florinf's blog

Coloring a drawing

posted by florinf, Jan 21, 2008 4:58 AM — 37 comments

First of all, this is the drawing that we're going to work on.
It's been drawn on paper and scanned afterwards.


This is the way it will look in the end. You can make it better of course. It all depends on your patience and care for details.

So, Let's get started.


01. First step is opening the image in a raster image software.
I used Photoshop here.
We will need the use of layers so check to see if your program can use them.


02. Duplicate the layer.
We will need the drawing above the colors.


03. Rename the layers so that you'll know where you're working on.
The blue one is the selected (current / working) layer.
The DRAWING layer must be blended in Multiply mode over the colors.


04. Pick the pencil and adjust the size (you can use the [ and ] to make the tip larger or smaller).
We will need to close the gaps between the lines so that the filled in color will have no way to escape outside each colored shapes.


05. Choose the color.


06. Remember to always work your colors on the color layer.
It has to be selected (blue in my image).


07. Close the gaps.


08. Pick the Filling tool (the bucket or G from the keyboard). Click inside each shape to fill that color.


09. Use the Pencil (B on your keyboard) to outline the hair. I will adjust it later so it depends on you if you want to do it now more accurate.


10. Flat colored drawing. First part is done. Basically it is colored. Next steps are fine tuning and 3D look effects.


11. Make a copy of the flat colored layer. We will keep a safe one for making selections of the flat color shapes. We will work further on on the new copy of the colors layer.


12. Pick the Magic Wand tool (W on your keyboard). Select a shape that you want to work on. We are on the new layer Colors copy. The magic wand selections we will do on the Colors (flat) layer and then click the Colors copy to work on it.


13. Pick the Burn tool (O on your keyboard). The Range for this tool must be Midtones to make them darker but intense (otherwise it will affect the color by darkening them toward black).


14. On the Colors Copy layer and inside the selection we've done we will paint the edges to become darker. Imagine where the light source is and keep that in mind while painting.


15. Pick the Dodge tool and in the same selections paint the lighter areas.


16. Pick the Eraser (E on your keyboard) and delete from the hair lines to adjust them.


17. Now we will create the shadow. Pick the Magic Wand and click on the white background. It will select it. Little ants are running around the drawing.


18. If there are areas that are not selected, Shift + click in them to add them to the selection.


19. Delete from the Colors copy layer, the white background around the drawing. Create a new layer and rename it Shadow.


20. Press Control + Shift + I on your keyboard to inverse the selection (or go to the Select menu and choose the Inverse option). Press D on your keyboard to bring back the default colors (Black and White) in the Foreground and Background working colors. The new layer we've done is selected and you press, on your keyboard, Alt + Backspace, to fill the selection with Black.


21. Next, we will blur the edges. In the Filter menu, Gaussian Blur. We use this Blur because we can adjust it. Please adjust it so as that is not too blurry.


22. Move the Shadow layer below the Colors Copy.


23. Using the Free Transformation tool we will deform - adjust the shadow so that it will lie behind. Control + T will bring the Free Transformation rectangle around the shadow.


24. Using the corners and the Control key on your keyboard you can adjust it so that it will look like it is placed on the ground.


25. Create a mask for the shadow.


26. With the Gradient tool create a vertical gradient from up. It will affect the shadow making it lighter in the distance.


27. With the eraser we will adjust the shadow.


28. With the brush we will add the shadow again where is needed.
That's it.

We're done. This is the final image.

Thank you for your patience.

Please comment.

Comments | RSS

1. posted by red_donkey, Jan 26, 2010 6:22 PM

Thank you for this very educative tutorial.


2. posted by boymc, Oct 17, 2009 10:28 AM

so fun and nice :)

3. posted by kallangkid, Jan 29, 2008 5:52 PM

Thank you! It's great!

4. posted by Tree3, Apr 28, 2008 11:27 PM

yeah cool b

5. posted by conrepixxx, Feb 20, 2008 3:08 PM

that`s nothing new, Eweryone can do this in photoshop, You just need to be a little pacient. I work with this photoshop program and belive me you can do more than drawing and coloring. Aniway for the begginers is good.

