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  1. #1
    Outlander00's Avatar
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    The Drawing Board Workshop Number 4 - COLOR APPLICATIONS AND TECHNIQUES!

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    Hey everyone! Welcome to another installment of the revamped Workshops, where those who want to learn to be an artist can and those who are artists can get better. This will be an ongoing series of various topics put out 1 – 3 times per month where various issues in art can be covered. Critiques and comments are welcomed and encouraged around here… It is part of the process of how artists get better.

    However, there is a certain amount of expectation when it comes to critiques. When making comments like “cool” and “awesome” by themselves are great and all, but doesn’t forward the critique process that much nor helps the artist. We are looking for comments that’ll help the artists progress, like “That's great, but I think you should re-do his leg” or “Nice pencils, but your proportions are a bit weird”… Stuff like that.

    Not only do we want to see critiques, we'd like to see answers and tips too in here. Having problems with a pose that you can get just right? Drop a line and someone will get back to you. This place is yours to get feedback, tips, and info to help you become that much better in your art!

    Enough of the small talk… Lets get to the Workshop, shall we?


    This Workshop focuses on Color Applications & Techniques!

    It is very important to understand color theory in order to use color effectively. In order to master it, however, one must understand the complexities and values in its application and the techniques in doing so.

    Lets start with the basics and work our way up.

    In the earlier color workshop, I explained that color is viewed two ways: One being the representation of light and its color spectrum. The other is our perceived representation of color (i.e. The color wheel or palette). Also, it was explained how we perceive certain colors. These two points for color are linked to the hip in everyway. The constant in both is their primary source: Light.

    Light and how we perceive it is pretty specific… Light is absorbed by all surfaces. The phenomenon known as color is determined when part of a light wave is not absorbed by the surface (i.e. reflected). White occurs when all strands of light are reflected while black occurs when all strands are absorbed. Humans were intuitive enough to be able to ultimately develop artificial means to reproduce this phenomenon called color (by using such natural materials as Chromium and Cadmium, which oil painters still use today).

    Why is this science crap important you ask? Well when coloring, understanding light and its interactions with the environment (both physically and artistically) is crucial to making any successful piece of art. Art is not just a skill, but a function of science and math as well. No matter if it’s a web page, a promotional piece of design, an illustration or a fine painting, design plays an integral role in the process. Color is part of this process.

    Here are key points to remember in using color:

    Planning – Thinking out how you will use color automatically puts you ahead of the curve in any project thrown at you.

    Lighting/Shading – This is crucial to the success of any piece (both in drawing and colored artwork) because of how our brains are trained. If not thought of while executing, it doesn’t matter how well the drawing is because people will be fickle… Our brains are very visual and sensitive when it comes to color. By planning this aspect in both your drawing and coloring, you can be assured the success of the piece.

    Keep in mind when coloring your primary/secondary colors and their variations (or values). Black is never the only option in shading nor is white for lighting. Using different colors for a shading/lighting value can make piece really stand out.

    Also, keep in mind some of the technical terms for color as well:



    Hue - The name of any color in its pure state (primary and secondary colors)

    Value - An element of art that refers to lightness or darkness of a color

    Saturation - A colors purity of hue

    Intensity - The brightness or dullness of a hue or color.

    Pigment - Finely powdered which material produces color in any medium

    Chroma - (photographers and printers term) Among colors other than those in black-white scale, the specific combination of a colors hue, intensity, and saturation; or the degree of a colors vividness.

    Deffinitions provided by ArtLex; copyright 2003



    Color Placement – When coloring, it is an important factor to consider where and how on a page you employ color.
    Remember in the previous color workshop when it was explained that people react to colors differently? People will react to the piece of art differently when colored differently. The reason is that we are visual creatures, stimulated by colors. Choosing a proper color palette to capture the mood of a picture is key.

    It is also to keep in mind to stay away from using colors that contrast too much, blend or clash with each other. People will be put off, to the point of being physically ill at times, by choosing colors that do not mesh with each other.

    The best thing to understand color is to play with it… Reproduce a famous painting or playing with it in a coloring book are great ways in seeing how and why certain colors don’t work with others. Then there are other, not well received, exercises (Ugh, Color Aid *shudders*) that are very helpful as well.


    For more information on color and its technical points, visit here or its main site .

    Any questions before we get to the exercise?

