Colouring Line Art

By Melissa Evans

STEP 5: Finishing Touches

OK, you have pretty much completed the picture in STEP 4, let’s just add a few little finishing touches.

a) Background

If there is no background image, I like to do a simple gradient fill on the background. First create a new layer, it should be above your “white background” layer. Right click on the Paint Bucket Tool to reveal Photoshop’s Gradient Tool. See Image below.

Select your a foreground and a background (a darker shade of the foreground colour is preferable) in the tool palette. I chose a linear gradient for this picture. All the options are in the top left of your Photoshop window. See image below.

This was too even for my liking so I grabbed a large brush and did some random darker marks on another layer. Then blurred the hell out of it.

Next create a shadow for your character so that he/she/it isn’t floating in mid-air. Make the shadow using a hue/saturation adjustment layer (see STEP 3).

Finally I found the gradient a little too much so I lowered the opacity of the “gradient background” layer.

I had a picture of dragon that I’d drawn earlier so I added that to the image. I set the “dragon” layer mode to Soft Light so that its barely there. (The mode of the layer is next to the opacity slider on your Layers Window). The dragons might be a little tacky but I’ll leave them there for now.

b) Details

I added a little length to the guitar cord. It looked like the guy had a Mickey Mouse tail. See the above image.

Using the Line Tool (see below image) I created the guitar strings.

I also add a little rough detail to the guitar head. Note that the lines that create the guitar strings are actually really faint.

c) Secondary Colour

This is a new Photoshop trick that I learnt recently. It’s the icing on the cake!! The colour will really help to tie all the layers together.

Create a new layer (this is the very last layer that you need to create). Drag the new layer to the top of the Layer Window so that it sits above all other layers. Rename the layer appropriately. Mine’s called “red light”.

Select the colour you wish to use as a secondary colour…mine’s red, you may have guessed from the layer name. This secondary colour is actually refracted light for the most part SO if your background is green for example don’t use red, use green tones. The colour should match the surrounding objects.

Select a spatter brush with a low opacity and paint on secondary light. Apply a little blur to the layer and try lowering the opacity of the entire layer until it looks right. See image below.

Finally, don’t forget to Save!

So that’s it! That’s how I colour my pictures. I hope you found this Photoshop tutorial helpful. Feel free to contact me via my contact page if you have any questions.