Log in

02 March 2009 @ 03:46 am
First of all, thanks to everybody who made recommendations!

BUT ANYWAY, this is a manga coloring tutorial. Because I'm bored and tomorrow's going to be a snow day. :) It requires basic Photoshop knowledge.

Going from this: to this:


Crop, obviously. If there's a word bubble that doesn't interfere with anything, erase it. Similarly, sound effects can stay or go. I crop and then zoom to color, usually, because if I color and then crop I tend to add in details that don't show up in the final product, which is a waste of time.

OKAY NOW: New layer, set to multiply. Pick a skin tone, and color the skin. Hijikata is tan, so I'll grab a tan base tone. I only really use two general skin tones:

If there are two people in the icon, I like to make them have different skin tones (usually I'll make the girl or more feminine one have fairer skin becauseeeee of stupid classical art reasons). I just think it looks more interesting.

Make sure your skin layer is transparency-locked. I do highlights and shadows all on the same layer.

TIPS FOR SHADOWS: DO NOT USE BLACK. It will look ugly, even if you do it on a low transparency. :( Low-transparency blues and purples also don't really look good. They make skin look less vibrant, kind of zombie-ish. Here are my general shadow colors for tan skin, and I've blocked in, with red, where they should go:

It's really important to remember where your light is coming from. Darker shadows go in deeper-set areas, such as the corner of the eye and the hollow of the in-shadow cheekbone (not visible on Hijikata). Also, remember that palms and fingertips are more pink.

Once you have the basic colors down, blend with a splatter brush (such as this one: ; select the black and go to Edit > define brush preset if you want it) set to about 70-80% opacity. I'm using it at 4px.

This ugly thing is what I got with just shadows:

And that's why highlights are important.


Same deal.

(If anybody's paying reeeeeally close attention to the colors, you'll notice that the shadows color picker was more red and this one is more orange - it doesn't matter. As long as you stay within the red-orange area and use similar lightness/darkness and saturation, it'll still look like the same skin tone.)

Here's my final skin layer: Much better. :)

STEP THREE: all other stuff needing to be colored

This isn't really a complicated picture; I mostly chose it for the facial structure of the dude involved (i.e., has cheekbones, small eyes, and a strong nose) and the skin tone, since tan shows off highlighting more than fair skin. That also means that, for this particular icon, eyes aren't important, but a lot of the time that's not the case. Anyway I'm glossing over eyes for this tutorial, and hair, since his is black. MAYBE NEXT TIME I'LL GET TO THEM 8)

Here's the basic, flat colors for everything, mostly on one layer:

The exception being his yukata, which I wanted to make dark blue, so I used a screen layer on that.

NOTE: I colored his eye a light pink-gray, because eyes are not really white. It's not a necessary step, though.

I added highlights and shadows with the dodge/burn tools and came up with this:

Next I colored in the gray and used the clone stamp to get rid of the stylized smoke and replace it with smoke I stole from google, because I felt like it:

And now it's finally time for

STEP FOUR: LAYERS OF STUFF + I start to get lazy

1. Selective color - neutrals - cyan + whatever, ~20
2. Bright yellow layer, set to soft light
3. Selective color - You can play with this (it varies for me depending on the image), but basically reds minus cyan plus yellow; yellow minus cyan plus magenta minus yellow; whites plus cyan minus yellow; neutrals plus cyan minus yellow. Almost all the settings are around 30-40 for this particular icon. AHAHAHA I WAS TOO LAZY TO MAKE A CHART I DON'T CARE
4. Light blue multiply layer; 60% opacity
5. Curves - RGB (move the top point slightly left); Red (move the bottom point slightly right, also I: 156 O: 168; Blue (about the same as red)
6. Grab this crappy light texture I made and set it to screen.
7. Color balance: Midtones 0, -30, 0; Highlights 0, -17, +22
8. Dark red exclusion layer, 35% opacity
9. Channel mixer: Red 130, -40, 20; Blue -40, 40, 130. Set to lighten.

(Screened comment)
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 08:52 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
merry: *in a quiet voice* ou vat?vehemence on March 2nd, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 09:26 am (UTC)

askjdfsk all my icons have stupid expressions right now
(Deleted comment)
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 09:34 am (UTC)
TY B)♥
SUPAHFLY❢: dmc » i kissed a girl and i liked itcandlejack on March 2nd, 2009 09:10 am (UTC)
Yesssssssss, I shall absorb your talent.

