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Photoshop Line Art and Coloring
This method of coloring in Photoshop is a simple method to get started and helps learn some basic techniques and tools.
Brush Tool, Lasso Tool, Magic Wand, Gradient Tool
Fill Command, Create & Name Layers, Options Panel, Lock Transparent Pixels, Lock Layer, Stacking Order
Resize your image 200% before tracing, this will help create smoother lines. You will resize the image 50% when you are finished.
Create a new layer, I've named mine Line Art and draw an outline of your image on its own layer. Be sure to not leave any gaps in the outline.
If you are using a drawing tablet you can press the Always Use Pressure for Size icon to control the size of your brush.Note: Additional settings for Pen Pressure can be set in the Brush Panel (Window --> Brush)
When you have completed tracing the image, delete the Reference Image layer.
Using the Magic Wand select the area around the cat, create a new layer and fill with white. (Edit --> Fill --> Use --> White)
Name this layer: White Background.
Select the Inverse (Select --> Inverse), create a new layer and Fill this will a color of your choice. This will be the base fur coat.
Name this layer: Base Coat.
Move the Line Art layer to the top of the stacking order.
Color the picture creating a new layer for each section that has the same color. For example, eye color, light fur, nose, etc.
Gradient Shading, lock the transparency color for each layer and select the Gradient tool. Reset the Foreground and Background colors to their default settings. (X, D)
Choose the Gradient from Black to Transparent and set the Opacity to 60%.
Select the Base Coat layer, drag the gradient across the layer, I'm going to draw from the tail to the front paws, notice the gradient is only applied to the color on the layer. Note: Adjust the location where you start and stop your dragging to adjust the gradient.
Continue to shade the other colors, use the lasso tool to restrict where the gradient is applied on the colors if you do not want it applied to the entire layer.
The last step is to color the outline, lock the transparency for the Line Art layer and using the Eyedropper tool select the darkest shaded area and color your outline that color.
Painting on Grayscale Line Art to Create a Colored Sketch
This method of painting in Photoshop paints on layers above grayscale line art, combining blending modes, brush styles and taking advantage of a drawing tablet can create a really stunning effect.
Brush Tool, Lasso Tool, Quick Selection Tool
Fill Command, Create & Name Layers, Options Panel, Lock Transparent Pixels, Lock Layer, Stacking Order, Brush Panel, Brush Presets Panel, Load Brushes, Blending Modes
For more information on blending modes here is a great resource from Photoshop Essentials.
We are going to start with Alvin Hew's grayscale line art secluded temple. When painting in Photoshop it is important organize your layers and have a color scheme ready to go. Many Photoshop artists create a layer for their color palette much like an artist's paint palette to work from to keep track their colors, this is extremely important since you will be making adjustments to your layers Color Modes and Transparencies this will affect how your color would later be picked up with the Eyedropper tool.
Painting with the Mixer Brush
If you are interested in learning some techniques to work with the Mixer Brush tool, Joe Dockery has some great resources on his website.
Here is an example I did of my dog, Potus.
Software Tutorial from Wacom USA
TIP: Press the Shift key and the Plus sign (+) or the Minus sign (-) to scroll through the color modes.