6. posted by bizior, Jan 22, 2008 2:34 AM

Nice, thanks for sharing!
You have a talent man!

Have a good one,

7. posted by gokce-, Jan 23, 2008 8:11 AM

thanks so much for sharing.
very clearly manner of telling.

8. posted by dozingquin, Jan 23, 2008 1:07 PM

Thankyou for a good tutorial - I actually needed this a week ago when I was doing a picture for my girlfriend :).

I found that once I scanned my image, the lines on my picture were very fine. I fixed this by putting the image through a poster filter.

9. posted by florinf, Jan 23, 2008 2:11 PM

Thanks for your comments.

You can make thicker lines if you blur the image and then adjust the levels (in Photoshop).

10. posted by sharlee, Jan 28, 2008 3:42 AM

Great tutorial, thank you.

11. posted by Mr_Basmt, Jan 31, 2008 6:09 PM

wow. I've got to go scan all my drawings and try this!

12. posted by arunikas, Feb 1, 2008 4:18 AM

beautiful! would like to know more about painting and drawing from you

13. posted by Katrieanna, May 18, 2008 11:40 PM

Nice tutorial :P I think I'm gonna try it too :P

14. posted by naijoseph, Mar 25, 2008 8:25 PM

Great job. Thanks for sharing your time and talent.

15. posted by krazho, Apr 10, 2008 6:42 AM

good thing! i use photoshop a lot.

16. posted by BulgaYa, Apr 20, 2008 11:08 AM

great work!!!

17. posted by the_cs, May 7, 2008 9:10 AM

Ahha! No need take a classes & wasting money.. here also got.. he.he.

18. posted by selya, May 21, 2008 11:27 PM

I have a problem:( I duplicate my Background for 2 layers - drawing and color.
On the color layer, when I'm using pencil it's work fine, but when I'm trying to use Filling tool, it's not working:(

19. posted by selya, May 22, 2008 1:02 AM

everything is working fine, my mistake:) Thank you for great tutorial!

20. posted by kgsomaraj, Jul 3, 2008 1:38 PM

You have talent !
Have some training, you will go
places !

21. posted by kasapa, Sep 27, 2008 9:29 PM

cool ...
contact me

22. posted by SCapture, Sep 28, 2008 6:10 AM

Very nice! I especially liked the instruction on the shadow. Thank you so much! (^_^)

23. posted by tengcheer, Oct 15, 2008 12:22 PM

thx, btw, is tis d way also hw ppl color drawn comics?

24. posted by florinf, Oct 16, 2008 11:15 PM

@ 22.

This is the way I do it.
Don't know about others.

It also depends on the comics.
Some are flat colored and some have 3d effects.

There are also other methods, I'm sure.

In Flash, for example, the fill tool used to work (adjustable too) even if the area was not closed. Don't know about it now but I think it could be even better.

Thank you all for trying out this tutorial.
I hope I'll have some time to add some more tutorials some day.

25. posted by vanraz, Feb 11, 2009 3:41 PM


26. posted by baarathib, Nov 11, 2008 1:47 PM


27. posted by abcdz2000, Nov 15, 2008 6:10 PM


28. posted by tizzey, Nov 21, 2008 11:01 AM

cool tutorial - thanks

29. posted by ayhan489, Jan 28, 2009 9:59 PM

thank you good tutorial

30. posted by pdmk33, Mar 27, 2009 1:17 PM

Excellent, i'm inspired! Thought it would be more difficult to make it look that good.

31. posted by awadh, Apr 22, 2009 8:24 AM

Thanx very useful

32. posted by cjeschke1, Oct 13, 2009 10:24 AM

This is a GREAT tutorial. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. :D
gap year

33. posted by griyamobil, Nov 26, 2010 8:04 PM

Very nice tutor, thanks for the information.

34. posted by oristyl, Aug 1, 2012 7:07 PM

It is great tutorial, thank you very much for this :))))

35. posted by imecenas, Jul 20, 2012 6:38 PM

It is amazing!!!

36. posted by careersB, May 27, 2013 3:55 AM

AWESOME. thank you for taking your time to teach us! I really learned a lot. WOW.

37. posted by renderiska, Jun 21, 2013 5:57 AM

It just works.

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