Photoshop Tutorial: Colorize Lineart With Cell Style Technique



In this tutorial I will show you how to color a line art using minimum color and just brightness and contrast to achieve a clean, yet effective look...

This tutorial is meant for beginners who just started photoshopping... However, some knowledge of the pen tool is recommended... For those who never used the pen tool, I included a mini tutorial explaining the very basics.

This technique will work on photoshop from version 7 onwards... Let's get started!


End result:
Colorize Lineart With Cell Style Technique Final Image

Author:
avatar arkncheeze

Views: 35918
Score: 8.58 / 10
Author earned: $20
Practice tutorial

Tags:cellcolorlineartpen

Step 1

Hi, this is my first tutorial so please go easy with me.

First I opened up a old sketch of mine in photoshop( it's about 2 or 3 years old)... There are different way to clean up your line art or sketches... Some uses the alpha channel, some uses the line tool, some digitally ink it with pen tablet and one of the most convenient method using the pen tool...

If you are familiar with pen tool, it's good... If not, I would recommend looking at pen tool tutorial before going any further or you can check out my mini pen tool tutorial here( but it is not that detailed)...


Step 2

Now duplicating the line art( or sketch) and naming it "Original Layer"( bah, me and my silly naming habit)... I totally filled the background layer with white color... I now created a new layer called "Lineart" on top of the "Original Layer"...

Actually it doesn't matter where the original layer is above or below... Just be sure to reduce the opacity of the original layer to about 50%...


Step 3

Now before we move on any further... Let me introduce you to the pen tool and give a little crash course on it( but I still recommend you to check out other pen tool tutorial)...

You can select the pen tool by pressing the key "P"... Or you can select from the tools palette... Also make sure in the current tool option toolbar, "paths" is selected... I have encircled it in the screenshot...


Step 4

A. To create a line with pen tool( refer to ss as well):

A.1. Click and release with the pen tool on the canvas... You will notice a small square point on the canvas...

A. 2. Now again click and release on a different place and voila a line path is created...

B. To create a curve line with pen tool( refer to ss as well):

B. 1. Click and release with the pen tool on the canvas...

B. 2. Now click again, but this time don't release the mouse... Now holding the mouse button drag and you will notice the line is curving... Get the curve you want and release the button when you want...

Experiment with it... It's a little hard to use at the beginning... But once you get the hang of it... You won't stop using it...


Step 5

In order to close a path... You need to hover the mouse over the first point of the path you have created... The cursor will have a small beside it, when you hover over you first point...

This indicates, that the path will closed if you click there( refer to ss)...

To create over lapping line with path is also not hard... First make a line as usual and ctrl( command for mac) somewhere in the canvas, but not on the path itself... You will find the path is deselected and you can create new path now...

Now create an another line and ctrl click again... And there, you have overlapping line...


Step 6

After making a path, you may find the need to select it again either to delete or modify it... After you have either created a closed path or deselected it using the ctrl( command for mac) click method, to selected it again you have to just ctrl click the path to have it selected...

After selecting back the path if you hover your mouse the path, you will see the cursor has a plus "+" sign... Which means you can add new anchor points...

If you hover over an existing anchor point, the cursor has a minus "-" sign, which means you can delete the anchor point...

If you ctrl click on an existing anchor point and hold it... You can the move the position of the anchor point... You can adjust( distort) the path by alt click the tip of a anchor line and moving it...

You can also edit your anchor point while you are making the path...

Well that is all to this mini tutorial... To get comfortable with pen tool, just keep on using it...


Step 7

Now back to our line art... Now let us select the brush tool... We take an 2 px brush with 100% hardness and 100% opacity... Foreground color set to black...


Step 8

Now selecting the pen tool( with the path option selected)... I start tracing on the lineart layer, not the original layer...

Refer to ss( screenshot if you were wondering)...


Step 9

Now making more anchor point with the pen tool... I finished tracing her jaw... But wait something looks wrong...


Step 10

A part of her jawline is whacked... I had to adjust it by selecting the path again and adjusting the anchor lines...


Step 11

Now right click with the pen tool selected withing the canvas... A context menu will pop out... From that menu choose "Stroke Path..."


Step 12

Now from the drop down menu select brush, if it isn't selected already... Also uncheck the "Simulate Pressure" option if it is selected... And then hit ok...


Step 13

This is what happens after stroking the path... Now delete the path... You can either delete the path by ctrl clicking the path and pressing delete... Or right click in the canvas with the pen tool and choose delete path from the option...


Step 14

Now for some part of the line art... I used closed path instead of just line paths... e.g. the eye line...


Step 15

Now right clicking the canvas and choosing "Fill Path..." from the context menu...


Step 16

Select the option as shown in the ss and make sure foreground color is set to black...

Also feather radius should be set to 0, if you want sharpness around the edges...


Step 17

This is what I get after I filled up the path for the eye line and the pupils...


Step 18

Now this is what it looks like with the "Original Layer" turned off...


Step 19

As you see in the line art, some line overlap each other... So I had to erase them with an eraser...


Step 20

Now to create the jean stitch... I made a line with the pen tool, stroked it... Then choosing block mode for the eraser, started eraser bits of the line...


