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A Digital Coloring Tutorial: 1 by joulee A Digital Coloring Tutorial: 1 by joulee
Finally, a long-promised tutorial sees the light of day (well, part one at least)~! >D >D

The downloaded zip file contains the main tutorial word document, as well as a large image of the picture during each step. It's pretty detailed and long, but hopefully that should be a good thing....

Anyway, without further adeiu, here is an excerpt... Download the zip to read (and see) the rest!

7/25/05 Edit: Part two now available (clothing, lace): [link]
8/10/05 Edit: Part three now available (how to color hair): [link]

--start excerpt--

The Tools!

Let me preface my tutorial by starting off with my "tools of the trade." I used a laptop with not-too-great processing power (800 MHz) but decent memory (520MB RAM), a Wacom 6x8 in. tablet, and Adobe Photoshop 7.0 and Corel Painter 7.0, although this particular picture was mainly done using Photoshop.

I trade off between the programs because there's certain things that both are good for. However, I consider myself to be a much more adept Photoshop user due mainly to having lots more experience with it (and also laziness in devoting time to completely familiarizing myself and learning all that Painter has to offer... It's a tricky program! >D). That said, the thing I like most about Painter is its better responsiveness to my tablet. At least in my opinion, (and this is the opinion of someone who has a terribly shaky hand and has about a 15% success rate in producing a nice line on paper at any given time), Painter leaves a smoother, more natural stroke. So I typically use Painter to sketch, ink (if I need to--a lot of the time, I stick with seamless CG), and do strand-y hair. >D

Photoshop is solid for most everything else, and it has the advantage of having the Dodge tool and Smudge tool, which I use religiously. (I know Painter can do similar things, but I personally don't like the results as much.) Oh, and it's color tweaking and shape-transforming features are pretty useful too.

1) So here's how I start--roughly sketching a design in Painter using the pen ink tool. Starting with a blank canvas, I create a new layer just for the ink lines (this layer will always be one of the top-most layers, since we want it to be above everything else). I just mainly concern myself with the details of the face for now (why? Habit, I suppose ^_^), and leave the rest of the body as an amalgamation of messy lines. I want my Dark Chi to look... well, I suppose the "darkest" a persecon can get is emotionless and maybe slightly sad. So I accomplish this by making her Chi-ish eyes stare slightly down and appear like they're looking off into the distance, a non-smiling mouth, and a slightly hunched back. Oh, for reference, the original file is pretty large. Like 1200x1600 or something like that. Whenever I’m referencing particular brush sizes in the future (and I try to avoid doing so for this reason, but I know some got past me), keep in mind that that’s relative to the size of this canvas. If you’re working with a smaller piece, then a “big brush” size for you may vary.

Now comes the next step, probably my least favorite of them all, and that is.... *drumrolls* outlining! Sometimes I do this in Painter if my current sketch is too messy and I need to completely re-ink. If the original sketch isn't too bad or if I'm working on a picture where more detailed inking isn't too necessary (like a seamless CG picture) then I cheat a bit in Photoshop and basically use the eraser to erase everything except the line that I want to keep, and then the smudge tool to smooth out that line.

2) But... This picture will undergo "reinking." I basically open the file (always saved as a .PSD until the very end), click on the sketch layer, and go to Image->Adjustments->Color Balance and play around with the settings until I've made the whole thing a nice, light shade of cyan. Since I'm going to ink over this layer, I want it to remain visible but noticeably separate from my brand-spankin' new and shiny layer. After that's done, I create a new layer above this sketch layer (called “ink”) and return to Painter.

3) Now comes the "nice inking" stage. Basically, it's pretty self-explanatory. Pick a lovely, pointy pen (I like to use smooth ink pen and make the tip pretty small--you can experiment with the lines if you like) and neatly trace over the sketch. Like I mentioned before, I'm not much of an inker and don't really enjoy it, so I try and get away with as little inking as possible. Coloring is more work if you don't ink all the details now, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. For example, even though I know there's plenty of detailed lace I will eventually add to her dress and probably a flower in her hair, I choose to skip inking all that in. Additionally, you can see from the screen shots that the body of the inked Freya looks different from the “sketch.” I determined that the original frame was too small, and promptly made adjustments on my “nice ink” layer. Did I mention my rough sketches aren’t very thought out? The inking, on the other hand, will serve as a platform for the rest of the picture, so I’m more careful with the way things look.

After you're finished, you can delete the old sketch layer and marvel at the cleanliness of the picture now. :D (I actually kept it around for a few more steps, and really turned down the opacity of the layer to 20%)

4) The next step has always been one of my favorites since ancient times--coloring skin! It's by habit that I color skin first--no real substantial reason other than maybe the fact that I like to see the face done as soon as possible (only when the face is done do I feel like I'm really in the "groove" of coloring ^^), and the skin is such a big part of the face. Actually, for this picture, I want to try and experiment on a "different" type of coloring. (I guess I shouldn't be writing tutorials on anything that's not a "tried and true" method, but I don't think this is really *too* drastically different than what I normally do.) Basically, I'm going to attempt what I call "soft-cel," which is sort of a compromise between normal cel-style coloring and soft-style coloring........

