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How I Color My Illustrations by karniz How I Color My Illustrations by karniz
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How I Color My Illustrations
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Original Illustration: Secret of Mana: Heroes.
Nothing special. Just wanted to make a "How I Color My Illustrations" type of thing...

It's in NO way a tutorial, I am not giving out pointers or showing you HOW to work a program... It's only my methods. I am not unique enough to give out a proper tutorial - I'm sort of an experimentalist.

But yeah, sometimes I get "How did you DO this!?" type of questions in my comments... so I thought maybe to pepper in something like this into my gallery.

Hope you guys like it.

Art by Donna Brown. Character(s) from Secret of Mana/Square. All rights reserved.
Please do not copy, use [icons, avatars, etc.], reproduce, or redistribute the art for any reason other than personal use.
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:iconmelsr007:
melsr007 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Hobbyist
Nice!! :-)
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:iconindigirl-studios:
Indigirl-Studios Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazingggggg. Favorited so I can come back to it.
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:icontasha-the-great:
Tasha-the-Great Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is a great tutorial! Thanks so much for the helpful advice~~
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:icongoliad:
goliad Featured By Owner May 11, 2010  Student General Artist
Do you think this technique could be used on adobe photoshop?
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner May 11, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Possibly, I'm not a photoshop user, but the technique is pretty much standard on all major art programs that can handle layers. ^^
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:icongoliad:
goliad Featured By Owner May 11, 2010  Student General Artist
If its not much, could you take a look at my gallery and give me some advice?

sorry asking something like this but your art skills are incredibly amazing
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner May 12, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As I would love to be able to dish out advice, alas I lack the time to do so.
Deviantart has a TON of really good tutorials, either search groups for them or just in general.
And really, this is going to make me sound like a broken record, but practice is the best way to improve.
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:icongoliad:
goliad Featured By Owner May 12, 2010  Student General Artist
ok

thank you.


oh and by the way, you are awesome =P
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:icongoliad:
goliad Featured By Owner May 11, 2010  Student General Artist
because i use photoshop cs4 to add colors to my drawings, but i think im not good with the "style" of using lights and shadows.

do you think you can help me out?
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:iconquarter-virus:
Quarter-Virus Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009  Professional Filmographer
I love this tutorial, thank you very much for it! But I still can't grasp it. I've always had trouble with shadows and light sources, and I love this style of coloring you use, but I can never seem to get it right.
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a bunch!
But it's interesting, I've definitally been getting more and more comments about lighting and shading... maybe that'll be my next topic? Hehe. Keep tuned for it, I guess!~
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:iconquarter-virus:
Quarter-Virus Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009  Professional Filmographer
Oh I'd love that. I've been trying for years to get it right, look at other artists including lighting masters like Frank Frazetta, trying it out in life drawing, still lives, etc. etc. and NADA comes out of it. All my pieces look so flat compared to yours!
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Frank Frazetta is one amazing painter. There is still much to learn, trust me, I'm still working a ton to get it all down...
Hehe, and I took a gander at your gallery - and I think everything looks great! There is just a lack of true deep shadows to push the 3D shape and also a consistency.
I'm definitally going to do a coloring methods post sometime soon, once my schedule clears up a bit. ^^
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:iconquarter-virus:
Quarter-Virus Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2009  Professional Filmographer
The bastard did most of his oil paints in less than a day, too. He's insanely talented. I always look at his and others' work when looking for shadow references, I know my consistency is WAYYYY off, and my art teacher's been trying to push my "deeper shadows" thing, and I can never seem to get it. >> I hope to see that tutorial soon, as well as more art! I'm not usually a fan of the manga/anime genre, but I love the movement in your pieces, and of course the color. =P
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't consider myself a "manga/anime" artist, actually, since I wasn't influenced by anime or manga when I started to draw [video games alllll the way, ohohoho.] but I hate being pidgeonholded into that description especially since it's just a general way of describing the style... le-ugh.

But guess what's even neater? When I attended a comic school back in 2001 the "field trip" was going to F. Frazetta's house/work/museum? [It was only about an hour's drive from the school, and where I had lived. XD] Hehehe... it was reeeallllllly nice, I just wished I had brought enough to buy a bunch more prints. It was spectacular. ^^
On a rare occasion, too, he'd acually come out and paint something in front of the students. I wish he did when I went, GOD it would have been amazing!!!

