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View Full Version : Colorist Agenda (It's mostly Pokemon)


Sully
05-24-2016, 11:17 AM
I've been trying to learn a bit more about coloring to potentially lighten my own financial load when making comics. To be honest I've never been especially good at digital coloring. I used to paint watercolor when I was younger, alter MTG cards with acrylic more recently than that, but digital... something about it is just harder. Still. I've been practicing and I figured "why not track my process on DW?" I'll keep it in a sort of "journal" format. It'll be fun.


May 11, 2016
http://imgur.com/nMnLulJ.jpg
So this was the first, and I have to be honest I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't look anything up, read any tutorials, ask for any help. I just wanted to color a Devil Dinosaur, found the line art, and did it. I don't even know whose art it is. If you know, please tell me.

May 14, 2016 (a)
http://imgur.com/8kGPNfE.jpg
Realizing that I was in over my head, I prodded a friend for coloring advice, and began watching some videos and experimenting a bit more. I wanted a lighter, more colorful and simple feel than that heavy-handed mess I made on the Devil Dinosaur image so I did some experimenting with a warmup. Do you know what kind of line art is unbelievably easy to find, simply proportioned, and very colorful? The Pokemon kind. (This original line art is by Keijimatsu on DeviantArt) These will be my warmups forever. I got the colorful look I was hoping for, and with that newfound confidence, tackled a larger project.

May 14, 2016 (b)
http://imgur.com/TmW3Pro.jpg
I always liked Killjoy from reading through Cyberforce for the Top Cow talent contest. So, since I had this line art lying around in a folder, I figured I'd give it a shot. I got some coaching along the way on the colors from Dylan Hicks, giving me ideas on directions to take it/ways to balance it out. Overall, I was fairly pleased with the improvement from that first attempt, but it was still a haphazard process, and there were still parts I didn't like, areas where I worked the image too much.

May 15, 2016
http://imgur.com/vHj8Ezq.jpg
Nothing major, just a warmup doodle while in a Skype conversation. This is the Zubat's counterpart from earlier. From the same Keijimatsu line art. I tried to be conscious of keeping a sort of... common ground amongst the colors in this one.

May 22, 2016
http://imgur.com/UCMJbhF.jpg
Another Pokemon warmup, this time using official line art sourced by DeviantArt's Lily-Gerbil. I picked this one for the slightly different lightning source, and am really happy with how it came out. Simple, but vibrant. That's what I want in my style. After this, started on a larger Pokemon project I had found...

May 23, 2016
http://imgur.com/mgMHLlA.jpg
I decided I wanted to try something more complicated again, and I wanted a new Twitter avatar (I always use Devil Dinosaur, but Tyrantrum is another red t-rex, so I figured it was close enough). It took about 4-hours all total to flat and color. There are places I worked it too much, tiny details I don't like, but mostly I'm pleased with it. That is, most likely, thanks to how incredible TheLaughingChimera's line art is (sourced from DA). Lightning and shadows on more complicated projects is obviously something I still need to improve on, and I don't much like the background I used for this. (My favorite version I toyed with is almost completely desaturated, and very dark, with a bright red background like the new Godzilla poster, but it doesn't really show anything about my coloring skills, so I didn't include it.)

Sully
05-27-2016, 01:38 PM
May 24, 2016
http://i.imgur.com/V8v9EeJ.jpg
Pokemon warmup, same as usual. Trying to get more texture into my shading on this one. Mixed results.

May 26, 2016
http://i.imgur.com/hBWrfLy.jpg
A pretty small image, but I liked the line art, and I like how the colors came out in it. Here's a link to the original: http://hendryzero.deviantart.com/art/megaman-zero-fanart-207640052.

Bishop
05-27-2016, 03:03 PM
My main bits of advice would be:
1. Allow for more contrast. Your cel shaded colors look better than the others, but your darks are not different enough from your mid/lights to register well resulting in a very flat looking image.
2. I always recommend not using dodge and burn for shadows and highlights. They have there uses in some areas, but you will be better served using a darker tone of the same color for your shadows than using the burn tool and vice versa for your highlights.

Sully
05-27-2016, 03:12 PM
Thanks for the feedback/advice!

Out of curiosity though, if I'm fading the colors in an area from one to another, how should I go about a shadow using a darker color vs. dodge/burn? Fades were the primary reason I had been using that tool, as I was using them quite a bit so far. I'm just very new and don't know most of these techniques.

Bishop
05-27-2016, 03:26 PM
You can get that effect by using the gradient tool or the airbrush with a low opacity making multiple passes.

Transparency notice: There are far better colorists here than me, but I have done a good bit of this in the past. So, there may be much better tips coming if any of those guys are paying attention.

A quick youtube search got me this:
-kYrPEQTCVs

Sully
05-27-2016, 03:39 PM
The gradient is what I normally use a lot of. It's usually flats > select and fill with gradients > touch up with dodge/burn if there are any hard edges.

If I'm using a strict color for shadows, maybe I could just use the blend tool to smooth the transition? This is what I did with the Cubone (green, skull-head) and a bit with the Charmander (orange, tail is on fire) But I was iffy on the results. They either felt like too little or too much.

I can play around with what the video suggests too, selecting an area and adjusting its brightness/sat.

Bishop
05-27-2016, 03:56 PM
The gradient is what I normally use a lot of. It's usually flats > select and fill with gradients > touch up with dodge/burn if there are any hard edges.

If I'm using a strict color for shadows, maybe I could just use the blend tool to smooth the transition? This is what I did with the Cubone (green, skull-head) and a bit with the Charmander (orange, tail is on fire) But I was iffy on the results. They either felt like too little or too much.

