colour theory

my-middle-name-is-nope  asked:

How long have you been drawing? I've been drawing for like 4 years and my art is only starting to get decent. Just curious!

Hi! I’ve been drawing since I was a kiddo but I got serious about it in 2013, so I’ve been drawing for about 4-5 years. However, it’s not about how long one have been drawing but about how much practice, patience and effort they put into things! You can spend 50 years drawing and get nowhere or 2 years actively learning and studying and become a dreamy artist™

I think that in the era of Internet being such a common and everyday thing, all the available resources and tutorials are literally within an arm’s reach - learning about different techniques has never been easier! 

I said it once, and I’ll probably keep saying this till I die but art is not only about drawing mindlessly, you have to be smart about it!! Art is about understanding the thing you’re drawing and why the thing looks the way it does. This includes the language of shapes, rhythm and flow, colour theory, composition and perspective - there are many many aspects and all of them should be understood to certain extent! Rather than just drawing and letting things happen, it’s good to sit back and learn separately about different aspects of what you’re creating. And when you get the hang of all that you’ll see a massive improvement way quicker! 

Sorry, this went on for wayy longer than I expected, but hey, maybe it’ll help someone out there! Cheers!

Things that took me way too long to learn about colour theory

-colours are nothing but RELATIVE
-neutral backgrounds. NEUTRAL BACKGROUNDS. they make your colours pop because COLOUR. RELATIVITY. 
-rim light are a cheat sheet for making awe-worthy art
-light purple + ‘multiply’ = BEAUTIFUL SHADOWS
-hell any light colour + ‘multiply’ = bam you have atmospheric shadows 
-orange/yellow light + blue/purple shadows (because our instinctual reference for light… is the sun. which is yellow/orange. and blah blah blah something light physics blah blah it makes the shadows the opposite colour, so opposite of yellow/orange sunlight is purple/blue shadows). I mean it’s a nice default but it’s not set-in-stone and other colour palettes add mood so GO ON WITH YOUR COOL LIGHTS AND WARM SHADOWS

(cont. if people are interested)


A simple guide to picking a great color palette. No matter what the colors are, using colors that are certain distances from each other on the color wheel result in a great contrast of colors. The simple color schemes shown above are used in the most popular logos, posters, websites, paintings, and even movies and television.


BD and YD have arm ships, we all know this.

There was a lot of debate on whether this was a leg ship or a hand ship knuckles.



Some people say this is a ship but I disagree. I say this is WD’s ship. So that means we have a head and chest ship and two arm ships. Meaning by process of elimination that IS a pink leg ship in the desert.

Still don’t believe me? Well let’s look at the mural.

The gem placements line up with these ships. WD’s is on her head, she has a head and chest ship. BD and YD’s are on their chest, which is where arms start, ergo they have their arm ships. And PD’s is in her hip area, so she has legs.

What does this mean? Maybe these ships combine? I dunno really. But it must mean something.


The most important thing is to trust your eyes, and use colours that you think look good!

If you’re struggling to choose colours that look good to you, look at how your favourite artists use colour.

What colour schemes are they using? How are they using saturation and value?

Dissect their art based on the information above, and you will hopefully understand colour better!

Tips: Character Design

Designing a character can be a difficult process. There are many factors to take into account: colour scheme, whether they fit in well with the designs of your other characters, and whether the design fits the character themself are just a few.

However, taking a few tips into account might help to make character design a bit easier.

1. Keep it simple and coordinated.

Details can really add to a character design, but there’s such a thing as too much. For example, this character (from Final Fantasy):

This design has way too many details. First, the designer made the easy mistake of including too many colours, making the colour scheme over-complicated and unpleasant to look at. It’s usually not a good idea to use more than two to five colours for a character design.

Aside from the colours, this character just has too many unnecessary things added to the outfit. Why are two belts needed? What purpose does that badge serve? Did the designer have some grudge against the game artists who have to draw this character repeatedly? 

Due to all the details, the eye is drawn every which way, distracting from the important elements of the character. Usually, the eyes should be drawn to the character’s face. However, if the details fit well together, contribute to the overall design, and are at least somewhat colour-coordinated, they can be used. (Just maybe not this many. Please.)

2. “Sexiness” is not a measure of good character design.

This is a misconception I see a lot. Just because a character is ugly doesn’t mean they’re poorly-designed - and in the same way, a character being attractive doesn’t mean they’re well-designed! (However, it is true that conventionally unattractive main characters usually won’t sell well (with a few exceptions) - so watch out for that.)

Below is an example of a character who is attractive, but poorly-designed (Irene Belserion from Fairy Tail):

Listen, I support everyone’s right to wear what they want, but maybe if you’re a character who is actually going to be fighting, leaving all your vital organs exposed is not such a great idea. Not only that, but how does her outfit stay on? Unless she cast some anti-gravity magic on her chest, it would probably be falling out of her shirt. And why do her gloves have nails? What is the point of those clamps? What even is her hat?

On the other hand, characters the majority might think are ugly aren’t automatically “badly-designed”. Think of monsters, elderly characters, or ones who are just strange-looking. Countless examples exist of characters you may not want to bang, but the designs themselves can still be great. Also: adding in a portion of characters who aren’t conventionally attractive allows for much more variety in designs!

3. Functionality is important!

This is kind of an obvious one, but it seems like a lot of creators - especially in the manga and video game industries - still don’t get it. If someone is going into battle, they’re not going to be leaving all their vital organs exposed. (The only exception is Kill la Kill.) A similar principle applies when your characters are in a cold place: unless you want your characters getting frostbite, give them clothes appropriate for the weather!

