Coloring a reference picture or line art, using layers and Java Tools.
First of, start by getting a reference picture. This could by done by searching on Photo Bucket, Google, or any other site that carries pictures. You could also skip this step if you already have a line art. You should always first make sure the image is not copyright protected. I am using this picture as an example only.
Make the picture into a line art. If you already have a line art, then this step doesn't apply to you. Make sure to start your line art on any layer that isn't the first! I like to delete the first layer to avoid that problem. Using is the grid option on Java, copy that drawing down with the best of your abilities.
Also take note that I did not draw Roxas in this picture, because it over whelms me ;) So if its easier only draw one object at a time.
Add another layer but make sure your line art sits on top of it. Then use the pen/pencil tool with a large brush, and color all the places where there is skin.
Yes I know I forgot the ear! And its okay if the color goes all over the place, we'll get to that later.
Now, you want to look at the reference picture and see what general areas you can color at the same time. For example: I have chosen all the red colored areas, and the blues, blacks, grays, browns, and yellows.
Move them around, so that the base(s) -- in this case, the blues and blacks -- are at the bottom, and that the top colors, like the brown, is on top. Also have the skin on the bottom.
Its okay if it looks sloppy, we'll fix this in the next step.
*!Note! This is not the only way but I find it easier to color this way.*
*!Note! You are also not concerned about the details, we'll hit those later.*
Grab the eraser tool and start erasing the colors by layer. Make sure that you erase all of the coloring that's outside the line art. Continue doing this with all the layers.
After you erase all the stray marks, you should end up with something like this. Although there are stray marks here it looks pretty clean.
In this step you'll add the details. You can see I cleaned up the white lining of the red things inside his shirt. I also took the liberty of cleaning up the buckles on his shirt and adding detail. And I colored the other little things I didn't take care of in step 4.
To add shading, simply take the layer or part you want to shade, and click the + sign on the layers.
So if you wanted to add shading or make something brighter you'd press the + key, and get a layer.
Layer 2 | <-- You'll do all the
------------ shading for the
Blue Stuff | "blue" layer here.
If you are happy with the shading, you can press CTRL+E to merge the layers. If you are unhappy with the shading, you can delete it by pressing the - key.
To make the eye, add a layer under the line art layer, and zoom into the line art. On the new layer! Color the surrounding white, and then fill in the eyes with a dark blue.
To finish the eyes: Add a lighter color to the eyes, but just fill them up half way. Then use the white color and make a little dot in his eyes. I like to outline the eyes with a aqua blue color.
For the mouth: Get a dark pink color and fill in the mouth. After that, get a lighter pink and make it go in the middle of the darker color. Then get the white and color in the teeth.
You have finished Sora.
You can either Merge all the colors together and have it sitting under the line art, or leave them there. Although it may get confusing. I don't like merging the line art with the colors because I might want to erase something and then I'm pretty screwed.
Next you hide the Sora layers, and draw Roxas. We will do the same procedures like we did with Sora.
In this picture I forgot to move the Sora layers on top of the Roxas line art, so pretend its on top of the "Roxas Lineart" layer.
You'll continue to repeat step 5 here. making sure everything outside the line art is erased.
Next you'll proceed to follow step 8 for the shading.
Follow step 9-10 for the eyes, and mouth. And guess what! You finished Roxas.
Then you can merge the layers again and stop hiding Sora's layers. Tada! Their together! Now for the keyblades.
Okay, follow the picture. Sora's layers should be on top of Roxas' layers. Then make a layer below Roxas' for the key blade. Make the outline for the keyblade and make another layer under that one.
This layer will be for coloring.
Now that you colored it, you can make the back ground. I made it a light blue and used the airbrush tool to make clouds, then I blurred it once, (at default settings) and retouched the clouds.
Here's the finished product. I also added some other things in the submission. :)
Sorry for the long tutorial, but I hope it helped. Remember, this is only one of many ways to color your line arts. Also don't be a complete jerk about how I color my stuff. It works for me, and it may work for you (: