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Working With Color

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  • Working With Color

    So I've been messing with colors again. I'm still slow. I still color with a mouse (I'll get a tablet someday). I know I still need work. Let me know what you guys think of these. Did I use colors well? What would you do different?

    And the original inks:

    Looking forward to your crits and comments.
    Cheers, Alex

  • #2
    The first piece looks good, but flesh is really hard to get right (I struggle every time). I noticed that the last piece has both his right arm and leg forward at the same time, is he running or jumping?
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    • #3
      Jumping. He's also heavily tilted toward the leg forward side, so the forward/back arm/leg thing doesn't need apply here. I'm not too concerned about the drawings though - this is more about the colors.
      Cheers, Alex


      • #4
        Here's one more:
        Cheers, Alex


        • #5
          you made some really nice choices with the colours and tones of that first piece! the others are great as well but that first piece looks like a panel from a professional comic page where as the rest look like colouring samples if that makes sense? on the jumping guy i feel like the orange of the costume doesn't mix well with the skin colour, it doesn't really pop maybe make it more like the orange of the bent leg?

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          • #6
            Hey, very cool work so far especially if your still using a mouse!
            Here are my 2 cents;

            A. Looking plastic - (the pink girl is the best example for that)
            1. Try avoiding using those white highlights on everything from the cape to her skin.
            2. Try using different textures/textured filters to create an illusion of different surfaces; skin, cloth...etc.

            B. Colors that "leak" from surface to surface (the first girl is the best example here).
            1. The light blue that appears on the white parts of her costume creates a blurring effect between the white and the darker blue parts.
            2. Using this light blue as a "shadow" isn't working simply because the shadow created on a white surface isn't light blue (especially not with that "sky" background).

            C. Colors distribution (again the first girl pic as an example)
            It is really hard to tell, what is the real color of her costume and what is the lighting in the picture. (dark blue/light blue/pink?)
            For instance, the pink highlight that lights her breasts would also light her left side in pink and not in light blue.

            D. Colors and light (the guy with the cloak)
            His left (our right) leg is darker than his right leg and arm - that is impossible if the light is coming form his right.
            As you do with black and white drawing - establish a light source/s and follow it throughout the coloring process.

            E. General notes;
            1. Try to avoid using the same color schemes (especially pink/purple ones) experiment more with different light and color variations.
            2. Build a color/light folder where you collect photos/paintings/drawing using various different color/light schemes.

            Anyways, hope i helped a lil.

            Last edited by Fallenangel; 04-02-2013, 08:35 PM. Reason: grammar issues...bleh

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            • #7
              i must spread some reputation around before giving it to fallenangel! nice, helpful and constructive crits!


              @barcswow on twitter and instagram


              • #8
                If you decide to invest in a tablet, Ray Frendon has an excellent write up on this tablet. Supposedly, it preforms better than a Wacom, and it's only $66. Learning to draw line art with a tablet takes some getting used to, but coloring line art with one takes pretty much zero getting used to and dramatically increases your speed. If you are looking to do more digital coloring, you are doing yourself a disservice to continue with a mouse.

                Couple of things I would add to Fallen's excellent points.

                Drawing 1. I would try and avoid filters in general and use textured brushes instead while you are starting out. Anything that looks like it's computer generated usually doesn't look good, and it takes a lot of finesse to give filter effects a human touch. Even gradients and soft brushes should look like you airbrushed it. So when you do gradients, try and avoid banding. I think you can achieve a different texture for the costume without textures though, A harder edge on the shadows and some specular highlights can give it a spandex look. Definitely lose the white halo. The blue of the costume is being lost in the blue of the background. Use complimentary colors to make it pop.

                Drawing 2. Black to white gradients generally don't exist in nature. Solid black, or a black to desaturated deep blue or purple would work better here. Also, the gradient is going through the ground plane which is making the figure look very floaty.

                Drawing 3. Again, orange and blue costume, orange and blue background. It's also a dramatic shift from blue to yellow that is usually only seen in a particular sunset, and draws a lot of attention. The background shouldn't be more eye-catching than the foreground, so try to keep the colors more muted unless you are intentionally masking the character.

                Drawing 4. I like the pink and purple with yellow highlights in the hair. It gives it an 80's vibe. The background is another miss for me though. The banded gradients don't continue below the character, and the purple clashes with the costume. Don't always use white to make highlights. In this case, it should be a more warmish and lighter version of the pink. The highlights on the indigo of her cape are unnecessary and in the wrong places. Use a harder edge for cast shadows and specular highlights, and a softer edge for form shadows.

                Last, but not least, is that bandwidth is no longer at a premium, so when you save for the web, use 80% or higher jpg quality or better yet, save as a png. The jpeg artifacts on your stuff are pretty distracting.

                It would be worth your time to search for some coloring video tutorials on youtube. They'll help you get the technical stuff down, so you can spend more time working on color choices and achieving the look you like.
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                • #9
                  Another valuable thread!! So many great advice!
                  I want to have a rating system to give this thread 5 stars!!!
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pete Tha Creep View Post
                    I want to have a rating system to give this thread 5 stars!!!
                    lol....just look at the top of the thread and you'd find "rate this thread" button

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