And I took a deeper gander at yer gallery - god the stuff looks great already! But yes, dabble in this too - sometimes I will put the darkest tone on top of the final color layer [when I work in layers, I do this: bottom layer - flat colors, 2nd layer - general shading, 3rd layer - lineart, 4th layer - deepest tones, 5th - hilights] so the 4th layer lay down the darkest color on Multiply and just use white to go around and lighten up areas of interest. You can create deeper shadings without sacrificing the original shadow layers, and make corrections as you see fit!

Ugh, I guess I need to get my butt crankin? Hehe!
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:iconquarter-virus:
Quarter-Virus Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2009  Professional Filmographer
Oh my lord, say it isn't so, an artist these days who WASN'T influenced by anime/manga? I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil so my main influence was ... uh, my toys acting as models, I guess ... oh yeah, and probably Archie comics for my lame sense of humor, although I only started drawing people four or five years ago.

OH MAN, I want to go to that museum so bad! As of late I just got two of his books off Amazon for my birthday, which was awesome. Oh yeah, and I'm reading all the Conan stories because 1.) I loved the Age of Conan MMO and 2.) Frazetta's art pretty much defined those stories for me, hehehe. Frank is one of those people who's not allowed to die because he's just too damn awesome.

Generally I do: bottom layer - flat colors, 2nd layer - add the darker parts (usually becomes tons and tons of layers I then merge into each other), 3rd layer - add the lighter parts. In my latest Deviation I added some darker tones on top but not too much as usual ... and if I remember I'll add shiny bits over the line layer but I'm not so good at that.
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Is it that hard to believe? There's a lot of people like me I think, but in my opinion not enough! ehehhee. It's not that I dislike anime, but it's so mainstream now... ugh.
Exactly! I was influenced by the toys, comics, and games I played! I think partly too I come from an asian background, so I grew up famililar with the style, heh.

