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juuhanna's avatar

TUTORIAL 2: Adding Colors

EDIT! HEY ALL! Since I posted this tutorial, I have changed by technique a bit! I have realized that it's better to use SOFT LIGHT-layer style for the color-layers instead of overlay! Overlay can be too strong and garish, using soft light layers and making many of those can give a much softer result! Sorry for the inconvenience, I'll be making a new tutorial sometime that explains the soft light layers!

Here's tutorial 2/3!
I hope I was able to explain how I add the colors. And if you need clarification on some part, don't hesitate to ask!

I will try to finish part 3 soon, where I will show how I start to actually paint over this base I've created.

I used Photoshop CS4 with Wacom Intuos3 for this.

The brush is Photoshop's standard hard round brush.

The lineart was provided by MeganeRid, go see his gallery for awesome drawings!

TUTORIAL part 1: TUTORIAL 1: Building the Form by juuhanna
TUTORIAL part 3: TUTORIAL 3: Overpainting and Finishing by juuhanna


FINISHED IMAGE: Female Warrior Fate by juuhanna
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© 2012 - 2022 juuhanna
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CaimRyo's avatar
Ah, Thanks for this tutorial, this help me quit well! :>
juuhanna's avatar
That's wonderful to hear! :hug: 
HentaiProtagonist's avatar
i'm not even on your level XD

It looks fantastic! Great job!
juuhanna's avatar
Thank you very much! :)
BloodMet4l's avatar
Thank you sooooooooo much!
: )
juuhanna's avatar
DEIIDI's avatar
Thanks, your work is amazing.
juuhanna's avatar
No problem, and thanks! :D
En-Seta's avatar
There's one thing that bothers me about painting in grey-scale first. I've been told by MANY artists to never shade with black, and instead, use different hues and saturations along with darkening. But this method uses only grey scale to lighten and darken, so how do you keep the painting from looking bland and de-saturated?
juuhanna's avatar
Well, if you use pure black or pure white in the greyscale, those areas won't pick up any color from the transparent color-layers later on, and in worst case will look 'lifeless'.

Pure b&w can be used intentionally of course, but when it is used by accident it doesn't do the piece any favors most of the time. So they're not totally forbidden, they just should be used intentionally so that they support the piece as a whole.

I leave the greyscale layer on normal setting to the bottom and lay the colors on top of the greyscale, so all areas pick up some color. If some area looks too dull after the first color-layer, it's easy to create more soft light layers on top of the whole thing and add some more colors to whatever areas might need it. These days I have up to 10 color-layers, so I build up the color-scheme gradually.
7guineapig7's avatar
thx for this great tutorial, just one question: where can i get the color swatches you use?
juuhanna's avatar
Thanks! I got the swatch from CGHub, you can download it here ->
7guineapig7's avatar
Narzik's avatar
I don't remember if I already commented on this, but figured I should if I didn't. This was really helpful - thanks so much!! Even though I only use Gimp, the method worked just fine either way. Made this using its help: Even though I am a million year late - thanks again! :D
juuhanna's avatar
That's awesome to hear, thanks for letting me know - and good job with the painting! Also it's good to hear that the technique can be used in Gimp also. :nod:

ephemeryl's avatar
Really helpful and thorough tutorial, thanks so much!
juuhanna's avatar
Not a problem, I'm glad to be helpful! :hug:
djwagLmuffin's avatar
I have a dumb question but...well, sort of question.

When *I* do this, my hard fought-over shading washes out after I put the overlay layer with the colors. How do you maintain the shading? How do you make the colors so vibrant?

This is the only obstacle keeping me from doing this technique permanently.

Thanks for your help in advance! ^^
juuhanna's avatar
As I build the color-layers I use a lower opacity brush; if you use 100% opacity brush it'll wash out the greyscale. Also, I've started to use more and more layers that are set on soft light instead of overlay. 
Also you can try to adjust the greyscale layer a bit darker with curves-tool to make the contrast show better under the color-layers. :) I hope some of those tricks help?
djwagLmuffin's avatar
I'll have to try this. I've been desperately trying to improve my coloring and I just...can't seem to get it. :( Thank you for your response.
juuhanna's avatar
If you want to, you can stop by at my livestream someday and I can show you how I do it :)
djwagLmuffin's avatar
When I get reliable internet I'll certainly take you up on that if you're willing. I'm striving hard to imrpove my artwork so any help is greatly appeciated. :D
juuhanna's avatar
Awesome, my LS is , stop by anytime! I don't have any recordings yet but I try to stream as often as possible. :)
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