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24 April 2010 @ 12:48 pm
Tutorial No. 03, Part II, Section II: Coloring  
Here's the continuation of the second part of this tutorial. Commenting is enabled here, since the end of this section can be seen as the end of a tutorial; however, the background section will be coming up in the near future. The images are all ready, but uploading them and writing out directions takes a lot of time.

Thank you for reading this far!

The Middle Stretch: Hair

We left off after finishing Alpha's face, as seen here.

At this point, I'd like to make a note about how much time I normally spend on coloring scans. When I first started out, I exclusively used 100x100 bases made by jlarinda, which could be finished in less than thirty minutes. Now that I'm using full-sized scans, it can take me up to three hours to finish one image--stretched out over a few days, of course, since I don't often have the luxury of three completely free hours. Actual digital artwork, from drawing the lineart to putting the finishing touches on the colors, can be stretched over months, as some poor members of my f-list have found out. (On that note, I apologize to you all again. You know who you are!)

When working on one image for long clips of time, I enjoy listening to music. This is more than a little important: the kind of music you listen to, its tempo and genre, can have a significant effect on your painting. For gentle, slow-moving series like Yokohama Kaidaishi Kikou, I like to listen to the vocal stylings of Kinzo Ushiromiya.

Just kidding. That's not even Kinzo, but it would be awesome if it was.

For this piece, I repeatedly listened to the Another Code soundtrack, as well as some of Maaya Sakamoto's songs.

That aside, let's begin painting the hair. Remember the palette we laid out for it? We'll start blocking in the hair on a new Multiply layer with one of the middle tones, a teal color. Remember to stay within the lines, utilizing a fade effect near the ends of the stray hairs.

Feel free to paint smoothly along those stray hairs that are just black lines, like so.

Once we've painted in the hair, we'll lock the layer's opacity, but first we'll do something to ensure that the color is smooth. Since we're using the same Hard Round brush set to Size and Opacity, it's possible that the color will be "thinner" in some areas; while this might not be evident at first, it will definitely show up with a vengeance when we start laying down shadows and highlights.

First duplicate the hair's Multiply layer (Layer > Duplicate Layer) and set the duplicate layer's mode to Normal. We can now get a better idea of what areas are more opaque than others.

Paint over the thinner areas, while remembering to stay within the lines, then merge the duplicate layer with the hair's Multiply Layer (Layer > Merge Down).

Now we'll lock the hair layer's opacity and get started on painting those parts of the hair that are being hit with light. Note that we aren't using the brightest green yet!

We're going to be laying that down on top of the duller green. I personally prefer laying down base tones, then gradually working my way to the darkest shadows and brightest highlights; it's worth noting, however, that some digital artists lay down their darkest tones first and work their way up from there.

With that said, let's add some shadows using one of the navy blues on the palette.

Now that the basic colors are all down, we can head back to the Screen layer and start painting in the lineart using the same technique we used for the face. Choose colors that aren't too washed out, but help the lineart blend in with the Multiply layers. (Please note that the hair does not get its own Screen layer! That will just wash out the original Screen layer even more.)

Some more work on the Screen layer. Note how some areas don't line up with the Multiply layer--we need to go back and fix those.

I often use very light colors for the Screen layer near the tips of the hair--it makes it look more natural.

As you've likely guessed, this isn't a strict or regulated procedure. I often go back and forth between the Multiply and Screen layers, fixing the lineart here, adding more highlights there, etc.

Once the lineart and colors for the hair are finished, we can go back to the Highlight layer on top of all the others and paint in some stray strands. We can also use this as an opportunity to fix areas where the Screen and Multiply layers didn't blend well.

And we're done! Here's the whole image thus far.

The Middle Stretch Stretches On: Clothing

We'll begin by opening up that duplicate image we made at the very beginning. You didn't delete it, right? (Granted, since this scan came from one of those "read online" websites, we can always look the original up, but that's just annoying.) Make a new Multiply layer and paint in the first shadows of the coat, using the original lineart as a reference. I often try out new modes of shading for the fun of it, but Ashinano's is so well done, it seems a shame to leave it out entirely.

Remember that shadows aren't just blocks of darker colors. Here we paint in a lighter, brighter blue where the coat's shadow isn't so deep.

And, as per the palette we made, we use a dull purple for the darker shadows.

The procedure from here should be clear. For clothing, I tend to make the shadows sharp before blending them using the Eyedropper method.

Do feel free to add in folds that weren't indicated by the lineart!

Note how, in shading the underside of the "cape," we're indicating light shining through. This would change depending on the thickness of the material; since Alpha's world is in a near-perpetual summer, I imagine her coat is made out of a thin cotton or synthetic cloth, rather than wool.

The procedure for the rest of the coat is more or less the same. Here are some progression shots.

Note the added pink in the last shot!

We'll now move on to screening the lines for the coat, in the same manner as for the face and hair. The coat doesn't get its own Screen layer, either.

It doesn't look so good, does it? We've already demonstrated that one has to use different colors for lines in different areas, but that's much more important here. We'll use purple for the shaded areas and near-white for the brightest ones. (Note how, in the second image, I added some lighter blue in the back-lit areas of the coat, around Alpha's shoulders and neck.)

We're almost there! We just need to paint in Alpha's hair bow, hat, and earring. Make a new Multiply layer for the bow and earring.

