Suppose you have a heaping pile of sketches you're just dying to get digitized, digitally ink, and colored. No, just me.
Grab that camera, or better yet a scanner and it's time to get started.
Results will vary, poor lighting, unsteady hands, scanner software that just does not seem to get the contrasts right.
Now is the time to open your favorite software, and change the LEVELS.
Using a color picker most software will let you pick areas that should be black(the darkest parts for those of you with heavy hands), the greys in the middle (most pencil tones fall somewhat in this range), and white(dare I say the paper).
This does not have to be perfect, since the next step is changing the contrast/brightness levels.
Teak as needed, but DO NOT go back and forth. It's better to UNDO, and start again until the drawing looks like, the drawing.
This keeps all the lovely textures, when the coloring is completed (especially for rough textured paper).
You could of course skip the above step if textures aren't your thing, and draw with a tablet. Or mouse you name it, and favorite software.
FYI : vector software is great for precision!
But since you're here, BLACK my good old friend it's time to add some definition.
For pencil drawings, when you don't increase the contrast to an extreme black/white range, go over some the contours and some of the key details.
OPEN A NEW FILE, the BOTTOM LAYER (should be the scanned image you cleaned up), EVERY OTHER LAYER ABOVE (will be the digital inking).
Set the BOTTOM LAYERS , BLEND MODE to normal at this point (a what you see is what you get result).
And a minimum of one other layer, above this, set it to MULTIPLY.
Reduce the opacity, or use shades of grey with the layer @ 100% to get the effect you need (a solid black brush will result in a solid black image, and that's why you will want to reduce the effect this way).MULTIPLY, is also key to keeping the texture of the paper.
You can always add more later when adding some shading, and actually coloring your work.
Want to Add Shading?
You can do that to, add another layer, or group of layers (Just above your digital inking).
Set them to MULTIPLY, have you sensed a common theme by now? It's a very handy blend mode.
Try to picture what you want to draw in GREYSCALE, without color. This will help a lot.
So you have a workable line art image, with or without shading by now.
Flatten/or Merge the visible layers. From this point on all the fun colored bits go UNDERNEATH.
Set the Flatten/Merged Layer, blend mode to MULTIPLY, this layer now stays at the top!TIP : keep a backup of the lineart, in it's un-flattened form!!!
Add another layer, or group of layers (Just below the finished lineart).
Coloring styles vary.
A well shaded piece of lineart can be colored with a single layer of solid colors using the NORMAL blend mode.
Since most of the shading with affect the solid colors, consider this the flat color stage of the process.
Most of the time things are not a single solid color. Lighting can cause reflections of color from surrounding objects, more stylized techniques could exaggerate extremes of color.
The limitations are endless.
Some Final Thoughts.
Don't rush, be kind to your body and equipment.
A gentler grip for both traditional and digital pens helps with creating smoother lines, and less fatigue over time.
Try to draw with your whole arm, shoulder, elbow, fingers.fingers
, for small details.elbow and shoulder
, for larger shapes, longer lines, etc.
When an area looks done, move one. It's easy to continue making minor tweaks here and there... but be critical, keeping a mental note of what can be improved.PS. Happy 18th Birthday Deviant Art