This is a colouring tutorial on how I coloured this image, sketched by Zurdom and inked by Bill Meiggs. This tutorial is just one of the ways I use to colour. This is not necessarily the easiest or most effecient way to colour, so keep practicing until you find your own way, and trust me when I say that there are a lot of great tutorials online by other colourists!
This tutorial is done with the assumption that you know how to prepare your line art for colouring. (Fig.01)
In this case I put the line art on its own layer and set it to MULTIPLY in the layers window, as shown below.(Fig.02)
This will make the line art layer transparent without losing the lines, so you can colour freely without worrying about going over a line.(Fig.03)
Next comes probably the most frustrating part of colouring any image: the flats. Here I just lay down mid tones of the final colours, although that doesn't mean I can't change them later.
To do flats I create a new layer (in this case I created 5 layers - one for each object and I'll explain why later!).
With my Lasso tool ,(Fig.4) with following settings (Fig.05),
I go about selecting and colouring the flat colours of each layer/object.
Here it's important to keep the lines tight, often I'll go over an object already coloured and then deselect it with the wand tool at 1 tolerance so that the lines meet up flush.
Now this is where it comes in handy having done each object on its own layer!
1. I create a new layer over the flats layer of any one of the objects
2. I turn the layer into a mask layer by pressing the ALT button and moving my cursor between the two layers until the icon changes. Your layers should look as follows (Fig.06):
3. Using my Lasso tool again, with the following settings (Fig.07),
Repeat all these steps with all your objects. The reason for the mask layer is that only the areas inside your flats area will be coloured, so you can have the slightly blurred edges in the middle, but crisp lines on the contours(Fig.09). Try selecting the area you want and outside the object, as shown in the picture, and see what happens!
Add yet another masked layer over the shadow layer, as shown below (Fig.09), and repeat the same steps. In this case I used a light blue because of the moon.
The blue should actually be less intense, but I liked the strong contrast it created - stronger emotion.
I will use pretty much the same technique over the rest of the picture, on all the objects. (Fig.10)
Next I begin to add a few effects to create the mood. Below the flats layer I draw a white circle and add an outer glow effect with the following settings (Fig.11):