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February 17, 2013
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colouring digital art is so hard!

:iconkurogashi:
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!
[link]

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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:iconmercury-crowe:
Mercury-Crowe 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.
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:iconmercury-crowe:
Mercury-Crowe 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.
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:iconbrightredphoennix:
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.
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:iconravendark82:
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.
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:iconphanthom-art:
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
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:iconrovanna:
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.
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:iconhedwards:
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.
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:iconrovanna:
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.
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:iconhedwards:
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.
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013   Digital Artist
Oh yes, I've seen some artists do that.
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:iconhedwards:
hedwards Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013
There's no rule that you have to do it like that, but it helps a bit in terms of keeping easy access to all the colors you're using. Otherwise, it can be a bit of a hunt to find the precise color you want if you're not using it over a large area.
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:iconsiantjudas:
siantjudas Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013   Digital Artist
You can always experiment with changing the tolerance of the wand tool. To be honest, the best tolerance will depend on the situation.

Recently I've tended to create smooth layers of flat colors under the line art, each on a separate layer. I then modified my shortcuts so that ctrl+L is load selection, which loads all the pixels on the layer but retains aliasing and opacity of pixels and such (in short doesn't end up pixelated). I've found that using load selection like that, I can quickly block out sections of the art work and work between them.

But that's how I work. There's always 10 different ways to do the same thing in photoshop. You need to figure out what you are trying to do, what works for you, what doesn't, what tools you use, what processes. Take those and refine you process and shortcuts to make the most of it.
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:iconnordicgreeneyedwolf:
NordicGreenEyedWolf Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Compared to my first digital art yours look a lot better than my first if we count out my mspaint drawings (<-- but they also look bad) XD
I would like to recommend searching for different tutorials and try to find your own way of doing things by learning from them or you experiment with the brushes you have and see what you can do with them.
I can spend days drawing on the same picture depending on how detailed it is and sometimes around 6 hours on easier ones. It varies depending on how much details you want and how fast you draw.
What kind of coloring do you want? Do you want a soft cell shading style? More towards realism?
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:iconaliciane:
Aliciane Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Hey you're very good, for a first try with the software, it really is amazing :)

I no longer draw with lineart, but when I was doing so, here is what I was doing :
- One layer with the lineart. If this is a scanned lineart or if for another reason there is a white background instead of a transparent one, you can use the layer mode "multiply" to make the background disappear.
- Under it, another layer with the base colours. This way, you can paint over the lines without making them disappear and the limits between your areas of colours will be hidden behind the lineart. Therefore, you'll no longer have those white clipping areas visible.
- You can use the layer masks to convert your base colour into a sort of selection. With for instance one layer per colour, you can shade freely without going outside the area you had painted with your base colour.

Since you just began to use the software, maybe a lot of those terms will be completely unknown. But I gave you those keywords in order for you to be able to know what to search for. If you know nothing about the layer masks, you can search a specific tutorial on the subject and see if it fits your needs :)

For blending, it depends if you want a smooth or cell shaded look. If you want a smooth look, what I do for my realistic artworks is to put several shades or colour with a normal round brush. Then with a softer round brush and the eyedropper tool, I select the intermediate tones that have appeared, and I paint over at low opacity in order to have a soft transition.

Since it's never perfect in the end, at the last step, I use the smudge tool with a special brush. This brush is one composed of several dots, and I smudge gently with this one to perfect the transition. But in order to have a good control of your blending, you should do most of it "yourself", and just use the smudge tool to finalize, at least that what I do :)

I hope it helps you a bit !
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:iconnarutokunobessed:
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Student General Artist
Any drawing you do is supposed to be time consuming. Most techniques your going to find, won't be the same for every one person. You can use clipping, you can do through locking the transparency, you can use multiply, deleting the white via ctrl alt tilda, or just straight on paint. You can google these terms.

What does remain consistent with everything is how you portray lighting and color.

These should help out with that.
[link]
[link]
[link]

Some suggestions to try and alieve problems.

Understand light and color and your fundamentals. That is pretty much that above.

Draw on a big canvas. 5000 is a very good size.

Try bigger instead of smaller brushes.

Zoom in and out more then usual. Zoom in for the details, zoom out to see if your sillohuet and contrasts are ok.

Use the stock and resources tutorial, and the internet.

I see also your lines are pixel which tells me filling those colors aren't the right way. I have this feeling your just selecting the closed area and using the paint bucket, which sadly, the paint bucket won't really fill in all the areas. You need to either lock the transparency, delete the white (via Ctrl alt tilda), or multiply and then color on another layer. You can search a ton of tutorials on how to do this, but the end result will color the parts you want and not color the lines.

And mostly, it just takes practice. Photoshop isn't a magical wand tool or an instant healing brush. Its just a tool and medium just as everything traditional.
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:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
Lineart is by someone else so maybe that's why that problem they are facing. Poor quality lineart that often don't get fixed when used.
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:iconnarutokunobessed:
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh the pixely edges. That could be a reason too. Especially as a jpeg format.

Still if she uses a clipping mask, selection, and paint buckets, its not going to fill that area properly.
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:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013
That as well. :nod:
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:iconkurogashi:
Kurogashi Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
also how do you get a smooth blend? i've been using one colour but with different opacity setting, followed by the smudge tool. not sure if this is the best way. the smudge tool is tricky. sometimes it listens, and other times, it has a mind of its own!
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