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August 19th, 2014 #1
What is your approach on painting from grayscale to color?
The method I've been using at the moment has been to do everything in grayscale and then paint color in on an overlay layer. This inevitably screwed up my colors until I saw a tutorial by Sycra in which he recommends that you reference this color value chart when laying down colors:
Since I'm not totally savvy with photoshop yet (I use CS6), I'm asking if there is another way of going about this. Do you paint from grayscale to color? Why or why not? Is there another method than the one I've mentioned or I just need to practice until I get a subconscious sense of color-value relationships?
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August 19th, 2014 #3
August 20th, 2014 #4
I am learning to use the color layer myself because it makes doing concept work so much easier if I only have to focus on values until I have finalized the concept/composition. It's also much faster. However, I must say that with the exception of a few brilliant artists, I find paintings done with solid colors feel more... I dunno... real.
Assuming you have decent knowledge of color theory and are concerned specifically with the technique of using a color layer over grayscale, you're just gonna have to work through it until it becomes intuitive. It's not nearly as easy as it looks, you can't just fill in blocks of color like it was a comic book (well you can, but it looks cheap). The hardest part is getting the values right in the first place, regardless of color.
Do studies from life or photographs until you get the hang of how the color layer behaves. Don't try doing stuff from your imagination yet, you'll just get frustrated and develop bad habits. If you want to ease into it, find a master painting or really awesome photograph and convert it to grayscale. Copy it in grayscale. Then turn the color back on and try to match it using the color layer. Fiddle with the color layer and your grayscale layer (which you'll probably find was much less accurate than you originally thought, because the color layer will brutally expose every flaw) until your copy is an exact match. Do that a couple times and you'll have a far better idea of how color and value relate than by looking at a dinky chart.
I personally think practice with the color layer is healthy, because it is so finicky about your values. You can kind of get away with fudging the values when using multiply and overlay layers, which is great when you're a pro and know what you're doing, but dangerous to someone still learning value.
August 20th, 2014 #5
August 20th, 2014 #6Jester
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August 20th, 2014 #7
People on this forum are always whining that the tools don't matter, only your knowledge and skills do, well that cuts both ways. If you can't learn color theory and you have to find lazy workarounds to fake it then you're right, tools don't matter, your inability and lack of knowledge still shows through all the tech.
Last edited by dpaint; August 20th, 2014 at 12:49 PM.
August 20th, 2014 #8
Going from greyscale to colour in digital is simply inefficient (in most cases). You can always have the best of both worlds by putting a desaturation-layer on top of your colour work to check the value read. And if you can't handly painting directly in colour, you won't succeed in "colouring" the greyscale painting, even if the values are correct.
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August 20th, 2014 #9
August 20th, 2014 #10
Just to be devil's advocate here, I do think that gray->color has it's place. It's a lot easier to explore and fiddle with a composition from imagination if you can start out by roughing in the grayscale (more important than color anyway in most cases), with maybe a 5 second shoddy color layer over top to test out different color schemes. It's a lot faster at least, and you'll be more willing to make changes if you haven't put in a lot of early effort. From there you can decide whether you want to bring it to a higher level of finish, maybe by repainting with a normal layer using the colored sketch as guidelines. Or you may decide that time is money, and leave it as is. Good enough for concept art. This is a business after all, and using tools to speed the job is not "lazy and ignorant". Even comic book artists now use Sketchup to do all their perspective work.
At any rate, it's a handy skill and worth learning how to do.
The real key I think is to make sure you learn your color theory properly, and don't take any shortcuts. Gray->color can be a tempting shortcut to beginners who don't realize it's a lot more complicated than it looks, and can trick them into thinking they understand color when they really don't. Maybe a good guideline is don't try gray->color until you can accurately and repeatedly paint in straight color from life/photos/master copies, then gradually interweave some gray->color work in once you have a solid understanding of color. And whatever you do, do not let it become a crutch.
August 21st, 2014 #11
August 21st, 2014 #12
Yet another way to skin a cat.
August 21st, 2014 #13
I'm not trying to condone the widespread adoption of the gray->color method here. I still think straight color looks better 95% of the time. I'm just saying it isn't quite a black-and-white issue (heheh).
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