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For now Im ok with the line work. For the shading, I think this would be better to use a solid shading than blur/air brushing (I dunno, its just me) Also the left legs shading doesn't seem done, looks very flat, would probably go alittle more darker on the upper back leg. The left leg needs a shading somewhere in the edge, but I cant get where the light source is (side/front/back?) If you get that right then the color/shading will make the image look clearer ^^
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Reference on hair shadings are found all over the place (most done simply but still looks good) Probably would only need three colors for the hair shine/hair color/shadow but if you want to enhance the depth, add a 2nd shadow.
I'm a shitty artist myself so you can dispute this entirely and I won't get offended in the slightest, but I feel like the shading here is a little too strong. A strong contrast is great, but the saturation feels too weak. They'd be more appropriate for dimly lit rooms, but the rest of the hair/clothing suggests the area is actually quite bright.
Originally Posted by Aryiane
Basiscally, to me, it looks like you moved the pointer on the saturation picker towards the 7 o clock position. I think its much more appropriate to move the hue wheel towards a more primary color instead.
Well, I know thats the standard for light skinned characters, but I'm a bit more foreign to tanned characters like this one. At the start of making this guide, I wondered if any of this post actually applies to non-peachy characters, so I'm starting some research. Everything I write below this line is pretty much being written as I learn it.
In a bright condition, the hue wheel was turned 20 degrees, with the lightness (Photoshop calls it lightness, Paint Tool SAI calls it Luminescence) reduced around 20%. Given the barely minimal change in saturation, I'm thinking (theorycrafting) here that maybe you don't have to modify the saturation much at all.
This is where there is strong light but most of it doesn't actually hit the character. I guess theres not much to shade in this particular image, but the differences between the light tone and the dark tone is that the hue is shifted 15 degrees towards the primary color and lightness reduced. Not much change in saturation.
In a dark room like I mentioned earlier, the hue isn't changed nearly as much. Its about 5 degrees. The lightness is significantly changed. The saturation is slightly changed.
I wondered if this rule was true for characters with much darker skin (or abnormally colored skin such as blue), so I did some diving on a tagging site and looked into it. Images are NSFW so I won't post here.
The general rule applies all the same for characters of all skin colors, whether it be yummy chocolate girls or delicious blue skinned demon girls. One important thing I noticed is that in every case where there is a solid light source, the lightness never fell below 50%. In fact most stayed within a general range of top 30%, so I think its safe to say thats a good position for shaded skin in any image with bright lighting.
The whole "move the hue wheel towards the primary color" seems to be true in the case of skin tones, but its not global for clothing and hair. Though it seems to be fine to do it that way assuming that there isn't some sort of ambient lighting... Certainly would improve your coloring if you played around with the wheel, but I feel like its some crazy next level stuff. I've found some interesting guides on color theory but I'm weaboo trash so I can't read hiragana.
Often cases it seems to me like the colors actually deviate further away from primary colors. Which is actually really interesting.
Some tips to avoid having images with hard colors would be to never start your base color from a solid primary (Red/Green/Blue) because lighting/darkening it becomes hard and the colors just keep getting harder and harder. Never go below 50% lightness unless it is intended to be a very dark place, in which case you should avoid going too high on lightness for any other area as well.
Overall, I think solid vector lined colors are a better way to color. At least until you've managed to really understand color theory. Paintbrush/Airbrush style is really difficult to pull off in my opinion. It also means you tend to have to really make the anatomy stand out (or they will look deformed), whereas you can get away without doing so in solid colors. If you can get really used to it, you can do a mix of the two styles to create some nice illustrations like .
TL;DR HOW TO COLOR:
Well then. I sure learned a lot.
Last edited by Cucurbita; 07-16-2012 at 07:40 AM.
Yeah, most illustrations I see for hair uses 3. Base, light, dark. Sometimes they'll add another for Base, light, dark, extra dark. But I don't feel its very necessary, especially if you're using gradients well.
Originally Posted by BizarreJuju
Hair shading is really difficult for me :(
Originally Posted by Aryiane
Anyways, ignore "shine" for now, and focus doing duo tones only for each color. Three is okay, but any more and you're actually pushing potential further potential for error. Most animation quality characters don't have more than 2 colors, and even professional illustrators rarely go beyond 3 or 4. Its just unnecessary.
Since we aren't (or at least, I'm not) going to art school or something and have professional mentors, the best way to learn is to study the images that are available to us in extensive detail. Just open them up on photoshop or sai, and have a good look.