I can play around with what the video suggests too, selecting an area and adjusting its brightness/sat.

You don't need to use the blend tool. Use the airbrush with a soft edge and low opacity. With practice you can get a nice result.

Sully
05-27-2016, 04:07 PM
Much appreciated!

I'll apply it in today's warmup and post it here when it's done.

Tomas M91
05-28-2016, 04:00 AM
Definitely do not use the dodge/burn tool. Always use color theory to make the shadows better. For instance, on the charmander picture, if you use a darker, maroon color for the shadows it'll look much better. CHeck out https://www.youtube.com/user/kmrussell24/videos for a lot of helpful advice

Sully
05-29-2016, 02:56 PM
But my question was, should I use it for the whole image? I already faded him from a brighter orange to a more maroon one. Should I use the same shadow for all those colors? And if not, how do I transition the shadows?

Those videos look like a great resource though. Thanks!

Sully
06-01-2016, 10:18 AM
May 31, 2016
WIP
http://i.imgur.com/UbtU5mI.png
Okay! I tried to really listen to what everyone was saying! :D No more dodge/burn. More thought into each color I picked based on theory. Cool shadows, warm highlights. Am I on the right track, or is it back to the drawing board again? I still have to work on the background today (I'm not so great at those). And I need to touch up some of the green where the shadows get wonky.

Bishop
06-01-2016, 11:23 AM
That's a lot better! I'd suggest changing the background color to something that contrasts more with your color scheme, and the image will really pop!

Sully
06-01-2016, 11:36 AM
Hmm. If I do that, should I redo all the highlights too? The idea was that it was a yellow/orange light source saturating the image, and that might be why it is popping less. I did all the highlights as a median between the primary color, and the background.

I'll tinker with it!~ Any suggestions on a contrasting color? I was struggling a bit since it already had red, blue, and green.

Bishop
06-01-2016, 11:41 AM
Hmm. If I do that, should I redo all the highlights too? The idea was that it was a yellow/orange light source saturating the image, and that might be why it is popping less. I did all the highlights as a median between the primary color, and the background.

I'll tinker with it!~ Any suggestions on a contrasting color? I was struggling a bit since it already had red, blue, and green.

No need to redo the highlights. You could have a background that contrasts more by just adding a more saturated/vibrant color. An orange background may look pretty good. I think black would look nice as well, but you would need to hint at the webbing by changing the line color to white/blue/grey/etc.

Sully
06-01-2016, 12:01 PM
No need to redo the highlights. You could have a background that contrasts more by just adding a more saturated/vibrant color. An orange background may look pretty good. I think black would look nice as well, but you would need to hint at the webbing by changing the line color to white/blue/grey/etc.

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll play with saturating it more/making it fade darker. I had intended for it to get much darker around the Lizard himself anyways, and to lighten the webs back up again closer to white/the highlight color.

EDIT: Btw thanks for the tips on the airbrush. I had generally disliked it before, but never tried turning the settings so low. It gives some nice effects now.

Bishop
06-01-2016, 01:54 PM
EDIT: Btw thanks for the tips on the airbrush. I had generally disliked it before, but never tried turning the settings so low. It gives some nice effects now.

:thumbs:

Sully
06-01-2016, 09:39 PM
June 01, 2016
(Complete)
http://i.imgur.com/4iC1uLv.png
Tried several different colors and intensities for the background, but I feel like this one drew my eye immediately to the scales. Close second was a green background that made the costume pop instead. Original art by Bachalo and Townsend.

Bishop
06-01-2016, 11:47 PM
Very nice! My only concern would that you are losing the costume in the ground in that background. Play with it until you're happy, but it definitely is the best piece you've done yet by far, imo!

Sully
06-02-2016, 12:50 AM
Yeah I was worried about that but after playing with it a while it felt like either the costume or the scales were going to get lost. I'm looking forward to trying another picture.

Edit: thoughts on the "glow" around his hands? I've gotten mixed feedback on it. The negative space was already there but should I have chosen to highlight it?

Bishop
06-02-2016, 08:26 AM
Personally, I would not have highlighted it. I would have let the bg color come through there.

One other item you may want to look at on this one is the costume on the ground is a different color than the costume on the Lizard, and neither is the color that we typically see for Spidey's suit. On the ground it is an orange color and on the Lizard it is a purple/fuchsia color.

Sully
06-02-2016, 09:41 AM
It ended up that rose sort of color because I was trying to balance it against the green but...

I honestly thought those bits on the ground were just webbing. Woops.

Sully
06-07-2016, 10:37 AM
June 04, 2016
http://i.imgur.com/Lbc8e9z.jpg
Nothing special. Had company over for days playing SSB4 and just wanted to color something simple from Mignola since he was all over the news.


June 07, 2016
http://i.imgur.com/h624XTz.png
For this, I just wanted to try out some more "normal" colors to see how I could do with them. I don't think it came out bad, persay, but I'm not exactly wowed by it. Being normal is vastly overrated. I began this at one in the morning when I couldn't sleep. Finished just in time to go to work. Also, in the original, she had super shiny Psylocke style hair, and no matter how many ways I colored it I hated how it looked. So I made it all black. All of it.

Sully
07-06-2016, 04:13 AM
Hey everyone! Long time no post. I had decided to focus on writing more and keep coloring as the therapeutic avenue. Mostly because I tried coloring a few comic pages and failed MISERABLY. And that hurt my self esteem. Then I tried coloring a thing for fun and failed miserably.

Then I decided, screw it, I'm just gonna color a psychedelic Mignola skeleton.

http://i.imgur.com/hOKuVTg.png