Trying to get this color thing down

Kandoken suggested I start posting up here again a while back. Been kinda busy lately, and I’m trying to get my color work looking better. Just trying to get as much advice as possible. Thanks.

bigger pic please

Yea… had a feeling it was going to be like this. Can’t get a decent crit no matter where I go.

LOL^ Ashe! Hey man, TRT kinda has a point. I’ll link your DA version.

Ashe’s Supergirl:

Umm… I’d try to tone the reds down a bit. The primary colors seem a bit too saturated and take away from her skin. I’d also watch a bit closer for strokes. You seemed to have it down for the hair, but on the skin and outfit it seems to go in places. Strokes also help give shape, I’d recommend painting strokes in conjunction to your lines.

Umm, was that good? :confused:

ok here’s a few. the drawing is nice. it seems solid and correct. the color isn’t bad, but a few things i noticed. you have her against a window and you paid attention to how that lighting would affect the background, but not her. i see no real highlights or shodows. she’s right against what i assume is the main light source and there’s no evidence.

also this is easier to see in the larger version but be careful w/ your coloring in the face and legs. over rendering can give an aged or “rugged” look. on her leg, above the knee (her left) her leg looks like you’re over rendering.

the color is really saturated as well…i know its cause of the costume…but maybe use some less saturated color?

doesn’t look bad at all, but everyone can improve. keep it up.

Yeah I totally agree on the saturation level of her blue costume wombat has mentioned.

I’ll add on to say that cast shadows can play an important role in adding depth, and to make it believable to the viewer that she has dimention. Right now it looks kinda flat due to the lighting and no cast shadows.

Hey skin can go up in saturation though. Looks a bit chalky right now. Everything else looks fine.

As for the bg I don’t know if the blue walls are working. At firce glance my eyes are competing between her costume and the wall. Main focal point is her so I’d choose a different color for the wall.

I know coloring under lines and over lines is two different games, so i don’t know how much help my paintover would be to you. Hope this helps. Overall the drawing is good and color choice is good, but you can use a few tweaks here and there to make it look better. Good job.

Sorry, I’ve been a little pissy lately because all I get out of people is “Great work” comments. I just want to know why my stuff isn’t looking like it should. Thank you very much for the crits. I’ll work on incorporating that into my work now.

sfmc is spot on, cast shadows are really important in defining volumes since they suggest the form casting the shadow and the form the shadow is casting on.

I agree with what wombat said as well. To be good at coloring you gotta be familiar with the color theory as well as know how to render stuff, so work on that. If you want more crits though, you should post in

another attempt…

Here’s the final version. Pretty much worked on the BG and blended a little more.

In case it’s not big enough

I think you need to focus on defining the form more with your colors. You’re blending too much right now and it’s really unclear in some area, supergirl’s upper torso for example. Try not to use the softbrush too much. Define the form with strong shadows with a hard brush first, then blend where you need too.

to add to what DFist & SFMC have said, increase the contrast of your colours. Reference SFMC’s paintover with an eyesropper tool and see how much diff there is between highlight, midtone & shadow.

I’d recommend reading up on colour theory, and how light impacts colour.

Are you using burn/dodge tools a lot? If so, refrain from using it and learn to develop an eye for colour instead. The burn/dodge function adds pure black or white (respectively), resulting in rather flat colour. Try playing around with different colours instead of just increasing/decreasing the value.

Keep plugging at it man :slight_smile:

I can’t seem to get this right at all. I don’t use dodge and burn tools at all, but for some reason everyone seems to think that when they see my stuff so I’m obviously doing something wrong with my color choices or something.

I try to really push my colors lights and darks, but then my colors start to get too much contrast in their saturation. I guess I’m just not understanding color theory at all. I was told by the instructor that taught me color theory, that you pick colors off the color wheel in 1 of 4 different formulas and you’re restricted to those few colors. That’s it.

Here’s and example: I pick orange as my main color. The formula I choose to use allows me to pick the two colors on either side (red and yellow) and the one opposite (blue).

Now then, I like to use purples in the darks of my blue, but everytime I would, he’d tell me that’s wrong. Not really sure if he’s telling me wrong or if I just really don’t understand how color theory and using darker colors rather than tones works together.

I hope you don’t think I’m getting upset with this. I’m just trying to learn and understand. Any links/books you recommend for this?

I had the same problem for the longest time, until the guys on SRK gave me some good advice – be more bold with contrasts. More on this later.

Analgous hues (the ones beside) and complimentries (the one opposite) are only part of it… besides hue there’s also saturation and value/brightness. Generally shadows have dark values and less saturation, and highlights have have bright values and also low saturation. Look carefully at photos and try to take note of how areas of shadows, highlights, etc differ in terms to saturation & value (if you have difficulty, use the eyedropper tool and the colour picker set to HSB mode).

Right now I think your pics tend towards the saturated side. Perhaps if you step back on the saturation (esp for your shadows). Also remember light bounces so reflected light can affect adjacent surfaces too.

I’m still learning to colour myself, so hope this is useful to you.
Here’s a useful link:

here’s something that kinda help me see and understand how to render better.

low saturated---->high sat.

warm, light, and intense colors stick out more than cool, dark, and dull colors. Try to observe from life if you can. Note in different lighting situations, what the 3 properties (color temperature, value, and intensity) of the shadow and highlight colors in relationship to the midtone.

And use the HSB slider in photoshop to select your colors, its way too good. It basically seperate your color into 3 properties so you can adjust each one individually w/o modifying the other 2. If I want a cooler color for the shadow for example, I eyedrop the midtone, slide the H slider toward the cool bias of that color, then slide the H and B slider to the left to make the color less saturated and darker.

color bias usually lean to red for warm, and green for cool.

for red and green its
yellow for warm (orange red)
purple for cool(alizarin)
yellow for warm
blue for cool

More like this?

I just played with the HSB sliders real quick to test it out. Going to read through the website later today and try again.

hey ashe…i like your drawing, pose is really good. the only “issue” i have is a matter of opinion and/or taste. your colors look like they’re airbrushed which i associate w/ crappy t-shirts or charictures. her body looks too smooth in my mind…almost like she’s made of glass.
the saturation in this isn’t over done, and the tone is nice.

Still trying…

Because the image is always too small…

why don’t you just post the large image the first time?

Colors are looking better but what I think what you should work on first is structure. If you have good colors but bad structures then there’s no solidity to your figures