len-yan's avatar

black general - walkthrough

By len-yan
8K Favourites
after a lot of inquiries about my colouring technique i have finally put together this walkthrough. sadly the file i prepared was too big for dA to support, but i hope this is still readable. i also hope this will answer at least part of your questions regarding my colouring process.

some of the changes between the steps shown here are not easy to spot, which is why i included miniatures of how each new layer look like in normal mode (at least where i thought it necessary).

good look trying out this (very fun and effective) technique^^


software used: photoshop cs5e

final version of this picture can be found here:


tumblr link here: [link]


decorative brushes from ~tiffcali06


(c) `len-yan
Image size
679x10800px 2.91 MB
© 2012 - 2020 len-yan
anonymous's avatar
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Kommissar-Krok's avatar

Thank you for this.

wataboo777's avatar
wataboo777Student Digital Artist
Thank you! it was helpful :>
Kei-Seki's avatar
Kei-SekiHobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much! I've been wanting to pick up on grayscale coloring, and this is by far the easiest to understand. 
EdsArtFactory's avatar
EdsArtFactoryStudent Digital Artist
This tutorial changed my life! You are genious :D <3
Sarosna85's avatar
Sarosna85Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for this comprehensive and more importantly CLEAR tutorial. I've been looking for some reliable guides on coloring grayscale images but usually I just get something in the manner of 'slap some color on it with blending modes' and you can barely see what the artist has done. You explain things very clearly. I have trouble doing any real digital art since it hurts my eyes so I'm planning to color graphite drawings digitally. This tutorial will be a great help! :)
Duskpaw's avatar
Thank you very much for this ^^ I've been experimenting with Glazing for a while and never really could get it quite right, but I'll give this way a shot and see how it goes :3
Tatmione's avatar
TatmioneProfessional General Artist
That's interesting. Although I have some resistance in using the grayscale to colour technique, as I usually find it has a poor variety of hue between highlights and shadows, or sometimes colours are not enough saturated to my liking. But that's just my opinion, and I'm a bit new to digital painting, so I'm still not sure of my preferences ^^
ShikiOwl's avatar
ShikiOwlHobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this woderful walkthrough!
tailinyan's avatar
tailinyanHobbyist General Artist
what kind of a layer is that you put colors on? A transparent one with 100% opacity?
XDark-ArtistX's avatar
Can you make a drawing tutorial?
AeliReen's avatar
AeliReenHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for very interesting tutorial : )
d6lies's avatar
d6liesHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you sooooo MUCH for your great explaining!!!
it is always stuck in my mind when I need to convert from greyscale to color!!
I am always wondering when the color does not right TT^TT (something like, I tried to shade dark orange but it turn yellow?!?)
but when you show the picture comparing between normal mode and overlay/soft light/multiple mode, it become clear!!!!
(Arggg, so I could not apply color directly then)

Anyway, Thanks a lotttttt! (>__<)//
CinderFall21's avatar
CinderFall21Student General Artist
Thank you so much for making this, now I need to try these techniques :D
RachelFrasier's avatar
RachelFrasierHobbyist Digital Artist
I found this SO helpful, glazing was never one of my strong suits, now I hope I can be better at it!
Thursdaychild's avatar
ThursdaychildHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much!
chrissyanaa's avatar
chrissyanaaProfessional Digital Artist
This really helps. I'm getting used to "glazing" Thank you!
ChickenPancakes's avatar
ChickenPancakesStudent Digital Artist
Do oyu think it would work on Photoshop CS3?
len-yan's avatar
len-yanProfessional Digital Artist
yes, i think it would work just as well even on Photoshop7
ChickenPancakes's avatar
ChickenPancakesStudent Digital Artist
Ok, thank you !
KendyLu's avatar
thank you so much!!!! i love you :"* it's so useful <3
Riznof's avatar
RiznofProfessional Digital Artist
Just wanted to say thanks for this awesome tutorial. Probably the best I have found out there!
y0cie's avatar
y0cieProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you...Thank yuuu
Neverward's avatar
Gosh dangit. I won't stop pushing myself and learning until I'm as good as you hehe :) though I won't stop there... but you're sure amazing! And this is an amazing tutorial, so thank you very much for sharing you helped me tremendously!!!
TavisW's avatar
TavisWProfessional Digital Artist
So helpful - thanks for the effort in making this tutorial!
anonymous's avatar
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