Help me with colors?

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Cyra
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Help me with colors?

#1 Post by Cyra » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:23 am

I'm still pretty new to using SAI, so I was hoping for some possible tips on coloring line art.
I have an example of something I've colored recently for easy reference.

line art© AlieTheKitsune of DeviantART
Colored by: Me.

Here's the original line art:
Image


In the second image (WIP), I've:
- placed the wolf on a white backdrop
- colored the nose
- colored the eyes & added white spots
- colored the inner ear
- colored the tongue

Image


The fully colored image came out like this:

Image

The problem is, I'm not really sure what to do when I've gotten that far.

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Re: Help me with colors?

#2 Post by Alera » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:46 am

First- I don't think you should smudge and draw over the lines like that. It could be a nice effect, but- not like that. To avoid that-you should set your layer options to 'Mutiply' (the layer with the lineart I mean) and then- create a new layer and put it beneath and colour on it. An advice I would give you is- to make one more layer under everything else and just colour it in some colour, better dark and dull or 'killed'- as I like to call them. Colour the whole area. Why do that? To get more contrast. Contrast is especially important in art and from the example you've shown- you lack that. A different background colour than white can help you a lot with that. And of course later- you can remove and leave it be white again! The trick is just something our brain does on it's own. You can check this and see for yourself that it makes a great difference:

Image

After you have done that, use new layers, each colour on a separate one and place them between the one with the lineart and the one with the background colour. Like a sandwich!
Image

This should help you to begin. For the rest- look for some shading tutorials. :3
Last edited by Alera on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help me with colors?

#3 Post by Cyra » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:30 pm

Ah, alright. Here's my try.

This time I started with:
Image

Then I added a red backdrop and a shadow below the image in a layer to try to begin the contrast a bit.
Image

Next, I colored it solidly with a light brown.
Image

And I finished it with a bit of white and soft gray airbrushing.
Image

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Re: Help me with colors?

#4 Post by KuroSushi » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:04 pm

After the base color (solid color) you could try In other layer add a gradient. With Pen tool add all the basic shades (just areas, nothing defined), then with the Water tool (density:100; Blending:100; Dilution:100; Presistence:11) blend it as you like.

Then in other layer, with a darker color, add the main shade with Airbrush (as you already). In other layer, with Pen tool, with a darker color than the last add shades where it supposed to be more dark and if you want, blending it a little with Water.

I know I'm not the best at writing tutorials, besides english isn't my native language. Anyway... I think this should be a good way to start.

Remember that there's no best reference to shades than reality. Analyze the shades of an object, specially when it is blended or defined.

Last thing: Do you use pen tablet or mouse?
Last edited by KuroSushi on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help me with colors?

#5 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:14 pm

You need to set your lineart to mulitply over your colours so the lineart is not coloured in as well. With multiply, white is transparent and the colours become more and more opaque as they reach black. So if you set your lineart, the white will be see through and the black will remain the smae. That way you can colour undernearth safetly. (At least, I assume this happens in Sai. It may not)

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Re: Help me with colors?

#6 Post by KuroSushi » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:34 pm

Auro-Cyanide wrote:You need to set your lineart to mulitply over your colours so the lineart is not coloured in as well. With multiply, white is transparent and the colours become more and more opaque as they reach black. So if you set your lineart, the white will be see through and the black will remain the smae. That way you can colour undernearth safetly. (At least, I assume this happens in Sai. It may not)
Actually that doesn't happen in SAI. The lineart is the only layer that shouldn't be multiply. Quite differents between programs lol

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Re: Help me with colors?

#7 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:43 pm

KuroSushi wrote:
Auro-Cyanide wrote:You need to set your lineart to mulitply over your colours so the lineart is not coloured in as well. With multiply, white is transparent and the colours become more and more opaque as they reach black. So if you set your lineart, the white will be see through and the black will remain the smae. That way you can colour undernearth safetly. (At least, I assume this happens in Sai. It may not)
Actually that doesn't happen in SAI. The lineart is the only layer that shouldn't be multiply. Quite differents between programs lol
So would this mean the character would always have to have a white base? Say, incase you wanted to add a background? Because I assume the colours would be affected by a background colour. At least I hope it does, otherwise I'm going to wonder why they called the layer multiply :D (I don't have much experience with Sai, and I usually inked stuff myself digitally XP)

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Re: Help me with colors?

#8 Post by KuroSushi » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:56 pm

Auro-Cyanide wrote:
KuroSushi wrote:
Auro-Cyanide wrote:You need to set your lineart to mulitply over your colours so the lineart is not coloured in as well. With multiply, white is transparent and the colours become more and more opaque as they reach black. So if you set your lineart, the white will be see through and the black will remain the smae. That way you can colour undernearth safetly. (At least, I assume this happens in Sai. It may not)
Actually that doesn't happen in SAI. The lineart is the only layer that shouldn't be multiply. Quite differents between programs lol
So would this mean the character would always have to have a white base? Say, incase you wanted to add a background? Because I assume the colours would be affected by a background colour. At least I hope it does, otherwise I'm going to wonder why they called the layer multiply :D (I don't have much experience with Sai, and I usually inked stuff myself digitally XP)
This is just in case that there's is a background ("backrounded linearts"?). But if the lineart doesn't have a background (transparent) all layers go normal. The background color only affect when you use some kind of brushes in SAI, as literally brush or marker (mainly because it's own opacity), (this is rather effective when you want to have some ambient colors and stuff since the begining). But if just Pen or Ink the bg color doesn't affect at all. I'm kinda confused now with the concept of Multiply Layer D: BTW, what programm do you use?

