A walkthrough of Choux: basic coloring

Wheeee~ For me, the best part about drawing is right before I get to this stage. It’s after I’ve set my bocks of color, and actually make the picture appear the way that I want it to.  The focus this time will be on the eyes, but let’s start a little before that.

Okay, after the last post, I looked at the lineart more and decided that it needed fixing. So after a few minutes of ctrl-t-ing, I changed the shape of the hips and the eyes. It’s at this stage that I realize just how much an image changes from paper to the computer…orz

I also added some lines to the drawing and erased some more lines. Since I don’t want the computer’s stroke to seem out of place, I changed the shape to fuzzy static and the texture to paper.

See the difference? If you’re using SAI like me, this option is your color and tool panel, right under density. The names are different in Photoshop, but it’s still there. Just go to your brushes and noise and texture.

The next part should be to fine line the drawing, and make it all clean and pretty looking. However, I feel lazy so I’ll just leave it as-is. I color in all the different parts with different layers and different colors, which is as straight forward as it gets. Then I click on “preserve opacity”, which means I can’t color in places that I haven’t colored already. This is my favorite function of all time because I don’t have to worry about coloring out of bounds and stuff like that. Again, this is there in PS too, but it’s called “lock transparent pixels”.

I always color the eyes first, because otherwise everything feels weird. With a low density brush,  I kinda scratch out the basic shape of the pupil.

Then I use pen to add a few bright dots and the airbrush for a minor highlight in the corner.

Now I make a new layer on top, set it to screen mode, and add glittery highlights around my dots with a white airbrush.

A few highlights and it’s done.

Next up is the coloring of the body. I take the shadow that I drew before, and reduce its opacity to get a basic idea of what I want for my shadows.

And I draw it. There really isn’t anything to explain here, just follow your gut and color away. Although you have to be careful with the skin. Even with the effect I’m going for, the skin on the face should never look blotchy, if it does, then smooth it out with an airbrush. Some shadow around the nose and mouth is allowed, but the bare minimum only.

Lastly, I vaguely draw out the background, and add some extra glitter to the eyes to make them pop more (this time, I used a screen layer again, but with a pink airbrush). I still don’t like the feeling that the green gives off, so I’ll probably try to fix that later. After this is when I begin to check things and adjust the overall tone (you might notice that I’ve cleaned some of the hairs on the face).

Well, that’s all for this post. The next one’s going to be tricky, because it involves finishing a drawing, which is something that I’ve never been too good at.


28 thoughts on “A walkthrough of Choux: basic coloring

  1. I definitely enjoyed this. A specific posts that display step by step in a format I can follow. Well, I better get around to learning those photo/picture editing tools. I’m blind on that. That, and coloring.

    On a random note, you sure it’s “it deeded fixing”? I thought it was needed.

    I’m really going to have to find time to get a blank white paper and draw, then use what I read here to expand into a dimension I could not have otherwise thought possible.

  2. damn. amazing.

    thank you.

    well, since you gave me an actual tutorial, it’ll only shame you not to do something as well. i’ll find that Nia fanart i did and finish it as well and we can compare afterwards.


  3. I like that pastel style effect you have with the skirt and sleeves. I also use SAI, is that effect done with the low density brush as well? One of the reasons I am using SAI is the watercolour brush, I like the gradient effect it can produce but it’s hard to get the gradient in short lines orz.

    P.S. Still continuing with the fanart? I’m looking forward to seeing both characters finished so I can return the favour :D.

  4. niiice, i like how the light and shadows look in the picture, though its not quite like what it looks like sitting in a forest. Ive always wanted to learn how to make those round spotty light shining through the leaves. Eyes look good when you zoom in, after you zoom out all the details wont show. Its like you only added highlights. Anyways, what is she sitting on – -?.. is she levitating…orz
    i look forward to the next walkthrough =D, and you better make the picture look complete !

    • Let’s see…I can’t sing to save my life, I will never wear that outfit, I’m asian and look asian, I will never wear boots like that because they’re too much trouble, I will never have curly hair because they’re annoying, I will never dye my hair because it’s black and any dying would involve bleaching, I don’t wear nail polish, I’m flat, and I look nothing remotely close to that picture.

      • and uh… what girl would call herself flat?

        ok, i know i have a tendency to be an ass and call a girl flat, but that’s because i have an obsession over flat tsundere girls like Hinagiku.

        but this is the flat time i heard a girl call herself flat.

  5. like i see brush strokes that are like retangular or diagonal line. how do i get those. i only have the regular round brush, it made my drawing look really crappy.

  6. i have no clue what i’m saying either. uh… never mind. >__<

    oh, and this is the current drawing based on your tutorial. It was very interesting to start with the shading first, I think it actually helped a lot in placing the colors knowing where to shade first.

      • your words made me “lol”

        well, either way. after spending so much time on this drawing, i feel like it deserves a worthy background.

        not saying it’s anything near the level of artists you see on dA, but i still feel like it ought to get something nice to go with it.

  7. Overall, after lots of on and off and quitting and restarting. It’s done now (kinda, there were stuff I wanted to add, but I was too lazy).

    Thanks so much for the tutorial, I think it was like a push for me to draw plus I learned new techniques in shading from watching you showing your WIP. It really helped a lot.

    Well, here’s the final product.


    Hope we can draw more things together in the future.

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