  2. #2
    Roman Legion's Avatar
    Roman Legion is offline Let's Make a Deal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlander00
    White occurs when all strands of light are absorbed while black occurs when all strands are reflected
    I think you accidentally typed that part backwards... ;-)

    --Romey

    Pacoism
    Paco hates spoilers. Do not anger him.


  3. #3
    Outlander00's Avatar
    Outlander00 is offline Another Stand Alone Complex
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romey
    I think you accidentally typed that part backwards... ;-)

    --Romey

    Actually, when it comes to natural light, black occurs when are not absorbed at all.

    In the case of artificial means of color (reproduction, paint, ink, etc.), all colors mix to black... So your only half right.

    EDIT - Whoops, DID get my info mixed up... corrected... I guess thats what happens when you are doing 3 things at once

  4. #4
    Outlander00's Avatar
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    Ill take that no one has any questions so I will move onto to the next part.

    There are many types of ways to color something, whether it being a fine painting or comic art. So instead of a whole schpiel about the different techniques of coloring, another way of learning techniques will be employed.

    Pick any type of painting or coloring technique and apply it to one of these two pictures:







    When posting your finish coloring, also post an example of the type of technique you used and why.

  5. #5
    Sublime420's Avatar
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    I sorta just played around with photoshop for alot of hours to get this. I'm not sure what kind of coloring style it is, but I kinda like how the hair turned out.
    Sorry about the shading, I'm not to good at that yet. I'm actually still working on workshop four, I'm new at this, so it has involved a lot of trial and error work. I'll post when done, hopefully it will turn out better colored
    http://www.vi2.com/getFile/222726.gif
    Last edited by Sublime420; 07-27-2003 at 04:20 PM.
    I found religion in the show Two Stupid Dogs.

  6. #6
    Sublime420's Avatar
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    Ummmm, how do I post an image right?
    I found religion in the show Two Stupid Dogs.

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    Outlander00's Avatar
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    Ahhh yes, Sublime is brave enough to step up to the plate first

    A rather interesting color job you did with this, Sublime... I am curious as to see your source example that you used to color the pic.

    The colors he decided to go with are interesting, going with Earth tones (which are very subdued and organic). The hair was done fairly well I must say.

    However I was wondering where your light source was caming from. The reason why I ask is that his coat and hair are colored differently than his face (the light is hitting his face at one angle with his hair and coat from another. You have to keep the lighting/shading uniform to where your light source is coming from.

    Other than that, its a good first try Sublime

    Quote Originally Posted by Sublime420
    Ummmm, how do I post an image right?
    Try hitting the "insert image" button on the console above and paste the URL in the box. It should show up

    Okay, anyone else have comments or want to volunteer their coloring jobs?

  8. #8
    Sublime420's Avatar
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    Hmmm, yeah your right about the light source. How about one that is done right as an example
    I don't know what your talking about, with the soursce picture. I used the picture of the guy that you posted up a few replies.
    As for the hair, that was sort of an accident that I went with and turned out all right. No real rythm or ryme to the highlights, I hate to admit. Oh, well.
    Practice makes... uhhhh... something or other
    I found religion in the show Two Stupid Dogs.

  9. #9
    Outlander00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sublime420
    Hmmm, yeah your right about the light source. How about one that is done right as an example
    I don't know what your talking about, with the soursce picture. I used the picture of the guy that you posted up a few replies.
    As for the hair, that was sort of an accident that I went with and turned out all right. No real rythm or ryme to the highlights, I hate to admit. Oh, well.
    Practice makes... uhhhh... something or other

    AhhhhhHHhhhhh... That was part of the project. You have to pick where the source is coming from and it wouldnt be fair to guide the picture in any way

  10. #10
    Steve Jester's Avatar
    Steve Jester is offline jesteranimefreak was here
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    Well, took me about an hour of coloring, but I got it.



    I used a cel shading technique based off of anime. The red scar kinda reminds me of Kenshin-sama! I didn't shade the sword, because I thibnk it looks fine without shading.
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    Outlander00's Avatar
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    Ahhh yes... Another has stepped into the ring... *evily rubs his hands*


    A very good example of coloring Steve. You have a deffinate light source plotted out and took the suggestion of using something other than black or white to shade or lighten.

    Two quick notes...

    The bottom of the jacket looks a little off from the rest of the light source... It may be because I am confusing where the source is coming from, but from my observation the bottom should not taper off like that.

    Also, the color you used for the background blends too much with the character, because their values are too similar. Perhaps using a darker color green or a different color may be best here.

    Good job, Steve!

