Digital Color

Color always seemed an unnecessary extra to me. During all of my studies the main focus was to draw objects and spaces fast and effective, to then maybe use some tones to work it up a little. I did do some small experiments and made some coloured drawings for friends, which were fun, but I never really understood what I was doing.

Now that I’m taking the time to study the fundamentals of art, I couldn’t avoid this anymore. When looking for resources and lessons on this subject you mainly bump in all sorts of brush painting methods. I wasn’t comfortable with this because that would have meant that I had to learn even another medium. Instead I wanted it to support what I already could do, which is solid linework. Knowing that I really like comic book art, I ended up studying digital colouring in a more comic book way. The main tool I used for this was my iPad Pro. Which was severely underused until now.

While I could have gone over existing black and white artwork, I started from the ground up. The portraits above show some insight in the process. I usually started from a rough, to refined lines, to flat colours, to shadows and lastly lights. The video underneath shows the entire workflow that goes in to it.

From portraits I went on to figure drawing. For some reason I chose dynamic dancing poses. The main thing that became clear to me with light, shadow and color, is that it isn’t just about picking a color a bit darker or lighter. All Colors are result from a certain type of light bouncing on top of a surface towards our eyes. some elements are warmer, colder or change in saturation. The handy thing about working digital is you iterate and test out many variations.

By going deeper in to procreate I discovered a “liquify” function. With this you can make more abstract marble like textures. Something close to 2 paintings I once did.  I always pondered how I could use this in combination with my figurative work. With some playing around in the app I managed to extract the interesting shadow shapes and use them as a basis for the flow of colors.