How I came to be here is a mystery; what I'm here to accomplish can only be a Cosmic Caper.

Pop the ? "Gray-scale Coloring in Photoshop"

>> Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Here you can see a detail of the finished pencil art cleaned-up.
After the line art is complete, it is cleaned up in Photoshop. Black, grey, and white levels are re-set and the art is adjusted to clarify and darken the pencil strokes sufficiently for coloring.

I much prefer to ink but this technique works in a pinch and can be used to good effect in the digital age. My real inspiration is from the late 1980's and early 90's. Some excellent work was being done by comic book artist extraordinaire Gene Colan with watercolor washes painted over pencil art. A noteworthy example is the wonderful science fiction graphic novel 'Nightwings' written by the talented multiple-time Hugo Award winning author Robert Silverberg.

Below is the gray-scale block-in which establishes the tonal areas and selections in a single step. Coloring is completed in an Photoshop over-layer while saving the one beneath until the coloring process is complete.

Glad you enjoyed this overview of the the art process behind 'Pop the ?' Please direct any remarks or technical questions in the comment section...See you again Soon.
The gray-tones give a good facsimile of the final art, allowing for a freer approach to coloring.


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