I found a great time-saver for coloring my illustration work, and I thought other illustrators could benefit from it as well, in case they have similar processes… I hope this is helpful!
The way I used to color my illustrations was this:
- Scan sketches
- Redraw linework in Photoshop on a layer above the sketch
- Create new layer for colors beneath my linework layer
- Use marquee tool to block in areas (within black lines) and fill with appropriate color
This method gave nice results, but I’ve always been in search of a way to make the process faster. Finally I’ve discovered it! I found these 2 Photoshop plugins by BPelt, which you can download for free here.
Now here’s my new, faster process:
- Draw my linework above my sketch layer like I’ve already said.
- Duplicate linework layer
- Create new layer and flood with white, and place it underneath the duplicate of the linework layer.
Combine the duplicate linework layer and the flat white layer (Command or CTRL-E)
- Turn off Sketch layer
- Select the combination linework/white layer, and apply THRESHOLD (under Image>Adjustments>Threshold). This removes the anti-aliasing on that particular layer.
- Apply the FILTER>BPelt>Multifill (that you’ve already downloaded and installed)
- Apply the FILTER>BPelt>Flatten
- Turn on the original Linework layer again
- Apply the correct colors to the large areas of the multi-colored layer using the Magic Wand tool.
SO MUCH FASTER! It’s… it’s… INCONCEIVABLE!
Now I lock the flat color layer, create a new layer for shading, choose each area and find a darker hue, and brush it in using soft brushes (with the color selected from the Color layer to mask out unwanted shading, like using an airbrush).