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February 17, 2013


Replies: 19

colouring digital art is so hard!

Kurogashi Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I just finished my first ever coloured line art in photoshop and my god did it take forever. it feels as if it's harder to color on the tablet versus with traditional stuff! in total it took me 5-6hours.

i use the magic wand to do all my selecting for the mask clips and the problem with this is that the mask isnt always perfect! so a lot of the time i would have to go back to the line, zoom in (pixel peep!) and start redrawing/'reinforcing' the line. is there no better way to do mask clipping? is there a way to make the magic wand be better at selecting? more margin of error but makes sure it selects everything?

...or am i just crazy and it's suppose to be this time consuming (especially when it's the first time).

here's my first ever coloring, any tips/opinions would be greatly appreciated!

also not sure if this is right or not but ive been duplicating masked layers say if i wanted to add on more shades to that mask, while keeping all the layers of colour there. is this bad?

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Devious Comments

puppy-dangerous Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
To make lineart on a transparent layer from a file your already have:

Make sure the image is in black and white.

Go to File>Define brush preset, name the brush, hit OK.

Make a new file the size you want your picture to be.

Go to layer>new layer

Select your new brush. Turn the color to black.

Use the brush like a stamp. The lines are now in the color you selected, the white area of the picture is transparent.

You now have a clean outline on a new layer.

Go to the background layer. Go to layer>new layer

Color on the new layer between the background and lines.
puppy-dangerous Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Um, yeah, there is a better way. You're doing it pretty much the most pain in the butt way possible.

You need to learn to use layers. You can read more here [link] or use google.

You need a base layer with your background color.

Then you have a new layer with your outline.

Under your outline layer you have another layer with your color on it.

You should not color on the same layer as your outline or background. It should always go underneath.
BrightRedPhoennix Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Student Filmographer
I can see why it took so long. It's really good!

Yeah, it's supposed to be pretty time consuming. I once spent a week on a drawing.
ravendark82 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Typically how I work is to have the lineart on a layer above any of the colors. If you have a png then the image will already be transparent, if it is a jpeg then you just change the layer to multiply and the white parts of the image will act as if they are transparent.

It is a much faster way to work than using the magic wand to select everything, especially if you are working with a low resolution image. If you are working with photoshop then you can ctrl-click the layer you have your color on and it will only select what is on that layer so you don't have to worry about painting outside, alternatively you can choose preserve transparent pixels on the layer and it will do the same thing.
PhanThom-art Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
working with the magic wand makes it ugly and all pixelly kind of. I don't know much about your style and the technique that is involved with it since my style is very different but from my own experience I would advise you to put the lineart in a separate layer over the coloring layer and start coloring with the brush like that and erase if you cross the lines, I think it would be much easier and you wouldn't have the pixelly effect and the annoying white lines you get with the magic wand.
(pixelation might also be caused by file resolution btw, never work with less than 1000 px X 1000 px
Rovanna Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013   Digital Artist
Of course it took a long time, it's your first digital piece. :lol: If it was super awesome fast and easy we'd all be *sakimichan

My advice would be to experiment with lots of different methods. There are heaps of different ways to colour as you can tell from just reading this thread. I personally don't magic wand or mask anything and just paint with the brush. But then again my lines are thicker than yours. So test out a lot of different ways to find what works best for you. You'll get quicker as you practice.
hedwards Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013
That's my suspicion. I'm learning how to mix colors onscreen and it does take quite a bit longer at first than with paint. But, OTOH, I spend less time recreating something that I've screwed up when working digitally. Also, once I've got the colors I want to use, recreating them is extremely fast whereas with oil I would have to regularly remix what I needed if I didn't prepare enough for the whole painting.

I suspect that as one practices more and more, the time it takes to mix the colors gets less and less to a point.
Rovanna Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013   Digital Artist
That's what I like about it. :D You can just pick the colour straight off the picture again.
hedwards Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013
Yep, but for practical reasons it's nice to keep the major colors on a virtual palette so that it's easier to grab. Depending upon the style of painting, it can be a bit difficult to click the right pixel sometimes.
Rovanna Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013   Digital Artist
Oh yes, I've seen some artists do that.
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