Tutorial 3: Coloring Part 1on December 10, 2010 at 3:13 am
DISCLAIMER: You may have a neater coloring method, this is just how I color, blah blah blah, no right or wrong way, HOWEVER, this coloring method is actually something I'm very proud of. I believe it is a VERY cheap and easy way to get fantastic results, and for this one occassion, I will recommend you try it. Also, this will be a LONG tutorial, and have several parts.
I start by making another layer between the blank white background layer and the line art layer. If you have followed my previous tutorial, the black lines should be the only thing on that layer, but if you scanned in something or did something else, it may be black lines on white instead of transparent. If this is so, just set that layer to multiply. If you don't understand what I just said, then um... BLOOGITY GOOBLE.
Anyway, I use different layers for any big areas or groups of colors, and name them accordingly for organization. I also tend to start with the skin, so of course, my first layer will be called Skin. A lot of this tutorial will focus on skin, because I feel it is a little trickier than clothes.
STEP 2: PICK SOME DAMN COLORS
When selecting a skin tone, take into account the following:
-Color theory! Some colors or shades of colors look better against certain backgrounds.
-Human skin can have undertones of red, yellow, and even BLUE AND GREEN! (Even characters that aren't Nukey)
Now, Hitomi is Japanese, (derp) and she's just against a white background, so rule two is less important. I will select a tone that is more yellow and brown, because despite what OMFGJAPANIMATION has taught you, Japaniums do not have perfect snow white skin, they is darker. Jpop stars like Gackt don't seem to have any photos of themselves that aren't internet diseased (edited) to death, so you'll have to trust me on this.
Select a lighter shade for the highlight, (like yellow) and a darker or more subdued shade for the undertone, (like brown). Do not be afraid to pick darker shades of OTHER colors aside from your highlight. (My brown has a little red in it as well)
STEP 3: BASE STUFF
Next, with your two colors picked, use your magic wand or lasso or whatever and select a body part. I tend to start with the face. THE WHOLE FACE. Then, pick the GRADIENT TOOL and make a nice smooth gradient from your highlight to your undertone.
SOME IMPORTANT NOTES ON LIGHTING:
-The highlight color should be closer to the light source, and the undertone should be further away.
-If there is something that would probably be blocking the light to that spot, you may want the undertone end of the gradient to be there, (i.e., the area under Hitomi's bangs would be darker, because the light is overhead.)
-Don't worry about being too percise yet, it's only a gradient, after all.
P.S. Easter Egg Note! If I were doing an actual comic page, this would be ALL I'M FREAKING DOING for the most part, because I try to finish those quicker.
STEP 4: PREPARATION
This next part is the tricky part. First, put your skin layer on TRANSPARENCY LOCK. For painting, I use a brush that looks exactly like this, in various diameters ranging from like, I dunno, 25 px to like, 120px. Depending on the detail and the surface space. What you should get is a brush that layers over darker and darker the more you press on your tablet. (You DO have a tablet, right?) Then we're ready to paint!
STEP 5: STOP SUCKING, FOO
I just use the eyedropper tool, (ALT) grab a mid tone, and began spreading it around more artfully. I can't give you a whole lot of instruction on this part, you'll have to understand lighting and the shape of what you're painting, dig? So, I grab darker tones for spreading around shadows, and lighter tones for spreading around highlights with my alt. You can brush all the way over the edge because your skin layer is on transparency lock and won't go out of the lines. Also, you will want to blend it gradually by using the alt key to pick progressively lighter / darker colors so it looks smooth. Try mixing harsher lines with softer lines depending on light and anatomy and shit. Since I can't give you much direction, I'll put up a quick sequence instead.
The next section of this tutorial will be for a trick I use to be awesome.