Note that this purple/pink/orange color scheme would look horrible on its own, but here complements the teal and green tones of Alpha's hair.

The earring is shaded on the Multiply layer and highlighted on the top layer.

The procedure for the hat is exactly the same; you can either make a new Multiply layer or color it on the same layer as the coat.

And so, we've finally finished the Coloring segment of the tutorial! Here's our finished product.

We'll paint in a background and finalize the image in the upcoming section. I apologize for the wait!

Noir: Yamamoto - smilela_vie_noire on April 24th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
thank you so much! Most awesome tutorial ever.
outou on April 24th, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! Thank you for featuring it in your journal--I appreciate it. :')
[Miorgianna the Ravenclaw]: feeling surprisedmior_ravie on April 24th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
....Effin sweet.

outou on April 24th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
/plays piano chord

Thank you!
Джу-чан: Bayonetta 【spring pfff~】ju_jei on April 24th, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for these tutorials! Your coloring is really great :D And I like the way you write your tutorials, it`s very easy to understand.
outou on April 25th, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I tried my best to make it clear and well-illustrated, since a lot of tutorials I've used in the past skip a lot of steps or don't explain enough.
(Deleted comment)
outou on April 25th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC)
Anybody can be good at this. :D I'm glad you liked the tutorial!
daylighter.: who i never thought i was.akihito on April 24th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
This tutorial is one of the prettiest and thorough that I've seen. Thank you!
outou on April 25th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
I personally don't think you need any tutorials at this point, but thank you!
aentee: sawako - teary sparkleaentee on April 24th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
An amazing tutorial in everyway *g* I've never really been interested in manga colouring but you make me want to try it out! +mem
outou on April 25th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC)
Definitely try it out when you have the time! It's an enjoyable hobby, and it can help develop painting skills for actual digital artwork.
Laury: ILUlaury_kos on April 24th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
8D thx!
can't wait to try it out!!! (though I use PS cS2 and a mouse in my hand TT-TT)
Thank you sooooo much!!!! *tackles*
outou on April 25th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Re: 8D thx!

It's definitely possible to do this with a mouse, but it's just going to take a lot longer. I actually started coloring icons with a mouse, but all of my old attempts are gone due to some computer formatting. ):
Re: 8D thx! - laury_kos on April 30th, 2010 08:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 8D thx! - outou on April 30th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
queen of procrastination: {pkmn} im feeling roughningicoco on April 24th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
This is pretty much the best tutorial ever. No seriously- it's so well thought out and put together, and its much easier to read than other tutorials. No need to apologize for the wait- it's definitely worth it.

outou on April 25th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I was worried that the images were too large for a tutorial, so it's good to hear that it's easy to read. :)
Cyan: Tamaki Haruhi Kisscool_spectrum on April 25th, 2010 03:39 am (UTC)
I will be going over this very slowly in my free time. Thank you so much for writing this up!
outou on April 25th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! I hope you enjoy it.
▸  h e r e t i c s: yumemi✭we shall build acastle in the skylavender88 on April 25th, 2010 04:54 am (UTC)
/quietly saves to memories
outou on April 25th, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
/passes over cake
chalp: [Fullmetal Alchemist] happychalp on April 25th, 2010 06:43 am (UTC)
This is beautiful! Thanks for the amazing tutorial ^^
outou on April 25th, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! Thank you.
...: my heart will go on and onherinia on April 25th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC)
...Just so you know I almost failed my exam last night because I was distracted by this while I was trying hard to focus and study. I was totally banging my head into the wall screaming "JUST WHY DID CLOW-NYAN HAVE TO POST SOMETHING THIS AWESOME AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR?!"

Joking (or maybe not-so-much) aside, I haven't gone over it in details yet while I'm still battling with my last two finals. I will write something more constructive after reading through it enough times so I can recite the whole thing in my heart! But for now, thank you for your effort in putting together such the bestest tutorial together ♥
outou on April 25th, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
<-------------- Official "Clow-Nyan" icon?
Well, I lost focus on the bibliographic essay I have to write on Russian and Soviet folklore while referring back to your own awesome tutorial. What do you have to say to that, hm? Hm?

That aside, thank you so much for looking at it. I doubt there's anything you can learn from it at this point, but if anything it can serve as something to turn to when you're burning your eyes out over textbooks. (Goodness knows we all need something to turn to during finals. I can't even get excited about going home!)
obviouslygeekyobviouslygeeky on April 26th, 2010 09:35 am (UTC)
Amazing tutorial so far! <3
outou on April 26th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
more organs means more human.: karneval ☆ happy naiphasera on April 26th, 2010 01:19 pm (UTC)
fabulous! it's easy to see the incredible amount of time you spent making this tutorial. :D thanks for your hard work, this is great. /mems
outou on April 26th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! I ended up making over 100 images for the whole thing, including the background section which hasn't been put up yet. D:
Mmairenn_k on April 26th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
Now that I finally have read through it all thoroughly, I can only agree with the other comments - you've done a truly impressive work with this tutorial. Not only is it detailed and easy to follow; the result turned out gorgeous too! Alpha~ ♥ The amounts of time and effort that you put into your work will never cease to amaze me, haha. Thank you so much!
outou on April 26th, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC)
You're welcome, and thank you for the compliment! I didn't think there was much here that you didn't know already, but I'm glad you got something out of it. Alpha is one of the few characters I can stare at for over an hour at a clip without going mad.