雪水晶領域~Snow Quartz Domain~

English & Japanese 大体講座ブログとしてなっております。 99.9% Tutorial blog


Tutorial: How I usually color

All right hello hello my dearies. Its Aoibara.

And, yes. It is a tutorial! Say yay? Yaay!

And it is probably the one you guys have been lusting for a long time; how I ACTUALLY color on 99.9% of my artworks! Last tutorial was a one layer coloring artwork with Shun Kazami from Towa no Quon. This time, we will be working with Ioshua from Star Ocean on this tutorial!

Some warnings are...

~I am going to use Paint Tool SAI on this tutorial. This technique MAY work on Photoshop, Gimp, Illustudio, Corel Painter, Opencanvas and what not. But if you are going to not use Paint Tool SAI, please don't ask me questions since I probably cannot answer how I would set it if it was in that program.
~AS USUAL, I FREAKING SUCK AT EXPLAINING STUFF. If you don't get ANYTHING, COMMENT HERE/EMAIL (empressaquarius@gmail.com)/COMMENT ON deviantART/SEND A MESSAGE ON PIXIV/SEND A MESSAGE ON ANIPAN/WHATEVER YOU CAN DO TO ASK ME (All caps apocalypse. Sorry about that.) and I will give you the immediate medical help lol
~May not be for noobs.
~Please please please...I beg you not to say lyke OMG WTF BBG!!!!!!1!!!!!! WHYCANT I GET A DRAWING LIKE YOURS?!!!!WTF!!!!!!!??????!!
The point is, digital art ain't EASY. You need da skillz to make good art! This picture I used on this tutorial, I spent like...More than 3 hours on it. Ain't joking. You can't make instant good art in 1 minute. Also, a thing which ticks me off the most is that some people, especially weeaboos, think digital art can do everything for you. It is like leaving the ingredients on the kitchen and you hope the kitchen makes the food for you.
tl;dr, if your art sucks, blame yourself, not the program. I do this. Now you do it too.

If you understand my warnings and words of advice, continue, you do. Click on the link below which will expand this entry, you will.

Before I can start the steps, lets do some setup.

I wouldn't mind what kind of inking tool you use. So I won't show my pen tool settings.

Anyways, this is my main weapon when I do most of the parts for coloring:

First off, you need to duplicate the watercolor tool on SAI. watercoloriconplz.png To Duplicate a tool, go to an empty box, right click on it, and select the "base tool". Choose the water color tool for this one.

By the way, you can see the brush mode is set to normal. I change it around from deep to normal when I color. Use your own judgement to see what you like. In most cases I usually set the brush mode to deep.

(Original tool setting in courtesy to Myo. I have been using this for at least two years now and has been my favorite among what I tried out.

【SAI】コピック風ブラシふたつ【講座?】 | みょ [pixiv] http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=16449655



And for what I use to highlight the eyes, here is the brush for it:

Duplicate the regular brush tool in SAI. brushtooliconplz.png


Another thing, but optional is, since this is supposed to be the copic type brush as the original creator of this brush stated, I usually use the copic colors to do most of my work, but you are absolutely fine to use your own shades if you wish. Download this copic color chart. Print Screen, and paste it on your own artwork as a new layer as a pallete.


Got settings done? Lets get this game started!

As usual, get your project in shape. Now make a sketch for it.


It can be messy or clean, or between. Just be sure you know what you are drawing. Thats all.

Now ink it.


(If you would like to color with the full size image, go ahead. I will upload the original file size later somewhere. Feel free to upload it, no credit needed but DO NOT CLAIM IT AS YOUR OWN DRAWING. Be sure to say that you didn't do the lineart yourself and say you only colored it.)

I would recommend that you divide the lines into parts, such as, the skin lineart layer, clothing lineart layer, hair lineart layer, eye lineart layer. It makes my life easier. I will explain later. If you wanna ink all on one layer, it is fine.

Don't understand my words? Here it goes:


If you are finished inking, now put in the base colors. You MUST have the base colors divided; like the skin color goes to the skin base color layer.


Don't understand? Here is a visual info:


All done? Here is the part I pretty much like. Coloring!