Edited at 2009-03-02 09:11 am (UTC)
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 09:42 am (UTC)
aslkfdk I love that icon +_+
SUPAHFLY❢: am » dirty rich and beautifulcandlejack on March 2nd, 2009 09:45 am (UTC)
It's from the best fanart in the whole world.
kenpachi ramasama in da club: ❝... ladies❞rayquaza on March 2nd, 2009 09:22 am (UTC)
Huhuhu pinkrum colorins get.
kenpachi ramasama in da club: ❝GUREITO❞rayquaza on March 2nd, 2009 09:22 am (UTC)
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 09:54 am (UTC)
aklsdjks I lol'd, YW♥
...: it's play time ♥herinia on March 2nd, 2009 09:23 am (UTC)
This totally made my day 8DDD
I was wondering how did you do the realistic smoke when I saw the icon, and lol, that was smart.

Thank you very much for sharing ♥
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 10:03 am (UTC)
aksjd thanks! |D
❝YES HOMO❞nanpa on March 2nd, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)
Ohoho this will definitely come in handy! :Db Thank you for this!
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
ブレ人間。: lucky star - catsmoot on March 2nd, 2009 09:35 am (UTC)
YEEEES THIS IS SO PRETTY. also woooo snow day
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
(Deleted comment)
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
askdaskl thank you dragon |D YOU TOTALLY CAN
Katattaining on March 2nd, 2009 10:16 am (UTC)
lkdfh Very nice, thank you!
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
YW! Thanks for recommending the second one haha, I would've got bored with Bleach |D
marta: FRIENDS ; hahaha yataigrin on March 2nd, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
You are so awesome! I'll try this but I think I'm useless about coloring, hahaha.
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
aslkdf thank you |D
Sugoi monogatari, onii-chan.: Colourful Miharukaoru24 on March 2nd, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
Wonderful, thanks ! ♥
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
merry: how excruciatingly sensualvehemence on March 2nd, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
Ty for all the helpful tips. I love how fabulous and lazy this tutorial is. Old Megg you are truly an artist.
pinkrum on March 2nd, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
AHAHAHAHA as I kept going I was like wow this is getting lazier and probably less helpful.../does not fix
mmachi_suki on March 2nd, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
Wonderful tutorial! Thanks :)

Stumbleine: Bleach → 'Hime :Dmichaeleen on March 2nd, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Oh I've always wanted to color manga but I've always been "DURRRRRR AHHDURRRR" about it for some reason. Thanks for this!
RI☆T☆RDEDNESS: rgv [gaze]ria_chan on March 2nd, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
(alsdkfjalskdjflkajsdfPeacemakerKuroganebutmoreimportantlyHIJIKATAAAAAA) This was actually pretty helpful. Thanks for taking the time to write it all up~ The smoke seems hardest and I didn't know there was so much fine tuning. I have a new respect for icon makers. D:
ex_boudica on March 2nd, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
Sup, joining in on the fangirling of your icons +_+ and your tutorials are always so helpful and fabuloussss.
John: Ryohei EXTREME!tokugawa on March 2nd, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)


buñuelos 。◉ ㅂ ◉。pamkips on March 2nd, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
That's what this post is made of.
ある日、私は返却いたしません。rebattle on March 2nd, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
I love you and this tutorial.
sniper valley.: pic#86061755starsurfer on March 3rd, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
thank you for this! you have inspired me to...attempt to colour manga better, dfadgadg.
mr. s; condiments whore extraordinaire!radarsparks on March 4th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
brb trying to absorb some awesomeness
lunatum: gotchalunatum on March 4th, 2009 11:32 am (UTC)
nice tut.
i love it..
thanks for sharing.. :)
(Deleted comment)
シュエ: japan-orangexue on March 9th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
omg wtf how the hell does this work?!?!?! DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD: *speechless*
see... this is why I fail... I could stare at this and never get it to work. ;___; *sobs*

(This is from your good absent affy at shuiyun XD)
detective mittenslovely_zombie on March 9th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
This is just beautiful, I've always admired your manga colouring. ♥
❝ morph! ❞mymorphine on March 9th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
Mem-ing all over the place ♥ Gorgeous. ^^
xuanplayitdirty on June 3rd, 2009 11:34 pm (UTC)
This tutorial is awesome C: Here's my crappy end product.

I didn't follow step four though.

Thanks! :]
skataskata_zmej on April 3rd, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
thank you!! mem =)