shading the facial features to be more prominent, use longer line strokes and smoother blending to give a polished finish. Is your unicorn cheeky and playful? In that case, you might explore colour more and experiment with multiple colours running through the mane or the horn in twisting pencil strokes. It is up to you what you want your unicorn to look like but assigning it a character and features you want to focus in on can really up your colouring game and bring your unicorn to life!
The next step is picking your colour scheme! Unicorns are known for their rainbow hues but there are a few different options here. Your unicorn could be bursting with a traditionally bright rainbow colour scheme or take on pastel tones or perhaps even a metallic colour scheme. All of these are great choices and it is really up to you.
When picking your colours, however, have a think about Colour Theory as this will be sure to affect how the tones blend together. For example, if you pick colours close to each other on the colour wheel they will be able to blend nicely into each other (e.g red into orange into yellow into green into blue). Alternatively, picking a colour palette with different tones of the same colour and blending those together is also a great option. We love this tutorial that uses unicorn colouring to go into more detail about Colour Theory and picking the best tones for your unicorn colouring!
Colouring your unicorn’s mane is where you can bring all of this knowledge about blending and Colour Theory into practice! The lines that you make in the mane are incredibly important, as with any piece of colouring that involves hair. You want to create movement within the mane, so using long flowing strokes is key to this.
If you are working with multiple colours within your mane, either tonally or completely different colours, that is where the blending comes in. Apply a gentle pressure as you make marks on the mane and really build up the different colours. Pressing too hard can lead to lines that are a little too harsh and less blended colours. Once again, experiment with different pressures and styles of strokes and see what works best for you.
Perhaps the most iconic part of the unicorn – the horn! This is an excellent opportunity to explore light and colouring reflections. For this, a white or silver pencil will be your best friend! Pick a point where the light is coming from onto your image and use this spot to gently apply highlights to the horn. On the opposite sides or in the places that the light would not hit, you can work with applying darker colours to be your shadows. We wouldn’t suggest using black as it might be a bit too harsh but follow your colour scheme. For example, if your unicorn horn is going to have a tonal pink palette, pick a dark pink or even a purple and use that as your shadow tone. This will make your unicorn horn appear much more three-dimensional.
The face is where you can really bring that character you have developed for your unicorn to life! Do you want to add sweeping eyelashes to the unicorn’s eyes to add glamour? Is your unicorn smiling? You can use the same techniques of adding shadows and highlights to even change the bone structure of your unicorn, if you wanted to. Now you’ve become a master of planning, Colour Theory, different line strokes, blending and using shadows and highlights you can apply all of these techniques to the unicorn’s face and make your finishing touches.
With colouring in general and especially with magical and fantastical creatures, there are no rules! Be sure to have fun with your colouring and allow yourself room to explore and get creative with it. We love seeing all of your amazing colouring and can’t wait to see what you make!
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