I recorded a demo of myself painting the sketch below and, though it was intended to be only 10 minutes long, I ended up going on and on for about a half hour! I don't expect that everyone would want to watch that, so I sped it up to 3 minutes and added a Huey Lewis tune! WIN.
In the long version of the demo, I show how to use levels, multiply layers, and use brushes to get a softer look. In this shorter version, you really just see some color decisions fly by!
Here are some of the brushes I use:
- Chalk Brush
- Nagel Series 33 Pencil Brushes (this page also describes how to add brushes in Photoshop)
- Stumpy Pencil
Useful tips mentioned in the long version:
- To quickly change the line color of your sketch, select the line and hit CMD+U (Hue/Saturation), check the "colorize box"
- If you paint with the pencil tool instead of the brush tool, the autofill is MUCH better.
- Layer Lock: Lock Transparent Pixels is AWESOME.
- You can also use Blending Modes on a layer above your sketch to colorize your line, but it effects all colors underneath the layer as well.
Even though the long version is 30 minutes, if I were painting this for a paying job I'd definitely spend another few hours finessing details. I think spending those few minutes ahead of time colorizing your lines is worthwhile.
If I had known I'd end up colorizing this sketch, I might reconsider how much pencil shading I add. I found as I was coloring that it was very difficult to select sections to "colorize" because of the thick shadows. The shading also makes some parts of the piece very dark (her shirt, hair, the little bear nook).
Noteworthy: Someone who really has this technique down is UK based illustrator, Alex T. Smith. His work is phenomenal and lively, so talented! His latest blog post actually shows a before and after pencil sketch turned color.
You know what the real secret ingredient to all of this is... (drumroll please)
*If you'd like to watch the long version of my demo in which I say "Umm." 2,000,345 times and immediately go back on my promise to label all my layers, I've made it available on my Vimeo page, here. :)
Thanks for reading, and as always feel free to comment below and ask questions!