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Tips and Tricks: ColoringShare your amazingness!!!

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#1 Lady Plantagenet

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:53 PM

Got some great tips and tricks for coloring! SHARE SHARE SHARE!!! :D Any artist of any level can contribute, but please, no questions. Questions should be in the questions thread.

#2 softbun


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:58 PM

So the way I color, is first I use a gradient map set on soft light at 60% opacity to determine where I want to go with my coloring, be it blue, pink, or gold or a mix of a couple. This is good for me bacause I can test out various colorings before I get too deep into it. Then I do my selective coloring to highlight the colors established by the gradient map. Then I usually duplicate the selective coloring layer and set it to hue, saturation, color, or luminosity to add a vividness or just an extra depth to the graphic.

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#3 Asphodelic



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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:01 PM

Well one way to color that I learned is to 


1. Add a transparent layer over the whole graphic.

2. Fill it up with the color of choice, whether one color or choose a color gradient. Just make sure it looks good.

3. Set the layer mode onto "Color" and place the opacity at 25. 

4. Then duplicate the Colored layer, and set the layer mode to Soft light. Also duplicate that as many times until you get a full coloring.


If you want your graphic to be more colorful instead of just a single color, use gradient maps like I said but this time, set the mode onto Soft Light and set the opacity to like 50. Then move your mouse across your graphic and should be able get a satisfying color. :)

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#4 Lady Plantagenet

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:22 PM

I like to create my own contrast, so when I start coloring, I usually begin with a Brightness/Contrast layer--I pump up the brightness to somewhere around +20, and the contrast I take down to around -25. That way when I add the brown/white gradient map later (reversed, 10% on Overlay), a gentler contrast emerges, and I can build on it with other gradient maps and a careful use of Selective Color.

#5 bewitching.


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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:23 AM

For my colouring I use photo filters, levels, hue/sat and graident maps. I use photo filters to determine whether the graphic would look good with warm colours or dark colouring. Then I use the levels and hue/sat to colour the person and brighten them up. Over the top of all of that I probably end up with many gradient maps on soft light with varying opacities.

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#6 Anna_Black

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:28 AM

I usually start colouring a graphic adding a gradient layer of black/white on luminosity - it adds contrast (I'm not a fan of the brightness/contrast layers - I usually overdo them :/ ) and you can always decrease the opacity. Then, I add another black/white gradient layer on normal and lower the opacity (usually below 30%, but again, it always depends on the graphic itself), so that the original colouring of the graphic is subdued and more even, so you can colour away :)

Edited by Anna_Black, 09 April 2013 - 05:29 AM.

#7 Apocalypse


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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:44 AM

The first thing I usually do is to make sure that the graphic has some depth. I mostly start with a black & white gradient layer set on normal. I set the opacity of this layer depending on the level of depth I want. This is a very good way to prevent your graphic from appearing too plain. The gradient layer adds perfect dimension. Then I proceed with a default lighter curves layer. And a default linear contrast curves layer is always good to keep the contrast balanced. These are the basics that I do in almost every graphic of mine. Then I always have a whole load of gradient maps set on soft light and low opacity with occasional layers of selective coloring depending on which kinda coloring I'm going for. Also. If, at the end of your coloring, you feel like there's too much of a single color in your graphic, for instance if you have too much pink, just add a blue or a yellow photo filter set at 30-50% opacity. It counteracts the extreme affects of the pink perfectly. If your graphic is too yellow, a blue photo filter always works. And so on. ^_^ I'm not perfect at coloring, in fact I'm still a learner but I hope this helps someone. :)

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#8 vendetta


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Posted 12 April 2013 - 11:51 AM

(Thanks to Andrea/Modthryth--) I almost always start with a blue/orange gradient map set on Difference and around 5% opacity. Then I add a Brightness/Contrast layer set to roughly brightness: 10/contrast: -10. It differs depending on how much white is already in the base of the graphic. ^_^ I only recently got a hold of a solid cs5 program instead of a trial, so I'm pretty much in the habit of coloring via gradient maps. I usually set the layers to either Darken, Lighten, Soft Light, or Color. I do all that in PSE and then use CS5 for a vibrance layer or some selective color (usually just whites because it still kind of scares me). To finish it off, I use a black/white gradient map set to Luminosity at 50% opacity. I follow that by a black fill layer and then a blank layer that I use a white soft brush in. I merge those layers and set the new layer to Soft Light and the opacity to anywhere from 50-90% depending on how it looks. n_n Not sure if this'll help anyone, but that's what I do.

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#9 saranghae.


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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:58 PM

i always start with a black and white gradient map set on value (and lower the opacity depending on the original lighting) :]  and use colouring textures to achieve selective colour like effects.. i noticed pinkish textures give a pinkish/redish effect after adding the gradient map. :] i also use black and white gradients throughout the graphic to help out with lightening.

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#10 AlwaysAvery


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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:47 AM

I always have trouble deciding what colouring I want/what colouring looks good on a certain graphic, so this is my usual procedure:

1. black and white gradient set to soft light

2. colour fill layer (any colour except black/white, but you can choose what colour you like) on soft light around 20%

3. if you don't like the above colour, just go to Hue/Saturation (my favourite colouring tool ^_^) and play around until you find a colour that you like

4. duplicate that layer and go crazy with the Hue/Saturation again until you find a colouring that looks good


I basically just redo the steps over and over again until I get a nice colouring :) 

Though do note that these steps will produce a VERY vibrant colouring - which is how I like my graphics :)


And after everything is done, top it off with another b&w gradient set on soft light for depth and contrast :)


That's it. Hope it helps anyone! :D




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#11 iridescentfluorescent

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 12:23 PM

I do a lot of multi-coloring, and when I do this, I usually make a gradient with the two colors I want (so if its yellow and blue, I make a gradient with yellow and blue) and set it at an angle (because if its straight up-and-down then it looks boring, but if its from left corner to right corner, it looks better) and then I set it at soft light (or you don't have to do this, but simply place it at 15-32% opacity, but you have to make sure you erase where the coloring hits the people so that they don't look unusually colored) and lower the opacity accordingly. However, once you do this, you should usually make a vibrance so it stands out, and then you start using color balance, which is what I use with almost my whole entire coloring process. But make sure, if you use vibrance, that by the end of your coloring, it doesn't look TOO bright. If that's so, then you need to desaturate it just a little.


But yeah; that's how I multi-color sometimes :) Other times I just use color balance all the way! And neutrals :)


Anyways, hope that helped :)

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