Anyways, here are the shades I have used:


You guessed it. The lightest shade on this chart is used as the base color.
The order goes like this: base color -> base shading aka gradiation -> first level shading -> direct shadows.

For deeper colors, I gradiate ALOT to get it to the color I want.

Oh btw if you are drawing an official character, get a picture reference. If you have an iphone or whatnot, much easier without needing to change the windows!

There will be no layer clipping; we will color DIRECTLY on the base shadow as this style is more close to painting. So ctrl click on the thumbnail of the layer and that is how we get coloring!

Pick up the copic brush we set up earlier.

Use this to start gradiating. Lets call it base shading:


Next, add some first level shadows:


Finally, add the direct shadows:


You will notice I am missing something, if you take a look at the official artwork of this character I am drawing, Ioshua, you notice something is missing on his sash (?) and vest; there are golden linings on it. Here is how I deal with cloth with designs:

First, select the part with the design on it:


Setting the copic brush tool to normal, color it on the layer with the design.

And here is the result:


I did the same for the mouth and the teeth as well.

Next, I will explain about the eyes.

Pick a middle saturated and middle bright color as the base. Then set a new layer and clip it. Now gradiate the eye.


One note is that the "white part" around the iris, pick a light shade which matches the eye color and that is it lol

Create another layer, make it a clipping layer, set it to multiply. Pick a full saturated middle dark color to add the circle around the eye:


Make another layer, clip it. Set it to multiply. Now using a darker shade, gradiate the eye once more:


Finally, it is time to use the eye lightening brush. Add the lightning to the eyes. Set the layer to addition/lumonisity. Clip it as usual.


Add another addition/lumonisity layer. Use a very light yellow to add the extra lightning.


Add another clipping layer. Set it to overlay. Add some direct reflection:


Add light dots to the eyes by setting another lumonisity/addition layer:


Finally, since the colors are a bit washed, add a overlay layer and add the color more vibrancy:



Something is a little odd with the eye layer. I don't like it. This is optional, but here is what you can do.

Click on this little icon ->


Now lets see what happens...



This happens because it is the masking layer! When you are on the masking layer, you can only use the pencil tool and the eraser tool.

So, fill the eyes back in with the pencil tool:


Now it is back!

Use the eraser tool, to erase the eye lineart which is overlapping with the hair:


Are you still alive? Now the eyes are ALL DONE!

Now, I am going to show you some techniques I use:

You notice I always have textures on stuff. Here is how I do textures:

First, get a texture ready. Make a clipping layer on the part you want to add textures. For this, I did on the cloth.


Next, change the texture setting to overlay:


Lower the transparency to whatever you wish:


And that is for the textures.

Finally. One last thing. This is the reason why I divide my lineart. Because I color them! Picking the color for the lineart is tricky. So use good judgement!

Compare the uncolored one...


To the colored one.


Much nicer right?

Now, almost finished with the character. If there is a colored part you don't like, you can punch the hue and saturation or brightness and contrast button, like how I did on his wings since I thought they were too dark and a bit too grey:


Now you are done with the character, add some bg and whatnot.

Oh, for the BG, be sure it "blends" nicely with the character! Or else it would feel dull!

For more info on this part, you can check out deamond89's tutorial on how he blends the character with the background. He uses the similar steps I use (I did it this way before I saw his tutorial.)

Speaking of BGs, I did two kinds; a summer bg and a winter bg for that one (I can't believe I did a summer bg first xD Its FUCKING WINTER! )

Oh when you have no plan for BG, best part of digital art is you can do WHATEVER BG you want and YOU can CHANGE it whatever you wish even if it is already done!

Summer ver...


and winter ver...


I personally like the summer ver better. Though I like how I did the aurora on the winter ver.

After doing the bg, you can use Photoshop to adjust the color balance, etc. If no Photoshop and only SAI, check out what namie-kun wrote on her tutorial here near the end.

Anyways, congratulations. You got to the end of this tutorial. Happy drawing, and I hope you learned something here! Also please excuse me for eating up your bandwidth~!

Btw, click on the clap button if you liked it~




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