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Digital art and coloring


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So, maybe I could get some pointers or ideas from all wonderful creative friends!

As some have read, I recently started to sketch a lot more. I am using an iPad and a Apple Pencil, using Procreate. One thing I still cannot seem to master is the art of coloring what I sketch to any reasonable detail. The art almost seems worse colored then it did as a bunch of scribbled lines. Any advice on how to choose colors, or how I can improve beyond just attempting relentlessly. I am looking for any guides or resources that people have that may have helped them in the past!


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I personally don't have many tutorials and such up publicly, but I do know that sometimes watching people draw and color, like sped up videos of how someone completed an artwork is helpful. I also enjoy looking at people's process works, to see how to put things together and how they break apart their layers. I mostly know that layering in any art program is your best friend. 

Here's some of my own vids, process works and tutorials:


This video is a tad old, haven't made a new one as of yet, and the quality sucks a bit, but it still shows a bit of my coloring process. Small bits of how I do things have changed over the years of course, but it may help too. The program used in the video is quite old and I actually use Manga Studio now, but since it was a simpler program, it may be a good start to help you with yours.


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As an oil painter, coloring digitally aggravates me to no end even after years of practice. It's just way easier to mix the right color on a palette for me than to pick one out of the millions on the screen. That said, some things that have helped me are:

1) Creating a limited palette to use before you begin coloring. This keeps you from going overboard with color and helps establish value levels.
2) Establishing values after sketching. If you can set down your dark and light tones before adding color, or getting too far ahead in your composition, the end result will ultimately have better tonal ranges and be less muddy. Also, if you add a medium tone, remember it should be used as a compositional tool rather than used as a shading tool.
3) Using a canvas that is much larger than what the final image will be. Working in a larger canvas will allow you to work more loosely while also allowing for more detail. At the same time, you will eventually fixate less on packing every detail you can think of in an image because, once scaled down, you won't be able to see it.
4) Working around the entire image rather than finishing one area and moving on. This makes sure the whole image looks cohesive and will help keep values in check.
5) Using program filters/tools. While working on an image, I keep a desaturated filter above my layers to turn on and off to check my values (if working in color). When I'm finished, I typically use the curves tool or throw on an overlay color to boost the colors or strengthen the contrast within the image. I don't use Procreate, but I assume there are similar functions in it.

I also second what Aminirus said. I often watch speed paint/timelapse videos either to see a certain artist's workflow or to get myself in the mood to make my own art.
If you have any further questions about what I've suggested, feel free to ask! Also, if you wouldn't mind sharing some of what you've sketched or colored it could really help us provide you with better and more direct feedback :)

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