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The following tutorial will walk you step-by-step through digitally coloring in Adobe Photoshop. In this easy-to-follow tutorial, I’ll show you how to paint a cute cartoon character portrait sketch. The great thing is that you can easily apply these techniques to your other projects. Though I’ll be coloring with a character sketch, you can apply skills from this tutorial to any digital coloring projects that you want .
• Photoshop CS3
• Wacom Intuos2 6×8 Graphics Tablet
Note: I’m using Adobe Photoshop. But if you wish…you can use the other tools like..Corel Draw etc.
Preview of Final Results
Step 1: First of all Let‘s open a new document (approximately 700wide and 810 high, around 72 dpi) and make a preliminary sketch. (Ctrl+N or File > New). For now it is in 72dpi, but after changing the resolution to 300dpi (without re-sampling image) you can able to print it on A3 format in pretty good quality
* Width: 700px
* Height: 810px
* Resolution: 72.
The very first step of this tutorial is to draw the base sketches for the main idea. Here I got a sketch I was happy with, before I started coloring…. now, here is the main sketch work which I draw. If you want, you can use my sketch . After finishing the the sketch, I set the sketch layer to “multiply”. Draw your sketch. it doesn’t have to be perfect, you will go over it later. And I lock my sketch layer also. And however, my tutorial won’t show you how to draw the sketch..but will teach you how to paint the sketch of a cool cartoon character! I often draw or paint a lot of sketches to represent a concept but then I realized that I was just using one sketch (Anyway you always have to draw a few sketches to decide which one is the best)
Step 2: My color palette. These are my colors selection. but I can change them later… don’t decide yet colors…The very first step is to choose right colors for our portrait painting. it depends on a lot of things like mood, the story you want to tell.
Step 3: Then I click on the Brush Tool (B) and choose a very thin, hard brush. As you know, soft brushes are the blurry ones and hard brushes are more solid.
Step 4: Note that you can have any color selected as your brush color because we’ll go over it with a layer style shortly. Pick the base of your skin color and paint with a new layer under the sketch layer. Decide where the shadows/whater will be… Now we’re ready to paint.. Make sure the color layer selected not the sketch. Use the large brush to do some general shading for the overall shape of the head and the neck.
Step 5: And here let me show you my layer order. When beginning the painting process, there are two very important pieces of information I would like to inform you. There are the light source and location, if your character or object is inside, the lights tends to be warmer but if it is outside then it is tends to be cooler unless at sunrise or sunset.
Step 6: Now is the time to determine the look of the background that you are going for. Grab the Gradient Tool (G) and fill the background with it.Here I am going to explain how I make the background using Gradient Tool (G). Here are my colors for the background. One is: # cfd7c2 and the other one is: # eaede7.
Step 7: Now it is tme to clean it up! Taking ereaser tool erase all the acces skin that will be touching to the background. Taking a small soft brush and setting is about 40% -30%. I go around with my brush tool that are going to be highly shaded. Start to add a new layers to add shades and shadows. And shadows doesn’t have to be always be darker versions of the color used for the base color. it can be other colors too. Here I am trying some different colors for my character.