RideScare Service: Coloring an Illustration in Clip Studio Paint

This is really Part Two of my process (I inked this image in Part One). This time, I’ll go through my coloring process. Nothing tricky. Just flats, highlights, shadows, and texture.

DateWithDeath_inkprocess_VinceDorse

As always, this is just one of dozens of ways to color art in Clip Studio. I encourage you to find the methods that work best for you and go to town.

Flats

With the inks on their own layer, I create a layer beneath that for the flat colors. With Clip Studio, you can use the Fill Tool (Paint Bucket) to drop color simply and quickly.

DateWithDeath_inkprocess_VinceDorse

If you set the Fill tool to “Follow Adjacent Pixel”  with the “All Layers” icon clicked (see above image), the tool manages to confine the fill within the lines of the ink outline, even when it’s on a separate layer. A great time-saver!

But if you have a lot of little lines (like I do in this drawing) that can sometimes slow you down. So I’ll take a brush (in this case, the Mapping Pen), turn off the Anti-Aliasing (so I get a crisp, bitmapped edge) and I’ll trace the contours of the shape I want to fill.

DateWithDeath_inkprocess_VinceDorse

Then, with the inks layer turned off, I’ll drop color with the Fill tool and fill that large area all at once. Alternately, this same job could also be accomplished with a Lasso Tool (or a Curve Ruler converted to a selection) and Fill tool.

When that step is completed for all the objects in the piece, the layer under the inks might look something like this. I like to have all the flat colors touching or overlapping under the line work, no gaps or white space.

DateWithDeath_inkprocess_VinceDorse

Note: I say “layer” but, in fact, I used multiple layers for the flat colors to keep things organized. The crypts, car, road, and sky are all on separate layers.

Highlights, Shadows, and Texture

The coloring in this piece isn’t complex at all. The flats, basically, are the midtones. So I’ll use my imaginary light source (the moon?) to help me lay down the highlights and shadows. I use the Auto Select (Magic Wand) tool to select each of the flat color shapes, then brush in the lights and darks.

DateWithDeath_inkprocess_VinceDorse

You can see in the composite image (above) that I used a handful of different tools to simulate the various textures in the illustration. Again, you could color this a few dozen different ways and it’d look just fine, but this is what I went with this time.

People

I used the same process for the figures as I did for the background shapes: Midtone Flats, shadows and highlights on a separate layer.

DateWithDeath_inkprocess_VinceDorse

Note: I know the hapless couple would technically look a bit more blue in the moonlight, but I thought making them the one source of warm color in the piece would draw the viewer’s eye.

Finishing Touches

DateWithDeath_inkprocess_VinceDorse

Before this ghoul drives off into the moonlight with this poor couple, I wanted to add a few finishing touches to complete the image:
1. I brushed in headlight beams and reflections on the windscreen, then lowered the opacity of that layer.
2. I recolored some of the line work to make it more dynamic.
3. When a friend said this image would make a fun animated short, I pasted in some text to give the illustration the feel of an old cartoon title card.

And that’s all there is to it.

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