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Re: Help me with colors?

#9 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:05 am

KuroSushi wrote:This is just in case that there's is a background ("backrounded linearts"?). But if the lineart doesn't have a background (transparent) all layers go normal. The background color only affect when you use some kind of brushes in SAI, as literally brush or marker (mainly because it's own opacity), (this is rather effective when you want to have some ambient colors and stuff since the begining). But if just Pen or Ink the bg color doesn't affect at all. I'm kinda confused now with the concept of Multiply Layer D: BTW, what programm do you use?
...Wow, that sounds confusing! It might be just because I'm not familar with it. I think. XD I suppose it might be something you have to experiment with to get what you want. There is never really only one way to do something. I use Photoshop CS5, so it's what I am most familar with. Thus the multiply confusion.

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Re: Help me with colors?

#10 Post by Watercolorheart » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:43 am

KuroSushi: Actually that doesn't happen in SAI. The lineart is the only layer that shouldn't be multiply. Quite differents between programs lol
Wait, what? I'm new to it but I use SAI for my lineart and coloring lately, but does putting your lineart on the bottom with colors set to Multiply actually work? It sounds like it would muddy your colors like crazy.

Part of SAI's strength was that wonderful digital Blending option. I always have it on top and set to Multiply. The only time I ever put it on the bottom is when I have a half-assed sketch I'm about to obliterate the lines on with full overpainting using the pen tool and various brushes.

Multiply works exactly the same way as Photoshop so I have no idea what is meant by this.

Unless I'm super missing something here...

Also, to the OP, you need to lay down flat colors first. Even if it's white, bring up some tan, grey and blue into that ... seriously.
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Re: Help me with colors?

#11 Post by Alera » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:16 am

Multiply is just a function that works the same everywhere. Doesn't matter if it's SAI or PS. Sorry, @KuroSushi- but yes, you are wrong and I disagree with what you say. Having your colours on multiply can mess with a lot of stuff. It's not a good technique in my opinion. It's best as I said in my first post I think and as the others too- lineart on top=multiply, and everything else- below. @Auro-Cyanide has a great point here about the backgrounds.
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Games:
❤️ Zayay [Otome?][BxPlayer][NaNo 2013]
❤️ Tortichki [Drag&Drop mini game]

Other games I've worked on:
My Heart's Flame Emissary of Starlight Freedom From Silence Sickness
And many more unannounced/secret projects. (. .)

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Re: Help me with colors?

#12 Post by Cyra » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:30 am

KuroSushi wrote:Hmm when you want to coloring linearts with background in SAI (white, in this case) you have to put the lineart below all the layers, and layers in wich you are going to put the color, set it to Multiply. I think this is the reason why airbrush looks kinda odd on the lines.

And about the coloring:
After the base color (solid color) you could try In other layer add a gradient. With Pen tool add all the basic shades (just areas, nothing defined), then with the Water tool (density:100; Blending:100; Dilution:100; Presistence:11) blend it as you like.

Then in other layer, with a darker color, add the main shade with Airbrush (as you already). In other layer, with Pen tool, with a darker color than the last add shades where it supposed to be more dark and if you want, blending it a little with Water.

I know I'm not the best at writing tutorials, besides english isn't my native language. Anyway... I think this should be a good way to start.

Remember that there's no best reference to shades than reality. Analyze the shades of an object, specially when it is blended or defined.

Last thing: Do you use pen tablet or mouse?
Thank you for all the tips, I'll try this out soon and post the result later on.

Just to make sure I understand..
First, I fill in in the line art with all of the base colors in one of the multiplied layers, before working with the gradients and blends in other layers?
Basically, I use layers to help the colors mesh more smoothly when combined?
Sort of like one would with a paper doll?

Also, I used a mouse, as I do not have a tablet yet.
Deviantart: Wing-Song

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Re: Help me with colors?

#13 Post by KuroSushi » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:33 am

Actually it works in both ways. Lineart multiply above and lineart at bottom with color layers multiply. And yes, first is more easy. Definetly I shouldn't be explaining thing when I'm sleepy, last time I do it ._. I'll edit the post to not make Cyra confuses.

Edit: oops you already read it. I had a confusion, sorry :(
So the right way to do it is put the lineart above all the other layers and set it to multiply. After that you can begin to make the gradient and other stuff.

Also I missed something. We want to add shades and lights in the area where only is the base color, right? to do it put the shading/highlights layers above the base and set it to "Clipping group".

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