--end excerpt--
Add a Comment:
MariaTeresa1012 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015
Link broken, help :(
Xx-EnvyCat-xX Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2014  Student Digital Artist
|| The link  isn't working
the-midnight-fairy Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014  Student General Artist
The link of this downloa don't work anymore...>_< please can you fix it? Thanks! :D
Wicake Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Student General Artist
This helped a lot!
LuciferLaments Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello! Is this tutorial posted anywhere else? Clicking the 'download' link re-directs to a DA 'page not found' error.
I love your style and your other tutorials. Thanks for sharing such wonderful art and helpful tips!
kay-la-la Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Student General Artist
when i try to download, it says it's not found :c am i the only one having this problem or...? ;w;
Seanachaidh125 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Same here, I get the same error.
otaku-no-kokoro Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012
I would love to use the tutorial, but the download link doesn't work anymore... what should i do?
MaximusNLS Featured By Owner May 10, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I would like to see it also, looks amazing
002815 Featured By Owner May 7, 2012
I tried downloading the zip file but it said it no longer exists? Any way you can send it to me?
xxDigitalLovexx Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Student Artist
xxDigitalLovexx Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Student Artist
wait wait, its CHIII/freya xD
MsSunnyMuffins Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
YEE! Finished the amazing tutorial. I like it becuase you get to the point, don't ramble on, it works for other programs and us mouse users, and, it shows REALLY good coloring. Here's my result: [link]
ShortcakeNova Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Um excuse me but it wont let me download it says "File does not exist" did you take it down?
goldgust Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2011  Hobbyist
I have the same problem as CodeTenshi :[
CodeTenshi Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2011  Student Digital Artist
It says File not found :(. IS there anyway I can get your tutorial? The others one are very awesome and I wished to see this one.
Rhaethana Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Student General Artist
i really liked your tutorial . thanks for posting this, though . it really helped me a lot . :)
NyuULuCyy Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011
file not found !!
so sad it looked awesome..
Kaitou-kitsune Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I love it when people make user friendly tutorials like this, the way of coloring is similar to what I do though I'm not so experienced when it comes to shadows and highlights. The download doesn't work, is there anywhere else I can download the tutorial?
MsPoecilonym Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011   General Artist
"file not found" when click download! So sad, this looks so good!! :(
fur911 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Do you notice it skip's 2?
Blue-Cat00 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The "download file" is not working D'8
dark-mask91 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
nice tutorial but Unfortunately the Links Doesn't work anymore...
could you re-upload it if possible and thx
Zorrowl Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2011  Student General Artist
What brush do you use and can you give me the settings??? ^^;
thefalcoace Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
very helpful have seen an improvement with my shading.. thanks a bundle! :hug:
Melmee Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011
AAAA the links broken!!!! :nuu:
SSXVegeta Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Link to DL is down?
anitokyomics Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I think I will try using Photoshop in the coloring process. I am practicing on how to color via Corel Painter.
justkhalid Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011
download file not found???
Nyurafox Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011  Hobbyist
i like you tutorials but idk why i cant download this one D=
FairyFindings Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2011  Student Digital Artist
sadly, there's nothing to download, but this looked promising. I hope you can fix it. :)
seosa Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
theres no file DX!!
Artzhunter Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2010   Writer
I know it's been long and i just hope you're still online but there is no file available for download any more...
could you please check that?
PeaceForSheep Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010
i can't download the file! >_<
SegwayRulz Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010  Student General Artist
DA tells me the file is missing when i try to download D:
ShiroSenshi8 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2010
AH! it dont work :/ can you reupload it?
666ANIME Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
file is not there...T.T
Lineysquares Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Student General Artist
File not found? D:
iamnowhere258 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2010
all i want is for it to be bigger... i cant really see it.... even in full view
arrow-san Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2010
When I press Download File, DA says it's not found=(
Yukie77 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010
hmm, i can seem to dowload the file, and deviantart ways that they cant find it
Althaly Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
It's great and helpful!
Thank you!
xDeviAngelx Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2010
I can't download it. Goes to the screen with the dA mascot saying he can't find the file :(
MariamTiarko Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It looks like a really amazing tutorial. It's just sad the download doesn't exist..
Rikkijk Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
..... :/ i cant fucking download it. I cant even find a tutorial that will work!
Kitten41507 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
Amazing tutorial from the look of it... but I can't download it.
artiistZero Featured By Owner May 10, 2010
The download doesn't work? o-o
SaltedDriftwood Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2010
>__< Like the other people have said already, the download no longer work. Any way you could fix that?
bittersiha Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2010  Student Digital Artist
The download doesn't work anymore... ):
Chinmyou Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
Very nice series of tutorials. :D
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Submitted on
August 11, 2004
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