  12. #12
    Bic's Avatar
    Bic
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    Okay, it's official. I'm just no good with painter (yet!). I figured I'd try out this new paint proggie with the landscape... let's just say the learning curve is steep. I went with a loose sketchy color style to go with the original sketch. Hope this qualifies.

    "The Enrichment Center is required to remind you that you will be baked, and then there will be cake." - GLaDOS

  13. #13
    Nightflower's Avatar
    Nightflower is offline Floral Mod Extraordinaire
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    Hey Bic! Are you using the watercolor setting for that, or some other type of paint?

    I haven't used Painter in a long time. I just stick to OpenCanvas. ^_^
    Nightflower
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  14. #14
    Outlander00's Avatar
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    A very solid coloring job, Bic!

    Very illustrative and spontenous, much like Degas quick water color drawings when he attended Can-Can shows... It is also remeniscent to some of the best illustrators I know. Colors were a good choice with the strokes sketchy, complimenting the drawing.

    Personally, Id loved if you used a darker brown in the areas that really dont have any light hitting it... But, as is, it works very well and is a beautiful example of a coloring job.

    Wonderful job Bic.

    Anyone else have any comments on any of the coloring jobs done thus far?

  15. #15
    Spike04's Avatar
    Spike04 is offline The Wolf At The Door
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    This is a very very messy paintjob. I did it very quickly. It was fun though...the first time I've ever colored someone elses lineart!
    Enough jibberjabber-
    -radiohead . coldplay . sigur ros . muse . incubus . interpol-


  16. #16
    Outlander00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spike04
    This is a very very messy paintjob. I did it very quickly. It was fun though...the first time I've ever colored someone elses lineart!
    Enough jibberjabber-
    Its okay, Spike... We wont hold it against you

    Another good example of coloring... moodier and vibrant to Bics. It also looks very illustrative and impressionistic.

    There is only a minor thing that sticks out (the shadow at the bottom), but beautiful execution with the color.

    Good work spike!

    Anyone else?

  17. #17
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    OOooOO I forgot to post the technique I used!! My bad


    Well idk what to call it so I'll just explain how to I did it. I use PS7 I just set the airbriush to 14 or so and make the opacity somewhere from 30-60 depending on what you're coloring. Then I will usually choose a pretty dark color and since the opacity and airbrush is set low it will be very light and often appear 'muted'(not sure if that's the right term) The more times you go over the area the darker and closer it gets to the color you chose. For the shaded parts you just repeatedly go over it until it gets as dark as you want. For highlights like i used on top of the rock I just used the dogde tool at like 13% w/e.
    Often Ill add lots of lines going in the same direction at 100% opacity (lighter or darker than the color already there) and then set smudge to 53% and smudge it all in one direction. It usually results ina very soft look, but with the right manipulation it can look pretty much like anything. For the stars I used the second type of brush ( its round with fading light coming from the center type thing) and ill have the opacity low as well and then click repeatedly until it gets brighter...its good for getting a look where not all the stars are the same brightness, because in reality they arent.
    For the really dark shadows I will use the burn tool. I used it for the shadow of the rock and the person.
    For finishing touches I just made everything but the sky darker with the burn tool because I felt it looked to bright for a night seen.
    So basically I used the smudge tool for everything accept the stars.

    Phew..I tihnk that's the most I've ever written in one post!
    -radiohead . coldplay . sigur ros . muse . incubus . interpol-


  18. #18
    Outlander00's Avatar
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    lo... Its okay, Spike!

    It is very cool to volunteer how you did it... Give others a chance to see how someone approached the coloring of the piece.

  19. #19
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    sl4
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    Done in Photoshop. Didn't get the look I was going for at all, but ah well.

    .....hey, superloud4's on the drawing forum! :P
    Esselfortium
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  20. #20
    Outlander00's Avatar
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    lol, welcome superloud!

    A rather interesting color job, sl. Rather similar, again, to impressionist painting... However more raw and simplistic (which are not bad characteristics at all). It seems that you took a unique approach to this than the others have as well.

    Like I had suggested to Bic, the only thing that sticks out in my mind is the lack of shadows in certain place that would make the image pop that much more.And, basically, all it comes down to where light is and is not hitting the surfaces.

    Also, take to mind that each surface reflects light differently, depending on the surfaces physical characteristics (i.e. stone, unless polished, has a dull reflection while water has an almost reflective, high reflection).

    Good job, sl!

    Anyone else have critiques so far or want to participate?

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