If you get a chance, it's AMAZING. Just one huge room with amazing paintings... they rotate them too, making sure to keep it fresh... we went during the winter months so it was mostly his sci-fi inspired pieces.. which I don't complain, there are some amazing space ones. ^^
"Not allowed to Die", I don't think you could have put that ANY BETTER. XD
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(1 Reply)
:iconbutnotforme:
ButNotForMe Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2009  Student General Artist
this looks awesome. Now I just need some lineart :)
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:iconraysgallery:
RaysGallery Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
big thanks.
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:iconthephantomdragon:
ThePhantomDragon Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2009  Professional Filmographer
i must try this some time! 8D
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
definitally! It's a GREAT way to reignite the love for your originals~
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:iconthephantomdragon:
ThePhantomDragon Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2009  Professional Filmographer
:D i bet! xDD
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:iconlonelymori:
lonelymori Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2008
This is really helpful f[><: its brilliant! your truly talented :nod: want to improve my drawing .__. but still weak, when I drawing at photoshop its much better than paper and pencil ^^; <- terrible so I sketch directly at photoshop and color. Love your art style Kraniz! keep up the great work ^_^]b all the best :heart:
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:iconzero-el-erizo:
ZERO-EL-ERIZO Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2008
Is a awesome job.
I need improve more my skills.
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:iconlittle-midori:
Little-Midori Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2008
That is fantastic! Sadly I have no idea about layers so I'm missing out hugely! I don't have the patience to learn at all! But this is great! And I love the characters you used for this! Brings back memories of playing that game!
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Layers is pretty much in ANY art program. They allow you to draw on top of or below a lineart to prevent replacing or to create a mask. What program are you primarily using?
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:iconlittle-midori:
Little-Midori Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2008
:nod: I am using Adobe Photoshop 7.0 mostly! Sometimes OpenCanvas! ^^
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Both programs have layers, you should play with them! Basically, if you are working digitally make sure that you draw your lines on the topmost layer, then you can color "underneath" the lines with a new layer, that way you won't go over your lines!
It's very important to learn layers, they help out a BUNCH! hehehe.
The only thing with Open Canvas is that the layers are eternally set to "Multiply" [or at least, with version 1.01, which is the one that I use... I am not sure about the newer incarnations.] which means that whatever you place as lineart will always show "above" the layer underneath... to put it simply, if you wanted pink lines and you color blue under the pink, the pink lines would show up a shade darker of the blue since it's in a "multiply" layer, it sort of makes the layers "see through", but not replaceable. Which if you worked in Photoshop, as long as the pink lines layer was set to Normal/Default they would remain untouched and not see-through.
God I hope I made sense... heheheh. ^^
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:iconlittle-midori:
Little-Midori Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2008
wow! It does make sense, but it's getting it right! xD I will have a go and just muck around until I get somewhere! I really appreciate your help! Thank you ever so much and keep up the beautiful work! ^__^ :heart:!!
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem! Please keep me updated! I would like to see your working with layers!
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:iconcoraldanarose:
coraldanarose Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2008
I have a stupid question, because I've never colored with a pencil base xD At first step, when you apply one different color to every character, how do you color under the lines? I mean, I suppose the base you started with it's a scan from what you drew on paper before, isn't it? So what I was wondering is, what's the best way to keep *only* the lines of the base you started with, and be able to apply colors under them? I hope I've been able to explain myself xD
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Each color is placed in a seperate layer, set to "Multiply", That way the lines themselves remain intact~! A layer set to Multiply basically is an overlay on top, that will not replace the color of any layers underneath it. It makes coloring, SO much easier. ^^
I hope it helps~! Good luck in the wonderful world of CGing! hehe.
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:iconcoraldanarose:
coraldanarose Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2008
thanks a lot for your answer - yeah, now it's all clear :> and thanks again for this tutorial, it'll be my bible in the next days xD
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:iconluismario:
luismario Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2008
I finally know how to use the Painter.
Whatta great mode of using it!
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
hehe, it's simple enough for anyone!
If you make an illustration using this method, lemme know! I wanna see!
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:iconluismario:
luismario Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2008
Ok, I´m gonna tell ye, trust me. =)
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:iconaeryvae:
aeryvae Featured By Owner May 27, 2008  Professional Interface Designer
Neat! I always try to guess at how artists do there thing... mystery unveiled. xD
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:iconfrozensilver:
frozensilver Featured By Owner May 23, 2008
Oh, cool. My questions about the coloring are finally answered. But still, that looks too complicated for me. I prefer colored pencils. :D It's simpler.
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:iconduckmuffin:
Duckmuffin Featured By Owner May 22, 2008
WOO! Thank you so much for doing this for everyone! :star:
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:iconotana:
Otana Featured By Owner May 22, 2008
Fascinating! I'm not a graphic artist, but this is amazing to see piece by piece.
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:iconmanderina:
manderina Featured By Owner May 22, 2008
Fabulous, as always! I could never breakdown my method into steps though. I always do something different. X3; Lovely finished product as well :hug:
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:iconashen7:
Ashen7 Featured By Owner May 21, 2008
Very interesting...

One question though, do you use a tablet? I assume you do....which model do you use if so?
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner May 22, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hehe, yes I do. And it's uhh... 4x5 [I'm not big on those HUGE tablets...] and a WACOM from like, five or so years ago? I'm not fancy. I work with what I got [mainly since I don't make monies offa my art, really, so I can't go out and spoil myself just yet, har har har]. ^^
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:icondtrd:
DTRD Featured By Owner May 21, 2008
I really love these coloring tutorials done by various artists, and your's is at the top of my list on the simplest to follow. I'll have to study this more!
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner May 22, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it's sooooo easy!
If you use this method soon, please let me see the image you've CGed it with!!! I'd love to see if it helps out~
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:iconmadamluna:
madamluna Featured By Owner May 21, 2008  Professional General Artist
Yeah, really speedy technique! This is really awesome to read, it proves that you don't need a whole lot of fancy tricks in order to just do simple, effective, dynamic shading. Thanks for uploading this! :D

By the way, I really really like that font you created. It's clear and easy to read, but it's got a nice little bounce to it, too~
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner May 22, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
hehe, yes, ANYONE can do this sort of stuff...
and thanks... it's mah own handwriting, in fact. oohohohohoho... ^^
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:iconjamiekinosian:
JamieKinosian Featured By Owner May 21, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Hot damn. Speedy technique there.
Nice shots, it's cool to see how you do your work.
Waaaay different than how I do things.
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:iconkarniz:
karniz Featured By Owner May 22, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
YOU SHOULD DO ONE TOO!
I'd love to see it. ^^
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