How to Color Drawings Using Corel Painter

CorelPainter is a great program for digital illustration. While it is similar to Photoshop, it is geared more towards realistic reproductions of traditional media. While it doesn't have many of the special effects that Photoshop does, it does have an expansive library of brushes based on real media such as pencils, pens, paints and pastels. So, if you're new to CorelPainter, here is a brief tutorial on coloring a drawing using the program.

Steps

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    This tutorial will illustrate the basic process with a simple drawing, but the same steps can easily applied to even the most complex compositions.
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    Open CorelPainter and create a new document. Create a new layer and name it "sketch." This is where your underdrawing will go.
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    Create a rough sketch with the 2B pencil tool using a color other than black. Try using light blue. This will be the base for your drawing and will not show up in the final product.
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    Create a new layer and name this "outline." This is where your uncolored line-art will go.
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    Switch from the pencil to the detail airbrush tool and carefully trace over your sketch to create an outline. The detail airbrush tool, when used at a small size, will create a much smoother outline than the pencil. Make sure that all the shapes are closed, which will make it easier to color. Clean up your outline with the eraser tool where needed.
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    Duplicate the outline layer and rename this layer "flat colors" Use the fill tool to color your outline. This is where having closed shapes is important, so that color only goes where you want it.
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    Create a new layer and name it "shadows." Using the color picker tool, grab the color of any object. Use the color wheel to darken the color, lower the opacity and apply it using the airbrush tool. Pay attention to where the light is falling and the material that you are shading. Use the shadow color to create folds in fabric as well.
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    These shadows are rather harsh and, frankly, ugly. Soften them up using the Blur Blender tool.
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    When you have the shadows finished, create a new layer and call this "highlights." Change the color to white and use the airbrush to apply highlights to the image in the same way you did shadows. Use the Blur Blender brush to soften the highlights.
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    Now add some texture to the picture. This example uses a light orange and brown airbrush at a low opacity to create a mottled effect on the skin. The Blur brush is also used to soften this effect.
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    Give the image a simple, single color background with a cast shadow under the figure. To do this, create a new layer and name it "background". Move this layer below the outline layer and fill it with a color (e.g. gray). For the shadow, use the airbrush tool, starting with a slightly darker color than the background and layering darker colors until you get to the center of the cast shadow.

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Categories: Graphics