Coloring, Shading, and Effects in Photoshop- part 1

A lot of beginner Photoshoppers have a tough time figuring out how to color their artwork. This is one method (out of many) for coloring that I employ.

I draw my lineart traditionally, and scan it in using my 3-in-1 printer. Freshly scanned in, and you can see the mistakes and plenty of other stuff I don’t want to have!

Picture of Cleaning It Up!
Picture of Cleaning It Up!

To get rid of weird discoloration from the scanner, or ghost images of previous drawings like in my scan, go to Image -> levels. I use the eyedropper tool (located to the right of the graph), to pick my black and white colors. You can play around with how much you want your levels to change, depending on how good your scan is. For example, I push my lead extremely hard, so my lines are dark and anything I erase is usually still visible. So, my levels are often extremely edited, like you can see in the second image. Typically, I move my white slider to the bottom of the right hill, and my black slider right far enough to ensure my lines are indeed black.

Step 2: Getting Rid of Ghosts and Bad Lines

Picture of Getting Rid of Ghosts and Bad Lines
Picture of Getting Rid of Ghosts and Bad Lines

Even though Levels has gotten rid of most of the discoloration, there’s usually a few lines and “ghost images” still visible. To fix this, I use the Brush tool and, if you have one, a tablet. I use a Wacom Intous, which are pretty cheap and not fancy at all. As a left-handed artist, its easier to use the brush tool with my left hand pen then a right-hand mouse. The brush tool is a default from the top row, with the hardness set to 0%. You can mess around with the hardness to what you prefer. The brush mode is Dissolve (located right of the Brush Box), which helps simulate a pencil texture. I vary between using Opacity or Size pen pressure, which are located in the top bar (the circle with a pen touching it).

***Ignore my counting system, the Instructables Steps and the steps inside the images may differ, as I’m also uploading these instructions to another site.

Step 3: Coloring

Picture of Coloring
Picture of Coloring

Having a new layer set to Multiply means the black lineart will stay black, and you can color “on top” of the black without having to worry about being exact.

***Ignore my counting system, the Instructables Steps and the steps inside the images may differ, as I’m also uploading these instructions to another site.

Step 4: Shading

Picture of Shading
Picture of Shading

Multiply is great for maintaining the colors of the Color Layer underneath. Without having to switch to different colors, your gray color will automatically act as a darker color of whatever is underneath. I shade in a hard-edge style, but if you’d like to blend the colors, just use a different hardness on your brush and use opacity pen pressures.

***Ignore my counting system, the Instructables Steps and the steps inside the images may differ, as I’m also uploading these instructions to another site.

next to part 2