Digital coloring advice?
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  1. #1
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    Digital coloring advice?

    Okay... I know I haven't gone through the proper channels and things (not trying out coloring on many things previously like painting apples and what not), but I'd like to figure out how to stop this muddy look on alot of the coloring that I do. I use 100% opacity brushes on base colors, then come back with between 10-20% midtones on the highlights/shadows, but a majority of the time my colors tend to look muddy. Anyone have any advice?

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  2. #2
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    I think the underlying drawing needs to be fixed before you jump to color. His head is very small, for example, and the folds in the pants are badly in need of reference. No matter how well you color bad anatomy, it's still bad anatomy. But since you asked about colors...

    You've made the pants very green, the boxers very red, and the skin very brown. Color is much more complex than this, and the piece could use some color variation.

    For example, if a yellow light (like the sun) hits a pair of green pants, the highlights on the pants will pick up some of that yellow, while the shadows will be the opposite color (blue or purple). So, instead of the straight green pants/dark green shadows you have, convincing colors would look more like yellow-green highlights/saturated green midtones/blue-green shadows.

    Skin is even more complex than this, and this is where drawing from life really starts to come in handy. Because of its translucency, skin picks up tons of subtle colors. Highlights tend to be more yellow, while areas like the cheeks, nose, elbows, and fingers have a lot of red (the skin is thinner there, allowing the color of blood vessels to show through). Shadows tend to be reddish purple. People don't tend to really notice these colors at a glance, but when they're missing, skin looks very bland and muddy. One reason drawing from life is important is that it teaches you to see these colors and apply them to your artwork.

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  4. #3
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    I think the 'muddyness' in your picture may come from the brushes you use. My advice would be to start big and soft and finish the detail will smaller and harder brushes. That would definitively help.

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