sagakari asked:Hey brother love your work! I was curious if you had any tips on coloring characters and the influence of light source on shading. You have a great handle on all of these concepts. By the way I've preordered your sketchbook so thank you in advance.
Thanks, man! :D
I’m sure many have written about this in-depth and can be found around on the net but I can ring off a couple straight tips from the top of my head:
- Learning the form is the key to creating believable lighting, and that will give you a huge jump in understanding it without much need for referencing. The planes that are affected when light hits it from different angles, the shadows that are casted, etc. You have to basically think 3-dimensional. In addition, you have a human body right on you to assist you further. Grab a mirror and some lights and study up! You should also understand how contrast works as well.
- When it comes to coloring and painting, I don’t pick colors. Like shown above, I use a base palette and then I let the knowledge of lighting control things from there. My shadows are typically all the same color, same as my highlights, and I use them with specific layer blending modes. It’s the closest to working in real life, because lighting always affects color. It’s accurate and really simple to understand once you get used to coloring in this way.
- Learn about temperature! Shadows should not be pure greyscale/black as that will make the image’s colors dry and dull. I tend to go for cooler shadows (purples/blues) and warm highlights (yellows/oranges) in my work.
- With proper environmental lighting, a character will never be their base color. I made an example above. Only purest white light surroundings (“Balanced”) is when tones would appear at its most unadulterated. So when I color an image, I color the character in their base palette, and then I use Gradient Maps (a Photoshop tool) to influence the mood and temperature of the illustration. (I will write a more in-depth explanation on using Gradient Maps when I find the time to). It’s all depending on the illustration I’m working on. If I’m coloring a character in the middle of a blizzard, I wouldn’t use any kind of warm lighting. I’d use blues and teals in my Gradient Maps. On the other hand, if I’m coloring characters in a desert-like setting, I’d use a lot of yellows, oranges, and browns in them.
So these are the basics that I apply all the time with my work! I hope it helps. ^^