The story behind my first photoshop coloring lesson.


Hell yes, I made that drawing! I’m in my last year of college and for my final masterpiece I’m working on a graphic novel. I’ve never made one so it’s a really big project for me. It’s a post apocalyptic story, and this is the empty city. When I started drawing it looked very awesome, but I don’t have a lot of experience with photoshop so that scared me a little. Luckaly a classmate of mine makes a lot of digital art and she has even won a manga competition. She was the person to talk to, and ask for help. So yesterday I visited her and we scanned in my drawing. First it looked like this:


I was scared that my drawing style would disappear because I thought I would have to draw over every line. But luckaly my friend had a trick for that! We selected all the lines I made, deleted the background and made all the lines black. Now I had a transparent background and a nice black drawing. Time for the colors!

The tip with coloring in is to start in the background and make a new layer for every color. Why? Because the layer on top goes over the one that is under it. (seems logical right?) This means that it is quite easy to color the big parts in, and most important, if in the end one color doesn’t mingle as good as you thought with the others, just select the layer and change it.

When you colored everything in it’s time for shadows and highlights. You can see in this picture what diffenrence it makes when the drawing has no shadows or highlights.


Sorry for the quality, I made a picture of my laptop screen with my mobile. I just thought it would be nice to show some of my progress. After shadowing and highlighting I thought I would be done but there was still a finishing touch to be made. You select the whole image and put it in one layer, then you can add a gradient to it. You can choose a color to make the whole drawing look more dark or anything else. I chose to make my drawing a bit darker so I put a little bit purple over the original. Now it has a bit of a spooky vibe.

This post was not a tutorial but if you know photoshop a little you will understand it for the most part. I hope you got some inspiration to maybe work on your own projects, and if you have questions, feel free to ask! I’m also still learning since this was my first drawing I colored in with photoshop so if you have tips, that would be awesome!

– JoanyM

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