Quickly develop colour and mood
Shows you how to bring colour and to a greyscale sketch, quickly and simply, using Photoshop’s versatile Layer modes
arly on in my studies as an artist, I was overwhelmed by how much there was to keep track of when making an illustration. Composition, value, colour, anatomy, perspective and so on. This method came about as a way for me to focus on one step at a time.
For this workshop, I create a sketch where colour plays a key role in how the image will read. The fantasy world should draw immediate attention with saturation and contrast. Only afterwards should the
Eeye wander towards the reflection and complete the story. By casting the character’s real-world reflection in a shallow, muddy pond, attention focuses on the vivid world of her imagination.
You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish using only Layer modes. You can read online how these operate on a technical level, but I’ll describe them as I think of them when painting. The goal of this process is not a final painting, but a coloured sketch that contains all of the information I need.
This workshop focuses on the technical process I use to build up colour, but no technique can replace a solid understanding of how colour works. Fantasy art gives us the wonderful opportunity to use colours in a way we wouldn’t normally see in nature. But it can be difficult to exercise restraint when you have every colour imaginable at the click of a mouse. You need to know the rules before you can bend or break them. To this end, I recommend reading James Gurney’s excellent book, Color and Light.