a coloring tutorial

by @Zumipap

No one asked for this, but I deliver anyway. This is how I go about coloring my art - my method can vary but here's one of them.

I really don't know how to explain shit so I'm sorry in advance. Full resolution recommended. Links to stuff in the description in case you're interested.

The software I will be using in this tutorial is Krita (it's awesome btw) - you don't necessarily have to use Krita, any program will do.

Alright! Into a fresh beginnin', let's get cookin' 👇

So you have your lineart?


That's step 1.

I placed it in it's own group, within a group that will contain everything. The group below it is the sketch by the way.

It's best if you use transparent lineart - however if you don't have one, don't worry! You can set the layer to Multiply mode and you can color everything under that.

What I did here was put my lineart layer in a group, because the lineart will also be colored later,

then making another layer below the group, then putting that layer in its' own group. Which will be the group for coloring.

I traced the outline with the most frequent/base color in the character, which I will then fill with the paint bucket tool.

I enclose that layer in a group for the base color,

then I make a bunch of layers on top of it, coloring parts of the character using the same method, then enclosing them in their own groups.

Got all that? That's why I said folders are important in Krita, you don't need to deal with it if you aren't using Krita - however it's a nice way to organize

The groups here are all clipped to the base color group.

You may notice that the icon is ticked beside them. It's a clipping group, but not in the way SAI etc. works - instead of clipping it directly to the layer below them, it clips to all the layers below the layer down to the last one in the containing group.

You're probably going to want to shade it - giving it depth and all.

So what I did is, once I've got all of my coloring groups, I make a layer above the flat layer and clip it, and then I just shaded it.

I'll show briefly how and what:

This poor guy here looks flat. Let's cheer him up by giving him some depth. But how?

Basically, you'll gonna want to visualize it in 3D space, with a defined light source.

As you can see here, the front one does not have shading around the outlines, as the contour of it is clearly defined.

Many people do this - here, the shading is achieved around the outlines.

This is called pillow shading.

You usually don't want to do that, unless if your object is literally extruded.

You can change the hues to determine the shade color to make it look better.

Or you could probably be lazy as I am and use the base color to shade everything,
and set the layer to multiply mode.

And now, a quick guide for coloring hair:
Let's pretend this is some unshaded hair. Scribble it like this - following some imaginary line from one side of hair to the other. Use the smudge/blend tool to blend the top edges. Do the same for the bottom edges... you can see I blended the top some more - couldn't help it xD
Here's what it looks like in the picture. Sorry for the little derp block there- I don't know why it spawned The shading and the highlights are pretty much done the same way- scribble and blend
How do you eye then? Eh, here's a totally helpful breakdown:
We have the base color over here
Paint the pupil- erase a bit around the edges and make a
little gradient by erasing more of the bottom
Highlight the bottom of the eye by following the edges -
and then add the shine - make sure you follow the light source
Clothes? Well, I'm not the best at it, but I'll try...
Paint some lines where you think the shading will be on Blend them a bit, away from the strokes... Blend them some more and add detail

When you blend them, it shapes the folds. Here I have a crappy approximation of how the folds would look like in 3D space.

As you can see, the sharper it looks, the more folded it is, so keep that in mind when you're shading clothes.

So once I've done all the shading on all the layer groups, I'll end up with... that on the left.

Well it looks good already right? That means you're done... right?

not really LOL

I mean, you can stop here if you want to, but
you want to make it more shiny?

Still follow along, I guess

Well, the last thing that's left is enhancing it. I'll elaborate:

The first one in the stack is just improving the highlights, detailing the hair and the clothing.
Next one is me airbrushing the artwork.
Desaturating layer.
Filter layer
Lineart stuff (i'm tired)
And finally on the stack, a sharpen filter layer.

Aaaaaaaaand, el finito 👇

If you read through all of this, congratulations - you deserve an e-lasagna.

Because e-cookies are overrated.