William Beachy | Go Media |
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Save a copy of your black and white artwork at 300 dpi. Set
this aside – you’ll need it later. Then create a second copy
of this artwork at 150 dpi. This is the file that we’re
going to use for coloring. You will be coloring at this
lower resolution because it’s easier on your computer.
Your Photoshop layers should be set up like this:
Top Layer: Your Black and White Artwork.
(set this layer to “multiply” so you can see the color
behind your line art.)
Middle Layer: Blank Layer to be used for coloring (Also set
Background Layer: White.
The process of coloring is a very complex subject matter. I
will not be able to go into all the details of coloring but
here are a few tips.
First, fill the main shapes with a color that has a
medium value (not to bright, not too dark – somewhere in the
middle.) Then go back and add the shadows and bright spots
off of this medium value color.
Switch to your artwork layer, use your Magic Wand
to select an area on your artwork that you want to color,
then switch back to your color layer to paint your color. In
this way you can color carefree without fear of going
"outside the lines."
It might be a good idea to do your solid colors on one
layer, your shadows on another layer, and your highlights on
another. And generally, keeping things on layers can save
you grief in the long run in case you want to change things.
Have a general color strategy going into this process. I
will often start with a fairly limited color pallet and work
only from that. A lot of my coloring looks almost
monochromatic because I use such a restricted color pallet.
This is kind of like cheating, but I admit, I’m not the best
Also, you can use photographs in your coloring process to
At this point your document should have only layers that
with colors – no artwork. Next, return your image to 300dpi.
This is your original black and white artwork file that you
saved at 300dpi and set aside. Select the artwork and paste
it onto your color image. Set the new artwork layer that
should be on top to “Multiply.”
This should be self explanatory. Your artwork is done!
I personally use Adobe Illustrator, I think it’s the best.
But you can use Freehand or Corel Draw. Use the “place”
function to import your artwork into your Illustrator file.
Add text and vector graphics onto your image as you would
I know that this tutorial did not go into all the details
one could think of, but I wanted to give people a general
understanding of the process of how we create our
illustrated designs. We understand there are many aspects to
drawing, illustration, and coloring. We could spend all day
writing about the ins and outs of it.
Keep in mind that this is not the only way to do this
type of work. It’s just a process that works for me. You may
find yourself discovering shortcuts or other methods and we
encourage you to experiment. If you have any questions, just
ask either as a comment on
GoMedia's page for this tutorial or in the
Drawing and Design forum of kirupa.com.