The same applies for the opposite situation: characters in hot places won’t be wearing winter coats, unless they’re trying to commit suicide by heatstroke. There are exceptions, though - for example, characters may dress differently for cultural purposes. Additionally, covering the entire body slows the rate of sweat leaving the body and protects the skin from sunburn, which is why those living or travelling in the desert tend to cover up more.

4. The character’s design says something about them.

Usually, a character’s physical appearance can be used to portray some aspects of their personality. For example, a character who likes to fight will likely have red or orange hair. Colour schemes are the most common method of this.

Here’s a helpful chart for the symbolism of some colours:

Colours aren’t the only method of symbolism in designs, though. The size and shape of the eyes, the posture, hairstyles, and fashion choices are all different ways to communicate a character’s personality through design. Using the example given above, the red-haired character who likes to fight may have sharp/upturned eyes to symbolize aggression. They might also be frequently seen in a fighting stance, and probably wearing clothing suited for combat.

5. Most people have more than one outfit.

It’s easier to design just one outfit than many different ones. And for short stories that take place over the course of only a day (or less), this may be all that is necessary.

However, if you’re writing a longer story (or a short one that spans over more than a day), it’s necessary to design more than one outfit for your character. The only exception would be armour - but your character still needs something to wear underneath!

(Of course, this is assuming your character doesn’t have some sort of magic that keeps their clothes clean.)

6. Nothing is original, but you should still try!

With all the different books, movies, TV shows, and cartoons that are out there, nearly all elements of a character’s design have probably been done at least once before. That said, it’s completely fine to take some inspiration from another character whose design you happen to like.

Still, you shouldn’t completely rip off someone else’s design. If your character looks too similar to theirs, you’ll probably be facing copyright lawsuits.

If you want to take inspiration from someone else’s character, it’s best to only take one or two features that you like. Although the “expy” trope is a thing, not all authors are happy with that, so it might be best to stay on the safe side.

And of course, sometimes trying to come up with a design element nobody’s used yet results in things like Yu-Gi-Oh hair.


7. Your characters should look different!

“Sameface syndrome” is a huge problem in a lot of media - and it’s not just the facial features. Reusing the same body type over and over is also a huge issue. Of course, even in real life there will be people who look similar - and depending on how exaggerated your art style is, there may only be a limited range of available body types.

To avoid sameface, try giving your characters a wide range of different:

  • Noses: Small, large, round, with a bump on the bridge, flat, long, pointed. There are tons of different ways to design noses. You really don’t need to give every single character the same small, “cute” nose.
  • Eye shape and size: This is a great one for differentiating between characters since it’s usually where the audience will look first on a character design. Try sharper eyes, different kinds of pupils, larger eyes, rounded ones, etc.
  • Body type: Don’t be afraid to draw different body types! This includes height - and depending on how “cartoony” your art style is, you can give your characters wildly different heights and bodies. Your characters should be easily distinguishable from a silhouette.
  • Facial shape: Try round faces, square faces, sharp faces, and more. In fact, experimenting with different geometrical shapes can spawn a huge range of different faces.

However, while your characters should look different, remember to keep their designs faithful to whatever location or time period your story is set in.

Not all of these tips apply in every single situation - in fact, it largely depends on your art style and what kind of story you’re trying to write. If you’re writing a story about a bunch of clones or something, disregard number 7!

Also keep in mind that, like everything else, designing your own characters from scratch takes a lot of practice. It might take months to design a character who looks right. Just keep sketching, re-designing, and practicing!



for a project where we had to recreate a piece by an inspirational artist ( ‘ 7 ‘ )b //and for @yoiauweek-2017!

more merman stuff - dragon au

anonymous asked:

Alright, so. i get this feeling that dual destinies is just really ugly and i hate looking at the colors and stuff but.. . i don't really know why? I've been trying to figure out why every just seems so... ugly... like the charcater designs are mostly good but... something's offputting...

There’s no cohesive colour or art direction in dual destinies!

lets compare dual destinies to two games: dai gyakuten saiban, and zelda u.

In DGS, there is a very clear colour palette going on. The colours are focused around the reds and yellows, with some greys.

There is one focal colour (susato) with another slightly more subdued colour (sherlock), and finally the background colour.

These colours also play into each other, there are touches of sherlock’s yellows and browns on the bookshelf, and susato and sherlock both have touches of the background colour in their palette.

The colour range is also focused in one area of the palette, the further away you get from orange, the more desaturated the colours get, until you reach the other side of the spectrum and it’s pure grey.

at a glance, Zelda U appears to have a much more vivid colour palette than DGS.

However, the vast majority of colours are various shades of brown and yellow.

The focal point is a saturated turquoise, but it’s important to note that there is very little of this colour. It takes up the smallest part of the screen, which both emphasises it and draws your eyes to link, and prevents it from becoming overwhelming.

The secondary colour is yellow, which is a similar brightness as the turquoise, but because the image as a whole is largely yellow, it doesn’t take as much focus.

and then there is the grass, which is quite bright but also it’s not as bright as the turquoise.

It’s also closer to the colour yellow than it is blue, which makes it blend with the yellows of the sky.

The colour palette is also very localised on one side of the spectrum, even the blue is still on the green end of the spectrum.

compare all this to… dual destinies.

the colour palette is all over the place.

Yellow, blue, pink, and green are all hugely saturated and fighting for your attention as the focal colour, as well as being on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.

there’s no way to tell what the secondary colour is, because again everything is fighting for your attention.

and the background is completely unrelated to the colours being used in the characters, there’s no attempt made to integrate them into the environment by included blues or greys.

it’s all just very. all over the place, with very little thought and care.