So lately a lot of people have been asking me if I’ll do a tutorial for how I colour my drawings. I’m pretty terrible at tutorials but I thought I’d at least try it.
So the following is my process for colouring drawings in Paint Tool SAI. (This assumes you have a basic knowledge of the program already)
First…you start with your lineart.
Next, you fill in the basic colours. If you’re patient and tidy, you can do clean lines, make sure they have no gaps, and then do the solid colours with the magic wand tool.
If you’re lazy like me, you can make it more difficult for yourself by leaving the lines sketchy and colouring them in by hand.
If I were doing coloured lines instead of leaving them black, here is where I would change them. Changing the colours of the lines is pretty simple - on the lines layer, just check the little box that says “preserve opacity” and recolour them however you want.
Next step is the shading. For this drawing, I chose to do my usual cel-shading style.
Make a new layer above your lines and solid colours and set it to “Multiply.”
Choose a mid-to-light greyish purple colour (you can actually use pretty much whatever colour you want depending on the look you want for the drawing - try experimenting with different ones a bit) for basic shadows.
Sometimes I draw in the shadows by hand, and sometimes I do what I did here instead - which is fill in the entire thing with shadow and then erase the light.
(Tip: if you ever have trouble with figuring out your light source, think of the light as rain/water and the light source as where the water is coming from. Anywhere that would stay dry, should be in shadow. Anywhere that would get wet should be lit.)
You can play with the opacity of the shading layer to make it more or less intense. In this case I wanted it a little more dramatic, so I raised the opacity of the layer.
Next, the background. If you’re good at backgrounds you can draw a good one. If you’re bad at backgrounds (like me) maybe just slap some coloured squares back there or something.
Add some highlights on the hair and you can be finished!
Sometimes afterwards I like to go into Photoshop CS5 and add some more lighting effects with gradients and stuff and play with the Colour Balance a bit but that’s not totally necessary or anything.