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Author Topic: Questions about coloring  (Read 414 times)

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Offline Inarius1

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Questions about coloring
« on: April 01, 2019, 02:43:45 PM »
Yoroshiku onegaishimasu! Hello, I am a young and aspiring artist, and I have been honing my skills since the age of three (when I did my first finger painting, it was a flower). I love to draw, sketch, and doodle. Everything from flowers and fighting stickmen plastered all over my homework, to full-human sized anime character portraits! I am now seventeen and about to graduate highschool, and have decided I want to hone my artistic skills. I have enrolled in a Japanese college for mangaka, and wish to prepare for my time there as much as possible. However, I am color deficient, which means I can see color, but not very well. I used to color my drawings years ago, but stopped when I was made fun of for using an apricot crayon to color skin (I was really surprised to learn that it's a different color!) However, I have been developing my skills, and finding ways to overcome my deficiency. I believe I have all but mastered most aspects of my preferred medium, however, I am having trouble with coloring with black. As a color that overrides most others, even when applied lightly, it makes it difficult to color clothing, hair, and other things without the image looking to flat and amateur. For now, I just shade in what I want black, but I would like to ask those of you more experienced than I about methods to do this in a more professional manner. My theory is that the pros use a really dark shade of purple or something along those lines (I think this because I usually can't tell the difference between dark purple and black) I humbly ask your assistance here, because I can't seem to find an answer to this question no matter where I look, or what guide I read. They all have methods for coloring, just not with black. By the way, I use pencil/pen, paper, and coloring supplies such as colored pencils and crayons for my art. Once again, please help me if you can, I greatly appreciate any assistance anyone can offer.

Offline Robin Ryuu

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Re: Questions about coloring
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2019, 10:21:10 PM »
Having taken a college oil painting class, I know a bit about color.

First off, we were not allowed to bring black paint into the class. Shadows and highlights are never pure black or white. Generally shadows are a both darker and more saturated color than the base color. What color the shadows and highlights are specifically depends on three things; the base color, the color of the light source, and the color of the surrounding surfaces that are reflecting light onto the object.

Stylistically though, these rules can be bent however you want. I see a lot of people using reds and purples as their shadow colors.

Black always makes colors flat.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 10:25:33 PM by Robin Ryuu »

Offline Lord Kesashi

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Re: Questions about coloring
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2019, 11:32:19 PM »
Colorblind artist typically make very beautiful color based pieces. But often not, perfectly representational color.

I did have the same experience in my painting class where black was banned, in fact. Only Red, Yellow, Blue and White paint was allowed. Eventually we started doing open ended work and abstract art where you could use any paint you wanted.

Even if you have trouble seeing certain colors, you're in luck because color is very mathematical. You can think of colors as an equation involving percentages of Red, Yellow, Blue, and White.

Skin tone is actually made of orange which means 50% red, 50% yellow. Some skin may appear more red and some may appear more yellow. Additionally skin is not fully "saturated" so you it must be neutralized with blue to be accurate. Red, yellow and blue when combined equally make black. That means partial combinations create colorful grays. Dark red would be achieved by for instance: 50% red, 25% blue, 25% yellow. Gray red would be 50% dark red 50% white.

So illustrations of fair skinned people would probably be 20% red, 20% yellow, 5% blue, 75% White. And dark skinned people would approximately be 40% red, 40% yellow, 20% blue. This would result in a very dark orange which we also call brown.

Whenever you're using dry media like colored pencils, you have to actually buy the exact color you need. You can do some color mixing, but it's less intuitive. You'll need to buy extremely large variety packs of colored pencil. I would actually recommend crayola over prismacolor. The quality is the same, but crayola is cheaper. But Prismacolor does make a better black. And you can use both brands simultaneously.

I actually have done a lot of photorealistic work with colored pencil and it is more about buying the right colors than it is about color mixing. Typically just buying dark brown pencils is all you need to create shadows in skin tone. The three crayola brand colors I would use the most are "Soft Peach" "Light Brown" "Brown" and "Dark Brown" And also a bit of red and black. 

Offline suuper-san

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Re: Questions about coloring
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2019, 07:58:03 AM »
I am colourblind as well!!!!!!
I draw digital art a lot so I can pick and choose what colours I use with confidence using RGB/HSV. Also I use a colourpicker on photos to see what colours are there to begin with.
For traditional drawings I mostly sketch and shade in monochrome (ie. only blue pen or black pen etc)
Putting names on your pencils can help with picking the right colour although I like to try and guess haha.

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color is very mathematical
Lord Kesashi is right in that, you might not be able to see the colour as it is, but you can use knowledge and experience to guess very correctly.

Avoiding black is a good idea unless you are doing monochrome artwork. I generally shade with blues and reds, but you have to think about your light sources and reflected and ambient light colours as well.

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Only Red, Yellow, Blue and White paint was allowed.
Sounds like a nice challenge. Might try that some time.
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Offline Inarius1

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Re: Questions about coloring
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2019, 12:36:56 PM »
Thank you all for your input! I always had trouble telling how to color things, and while I'm not particularly embarrassed about it, I often find myself getting pretty irritated at my drawback. I will try to take all your advice into consideration for my next piece and if it turns out well I'd like to share it here! Your help is greatly appreciated, and I must say that now I have a new perspective to work from thanks to you all! I apologize if my ignorance to these techniques seemed childish, I've never taken a serious art class so most of my learning has been done by trial and error. Once again, thank you all!