Step 21

Well now that the line art is complete, we will start to fill in the colors... But before that select the magic wand... I kept the tolerance at default value i.e. 32... You can experiment on this one...


Step 22

Now selecting the part of the line art which is suppose to be her skin...


Step 23

Now going to menu "Select -> Modify -> Expand..."


Step 24

Now expanding the selection by 1 pixel...


Step 25

Now as shown in the ss, by clicking the "Create new fill or adjustment layer" button in the layers palette and selecting solid color with the selection active...


Step 26

Now from the color dialog box, I choose the color #f1c9ca and clicked on ok...


Step 27

Now I name the layer "skin"... also keep all the flat color layer below the line art... Also I noticed some part of the skin were not properly filled... Magic wand is not that reliable... Esp at sharp edges as shown in ss...


Step 28

Now selecting the mask and the brush tool at 2 px 100% hard 100% opacity with the color white... I brushed over the area where I wanted the skin color to appear...

Hint... Paint over mask with white color to make thing visible and with black color to make thing invisible...


Step 29

Now using the same method I filled up other parts of her body... See in ss the order of the layer... Color fill adjustment layer is convenient... Because whenever you want to change the color, just double click the color layer thumbnail and choose the new color...

Note: Always keep the color, flat and whatever adjustment( shadow and highlights) layers under the Lineart layer( the cleaned up line art layer)...


Step 30

Now on to shading... Select the layer you want to shade.. Click the "create new fill or adjustment layer" button in the layer palette... This time choose "Brightness/Contrast..."


Step 31

Choose the following setting or you can choose what you want... But should be dark and generally don't use contrast for the shading...


Step 32

After click OK we get this...


Step 33

Now selecting the mask and filling it with black fill... Also renaming it dark...

Also we clip this brightness/contrast adjustment layer to the skin layer... To clip we press and hold alt... Then hovering between the skin and dark layer the cursor will change( forgive me, for some reason my screenshot is not capturing cursor)... Click it and a arrow sign will indicate the layer is clipped...


Step 34

Now with the pen tool draw a path like this... Don't worry about overlapping other area, such as the hair... Thats what clipping mask are for... Since this adjustment layer is linked to the skin layer... Any adjustment done by it will only effect the skin layer...


Step 35

Now right clicking the path and selecting the "Fill Path..." option... Make sure this time the foreground is set to white... And hitting OK we get this...


Step 36

Now repeating the same process for all color layers...


Step 37

Now adding highlights the same way as I did with shadow... Selecting the skin layer again, I created an another Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer... This time I put the contrast setting to +100...

Then filling the layer with black fill and clipping it to the skin layer...

Now selecting the area I want the highlight to appear with pen tool and filling it with white... Same process with other layer...

Although with this type of color style use highlight sparingly... Use for hair, eyes and some part of skin...


Step 38

Now finishing up by adding a blue background... You can add your own flavor to it... And also if you want, you can add the ground shadow... I was too lazy to add one...

And I thank you all for bearing with me... :)



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16 Comments:

no avatar
unkskitty says:

Very cool!

(5 years and 2424 days ago)
avatar cabldawg71

Good Tut. Nice introduction to pen tool.

(5 years and 2423 days ago)
avatar wazowski
wazowski says:

There absolutely nothing silly about giving names to layers. In fact it's very recommended, especially if there are also other people who has to know what's what in a PSD (like in a company). Nice tut

(5 years and 2423 days ago)
avatar boemeles
boemeles says:

Awesome! I made something very similar a while ago for some deviantart friends. The thing i ran into with them is that you need perfect lineart (no little gaps), otherwise you'll have a hard time selecting your areas.

I have a very different way to color my lineart, would pxleyes allow a second (different tutorial) on coloring lineart?

(5 years and 2420 days ago)
avatar devangel
devangel says:

very COOL tut!!

(5 years and 2374 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

good very good keep it on.. bro

(5 years and 2358 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

This is neat! I just have one question. How do you draw with the pen tool without the center turning color, so that I can see where and what I am drawing?

(5 years and 2334 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Very detailed and yet simple tutorial. I will try it out some day, it's very helpful for people like me who can't color for nuts! XD

Good job

(5 years and 2247 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

did help me a lot with this tutorial... hehehe... pretty cool...

(5 years and 2154 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

i love this tutorial now my work will look 10 times better thank you so much

(5 years and 2141 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

I like it. Useful Cartoon outline and fill. Now I copied this tutorial. Thank you very much.

(5 years and 2135 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

good tutorial thank u.

(5 years and 2108 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

nice ,,, thanks for sharing ill try it tonight!!

(5 years and 1986 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

This looks like it would be fun and awesome if I could get it to work..

(5 years and 1802 days ago)
no avatar
Kira [banned] says:

amazing tutorial.........i was looking for something like dis 4 past month

(5 years and 1798 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Neat. I've had a WACOM TABLET for a few years now. Just wondering what's so dieffrent with the Bamboo Craft that I should take a look at it OR, can't I accomplish the same types of things with the one I already have? BTW, I have Photoshop, Photo Elements but far my favorite is Photo Impact. Just saying

(5 years and 1322 days ago)


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