Taken from my post Violet Anna says : Love seeing how you colour your work. I always wondered how you did it. I always hated painting on top of a beautiful drawing ( I love the simplicity of a pencil/ pen drawing ). This definitely seems like a good way to get the best of both worlds. What tools in Photoshop do you tend to use? pen tool/ paths, paint brush etc. 

The linework in my Illustration is the most important part, so when colouring in Photoshop it is important to me that the linework remains visible 90% of the time. There are a few tools that are my favourites and I use them for almost every illustration I do. It's important that you experiment in Photoshop and see what works for you, but these are the ones I have on high rotation.

1. The Heal Tool

When I start each illustration I always use the heal tool to tidy up any smudges or marks that happened while drawing. The heal tool samples from other areas of the illustration, copies that area and then duplicates over the smudge. To use the heal tool hold down "alt" until you see a little sampling icon, with "alt" still compressed mouse click on a clean area that you wish to sample from. Take your finger off "alt" and then move your mouse over any blemishes you wish to remove. Resample as you move around so that you are always copying from areas you want.

2. Layer Adjustments - Curves

I usually find that scans can look a little flat, so after cleaning up I head straight to my Curves to boost my tones, make my blacks black and my whites bright. As a general rule I make two points on the Curve graph, pull the blacks down and the whites up. 

3. Layers with Masks

Whenever I colour I choose to use layers with masks attached so that my colouring is always easy to edit at any stage. The layer button looks like a little page, ( see diagram), first I click that and then I add a mask by clicking the little rectangle button with a circle in it. I then click on my layer (see mine is orange) and then I fill it with the colour I want (edit - fill or shift F5). If your mask is white your full page will fill with your colour, but if you fill your mask with black (click on it - edit - fill - black) then you won't see any colour on your page...hope that makes sense.

If your mask is white your page will be completely covered with block colour, we don't want that as we still want to see our line work, so if you head above your layers and change your layer mode to multiply ( see diagram) you will then be able to see your line work underneath.

If you select your mask and then choose a brush you like you can then paint your colour visible or invisible where you want it on your picture. As a rule, any black areas on your mask will block your layer colour, any white areas on your mask will make the layer colour visible. So paint with white paint and your colour will show, but paint with black to remove it.

4. Paint Brushes - I never use pen tools really, I basically only ever use paint brushes, with the Airbrush tool being a long time favourite:)


Those are probably my four most regularly used things. Hope that answers your question Anna! 

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