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Aloha all, eric here with a lil tutorial for you. This lil' thing is all about colouring and shading your work in Photoshop. I'm writing this believing that you have some idea of your way around Adobe Photoshop. I'm using 5.5 but I don't really use anything fancy. Just lines and layers.

If you don't QUITE know all the shortcuts than here are some you should know:

D - changes your selected colours back to the default Black and White.

X - Swaps your selected colours, foreground goes to backround and backround goes to fore.

ALT +DELETE - fills the layer or selection with the foreground colour.

CNTRL + DELETE - fills the layer or selection with the backround colour.

[ and ] - change your brush size.

ALT while using a drawing tool - changes to the eye dropper for as long as you hold ALT.

Before we get to the computer part of it all, I start by drawing a quick sketch of what I want. I don't draw it all perfect or ruled out, I just draw. I try and keep my pencil lines clean and don't erase too much. Here is the picture that I'm working with and this is pretty much the same size that I drew it at. This is a night scene, there is going to be a moon in the upper left casting light on the telescope and ground. So we have a sketch, now I scanned this at 100dpi mostly because I really don't need anything bigger than that. It's best to scan the drawing bigger than it really is so that you can add colour and detail easier. It's easier to add detail to a big drawing and then reduce it than it is to add it to a small drawing.

I am going to be doing everything with aliased lines so if you are going to use a tool that has the option of turning off anti-aliasing, do it, it makes things easier for reduction and especially colouring. You'll see what I mean later on.

Open the sketch in Photoshop and add a layer, let's call it Telescope outline and choose the pencil tool. Now, with a small brush maybe a size 3 start to outline the drawing. This is made easier with the pencil tool mostly because if you click once on the drawing making a small dot, and then hold shift and click again in another spot it makes a straight line.


pencil tool

"But there is a straight line tool already, why don't I use that?"

You can if you want, but I don't like it. It draws lines funny sometimes, try it, draw a square with the line tool, and then draw it with the pencil tool and holding shift. The pencil tool gives you a rounded edge while the straight line tool is a straight black line everytime, see:


see what I'm saying?

Also, with the [ ] keys you can change the pencil size quickly instead of typing in the line weight.

Okey doke, back to drawing, just pick a good part to begin and well... Begin. Just trace the pencil drawing as best as you can. Changing line width as you come to smaller lines and inside detail of the drawing. Try not to go below a size 2 brush, cause when you reduce it the line may get lost. It also my help to use a different colour like red when drawing your outline. That makes it easier to see your own line as opposed to the black pencil line.

Ok, skipping a bit, we are now finished with the outlining process. It isn't really that hard so far is it? I hope not. Make another layer, title it White Backround and fill it with white. Slip that layer in between the outline and the original pencil drawing. You should have a wonderfully reproduced outline of your original. Now hide or delete or whatever the original pencil drawing cause chances are your not going to need it again [you'll notice that I left off the fence that was going to surround the building. This was just a choice I made to save time].

Now, on to colouring... next - back