your art is always so lovely and the shading/highlighting/blending and colors are so great!!! do you have any tips for art if it's okay to ask? :D
=0 thank you so much!!! I do, this was a good time to ask since I’ve got a lot of energy tonight haha, I will make a coloring tutorial for how I usually do the neon coloring!!
I use paint tool sai which you can get for free here (link) It says it has transparency but it’s lying. When I want transparency I have to save as psd and then run it through photoshop (which is also available to download on the same link, actually.) Now I dont know how to be sure if those links are virus free but they havent destroyed MY laptop and it’s been a long time so? probably safe enough i think?
First off, the brushes I use:
I usually use smoothing 3 or 4 for sketches or writing, 13 or 14 for lineart, and anywhere from 3 to 6 for coloring! I sometimes change that up if I’m not getting my desired result though. I usually sketch in pink and line in black or blue which is why I used those colors for those brushes here.
I’m gonna start the tutorial off with just lineart since that’s not really what the tutorial is about and my whole sketch + lineart technique is “sketch something and put lines on top of it” combined with pulling stuff around using the free deform tool if it looks wrong until I get it like I want it. I always start with black lineart!
this is weird lookin sloppy lineart but that’s ok bc it’s just a teaching aid
so. COLORING STEP 1: flat colors. I use flood fill for this most of the time but you can also like, draw it in, same result either way. Just pick some you think look good tbh, when I’m doing the neons I use only full saturation colors. Obviously if you’re doing a different color palette you dont have to do that but this tutorial’s about the neons. Sometimes you have to change the colors a few times before finding ones you like, dont get discouraged! I put each color in a separate layer, sometimes I put bits of the same color in different layers as well if they’re on different parts of the drawing that need to be shaded differently. Also! For a couple things, like the teeth and collar, I blend a color, which I dont do yet in this step, so I just use a base color as a jumping off point.
^the eyes, mouth, and collar are each a separate layer, the skin is all one layer
STEP 2: toggle “preserve opacity” on in each layer, and block in shading! For the neons I use only full saturation colors. Really you can experiment and decide what you like best, you dont even have to use the same ones every time! I find that you can actually shade green with either red/oranges or blues, it has a different look depending on which you do. Usually I shade pinks and reds with purple or other pinks/reds, but you can experiment. For the teeth and collar, I blend a yellow into the pink to make a more like, light orange color, and then shade that with pink. I do all this with the “color and limited blending brush!” If something looks like it should be more smooth, I use the “default watercolor” brush to smooth it out. Generally for blending you want to not use much pressure, the more pressure the darker the color and sharper the lines will be. I’m duplicating the lineart, I’ll shade the green differently so you can see the difference. I’ll add highlights and details in a future step.
as you can see, these look a bit uneven in places. this is how they look with just the color brush. the left has the green shaded with reds, yellows, and oranges, while the right has it shaded with blues.
^ the same ones after being blended in places with the watercolor brush. generally you want to pick a watercolor brush color somewhat in between the colors you’re blending but if you do it lightly enough the color won’t really show up and it’ll just blend.
For details I just stick them on whichever layer they go on, like, freckles go right on the skin layer, eye shines go right on the eye layer, etc. I use the color brush for these, they generally dont need to be blended any further with the watercolor. The drawing on the left has an issue: the eye shine doesnt have enough contrast. When this happens I break the rules a bit and use a lighter pink (shifted towards white) in the middle of the eye shine. Other exceptions for the all neon rule include the whites of eyes that have them and other similar things that just wont ever look right in bright colors (I use very light colors for those).
See, that has better contrast and is worth breaking from the neons a bit for.
OPTIONAL FINAL STEP: sometimes I’ll change the lineart color, usually to the darkest fully saturated blue. You can use whatever color for the lineart that you want though tbh, that blue is just one I like bc I tend to use it as an equivalent to black a lot of the time when working in neons. Just turn on “preserve opacity” in your lineart layer and color over the whole thing.
I used red in the right drawing and blue in the left to show diversity but typically I’d use blue for the left one’s color palette as well tbh
Anyway I hope that is helpful!!! I feel like I might not be so great at explaining myself but hopefully this works haha