Making Of 'Mission Impossible Hawk'
In this tutorial I will explain how I take inked drawings and color them in Adobe Photoshop. Once again, there are many ways to color a line drawing in Photoshop. There are many tutorials on the web and in books that will show you how. I'm going to show you the method I know and use often. Notice I said "often", I have different methods for different situations. This is the general one.
Below is a quick view on how I brainstorm an idea on scrap paper, take that idea and convert it into a piece of art on the computer. Yes, I do use a blue lead pencil (drafting pencil) when I sketch when I sketch.
Brain Storm - Sketch - Ink - Scanned
Lets get busy shall we....
Art Supplies I Use...
* Scrap paper
* Regular blank computer paper
* Alvin "Scott" B/2 drafting pencil with 2mm blue lead
* Lumograph Pencils, Staedtler Mars pencil set
* Staedtler Compact Rotary Lead Pointer
* Staedtler Pigment Liner for Drawing and Writing
1. Most of the time I like to do a quick sketch on scrap paper. These sketches does not have to be perfect. Hell, a lot of my sketches on scrap paper doesn't even make sense. What is the purpose of sketching on scrap paper? Well, to get some ideas down on paper. There were so many ways I could have drawn this image, I wanted the best one.
2. After I do couple of quick sketches and I'm happy with one of them, I move to the real drawing. I take out a clean sheet of paper (regular blank computer paper) and lightly sketch out the drawing with a blue pencil. I go again with the same blue pencil and make the drawing darker. After I'm happy with that, I use a black pen, with a thin point, and start tracing it. I also color in any black areas in the drawing. The end result is the image above.
3. Here is where the blue pencil comes in handy. If you were to draw with a regular pencil and ink it on top, you would have to erase all the pencil mark and make sure it's very clean before scanning. Well, I don't do that! When I scan the image, I tell the computer to scan the image in black and white. The scanner ignores the blue and gives me a pure black and white image of my drawings. Scan the drawing in 300dpi!
Prepare For Coloring
Ok, after I scan the drawing as a 300 dpi image, I save it onto my desktop. I save it as a PSD file since I always end up opening it with Photoshop. I also make a backup copy of it, just to be safe.
1. I open the file I just scan into Photoshop, I use Adobe Photoshop 7.0 under Mac OS X.
2. When I open the image into photoshop, the image will be in a layer called "Background", but I need to seperate the image from the background. There is a problem, since I scanned it in as B/W, photoshop will only let me create new layers if its in RGB mode.
So I go to Image->Mode->GrayScale Do it a second time Image->Mode->RGB Now I'm able to add multiple layers to this image.
3. Next I create a new layer above the "Background" layer and call it "Line art" (Labeling your layers is a good practice, easy to search through when you have thousands of layers.
4. Now I want to move the image from the "Background" layer to the "Line art" layer. First I click on the "Background" layer. Then I Select All, Copy the image , and Delete the image from the "Background" layer. Finally I click on the "Line art" layer and Paste the image into the layer
5. Now I need to get rid of all that white in the "Line art" layer. I use the magic wand and select a white area on the layer.
While the area I picked is still selected by the magic wand, I go to Select->Similar...that will select everything that is white. I press delete and now I have a line art with a transparent background.
Remember the image is still 300 dpi. Also, if you're wondering about how I got that checkboard effect... Notice in the Figure 4, the "Background" layer doesn't have an "eye" icon, that means the "Background" layer is hidden. I can make the background appear again by clicking in that box again. The same princple works with the rest of the layers in Photoshop.
That's all for now - be sure to check back as I continue on the topic!