Software used: Paint Tool SAI
Time taken: 2,5 h
Today, I’d like to explain how I colour/shade in Paint Tool SAI. There are lots of different ways of using SAI but these are some of my preferred ways of colouring, which of course are anything but perfect :3
Let’s take some outlines first…
… and then add some simple flat colours! To make things a little easier, you should make separate layers for each colour.
Personally, I don’t like black outlines, so I always colour them. You can do this easily by setting your layer on Preserve Opacity and then taking any big soft brush and painting over your outlines in any colour you like. You’ll see that the outlines will change colour.
Now the picture has a much softer look. I like that!
Next step is adding some gradient. First, you’ll need to set all your layers on Preserve Opacity, so you will only draw over the particular colour. Then, you take the Airbrush tool, make it really big and simply draw over each layer in a slightly darker colour.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly lazy, I leave the picture as that. When you’re going for something really simple, this will do.
When I feel a little less lazy, I use following method to add shadows:
Make a layer above all flat colour layers and put it on multiply. Then, use the Pen (or Marker) and draw shadows all over your picture. You can also use WaterColour to smudge some hard edges. When you’re done adding the shadows, once again select Preserve Opacity and draw all over it with a big Airbrush. Like this, the shadows get coloured too.
This is a very simple way to add shadows and it’s very quick too!
When I don’t feel so lazy, I use a slightly different way of adding shadows:
This is the brush I like to use most :D It’s a Marker. On the left, you can see it’s settings. This time, you draw on the separate colour layers (Don’t forget Preserve Opacity!).
This usually takes some time, because you need to pick colours and draw more carefully then in the method shown above. It feels much more like actual painting, though.
When I feel like making a real effort, I colour everything on just one layer. All flat colours on one layer plus all the shades on the same layer. Just like you would paint it on paper with an actual brush. However, you have to work with great precision, so it takes a lot of time. Even though I don’t have time to do this often, that’s my favourite way of colouring since it has the most natural feeling to it. (I’d like to show this in another tutorial :D)
And finally, add some random background :D
I also set the Outlines layer on multiply, which I forgot to do earlier. But it’s not necessary. I just like it better that way.
And finally, here’s the finished picture!
Of course, there are unlimited options how to colour in SAI. It’s a great program and it’s fun to experiment with the settings. There’s so much to explore! Therefore, I like to use different colouring styles, depending on what fits a picture best. The ways shown above are my favourite, because the first one is quick and the second one has a fancy brush for painting :D
Hopefully, I haven’t forgotten anything important >_< Feel free to point out whatever you think might be missing!
Thank you for reading!