Step 4: Getting the grey scale version up
Using the new hard edged brush, I simply go over the entire character keeping the flow of the brush low (2-5%). I colour pick (by pressing "alt" while using the brush) where I'm painting for mixing new values directly to get smooth transitions. For example, if I have a dark grey-scale tone, and then a brighter one next to this, I will colour pick one of these tones and mix it with the other, and then colour pick the new tone and paint with this one and continue like this until I have a smooth transition. This makes the painting look a lot more interesting and dynamic than using the smooth air-brush looking brushes.
Step 5: Colours
Having the grey-scale version of the character in a decent state, I spend some time to find a colour-palette suitable
for the skin tones I would like this piece to have. Some times I base this on previous paintings I've done, other times
I create completely new ones. This time I wanted to use cold colours, close to porcelain values, so I made a palette with skin tones with quite a bit of blue and purple in it.
Now I turn on the "Lock transparent pixels" button on the "layers" menu so that I don't paint outside the edges of the character, and set the brush to "color" mode and start adding rough colours to the character. This is just to get a
base, and will be changed completely once I start shading for real. I also added some very basic green and blue values to the drapes at this stage.
Once the rough colourized version is ready, I change the brush mode back to "normal" and start shading the entire piece all over again, using the same hard edged brush with low flow. When doing this, it's really important to colour-pick as I go along. Instead of mixing colours on the side, I like mixing directly as I paint. I think this makes the result appear more dynamic and more interesting as you get all kinds of colour-variations. It also creates some imperfection which is good in my opinion, especially when working digitally.