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Spot Colors – Flat’em!

Coloring line art tutorial !

coloring line art tutorial

As you know, there are ways and ways to work with color. As many as they are, we can reduce them to some basic methods, when it comes to apparel design. And the two most used techniques are coloring with halftones (when we need to obtain a big number of shades without increasing the number of unique colors) and using spot colors (when we are allowed to work with a bigger pallet of unique colors and we use them nice and solid). This short tutorial can also come in handy if you are thinking of re-coloring some pieces from our vector packs…so read on!

Introduction done, today’s topic basically is “how to lay down the flat colors on my line art nice and easy”. Because, let’s assume you have a clean vector or raster line work…in the end you know you need to bring it to life with some colors. I am not saying that line art designs are inferior to color art. But, there are cases when you need to use colors to express the whole idea of an artwork. Or, you have the most intricate lines in history, tons of details, crosshatching and all…and you can’t tell an arm from an eye, because it’s all too much lines- flat colors to the rescue, they will create the necessary contrast between different parts that need separated in your art.

Well, second introduction/rant done, I will assume you have a clean line art, done by my method, or any other.

Now, on the new layer we created previously, start throwing brown color on the trees. Not too careful with the whole outlines, just go wild.

That aside, grad the Eraser Tool and start cleaning the details, or use the selection tool and delete – your call! Finally we get a clean brown spot color layer. That sounded weird. Oh well, please do understand there are other faster/better methods out there, but they vary according to the line work or to the artistic skill one has, etc. I use a mouse for this, so that might explain why I use such crude methods.

This layer I placed below the brown one, but hey, that kind of thing is different from artist to artist, some like it the other way around…I do it from bottom to top sometimes too, again depending on the design.

Next, a new layer straight under the line art one (as I said, order of the layers may vary, it’s not an issue to be scared about, ha!). Here I will use a nice shade of green, and switch between brush and eraser.

I know this is a bit fast for some beginners, but…if you got any questions, please do ask! I will answer them ASAP. Also, I would appreciate it if you let me know how you do the flat coloring… I bet each of us has their tricks…let’s share! Thanks for reading!

Oh, yeah!

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