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Fuchikama Color Process Piece
This is not as much a tutorial as just a snapshot of one way I have learned to color. By no means is it a set standard or anything because I am not near good enough to set a standard, its more of just one technique that can be implimented if you so wish. With that in mind it if you wish to reproduce this you must have moderate knowledge of Photoshop although I am fairly sure it could be done in any number of paint programs.

Ok well first of you must have a drawing to color. First create a new layer above the background layer then begin to draw on it. I did this quick sketch of a fuchikama straight onto the computer for the sake of speed. I don't use a pure black but more like 75% just so that it will not take over when I begin to lay in flat color. This way I am more apt to correct any mistakes in my drawing.

Now I create a new layer and put it under the layer with the drawing on it. What I did here was lay in a medium gray and begin to add a few highlights. You might also see a few details on the abdomen. Well you probably don't want to do that because it just causes trouble when you try to fix color and shading and have to work around them so just save the details for the very last. ^_^ I put a gradient at the top just so I could select shades quickly. I just used an airbrush to lay in the various shades. ^_^ Try not to go completely black because it will cause a lot of trouble when transfering it to color.

Here I just continued to add more shading to the body of the fuchikama. I also smoothed out the edges of it. You can't really get smooth lines just by filling in the drawing at least when it is like the sketch that I did. I also added a bit of color to the glass parts, but that isn't really the good way to do it. So just shade it using the gray that is already there. As you can see I adjusted the guns very slightly and I believe that I do it again later. As for the shading since I wanted this to be very shiny I added a bit of ambiant light around the head and will add more as the piece progresses.

As you can see I have began to shade the back legs. There is no real secret or anything just shade and and test out different places where the light hits. I think thats why it took me so long to do this piece. I tried things many times and ended up with like 5 versions of this picture but I only finished one. ^_^

Here is where I changed the glass back to gray and then shaded it. I also shaded the arm and look at that nice ambient light. ^_^

Ok this is pretty much the finished grayscale image. No special things really added just finished shading the other legs and did a few touchups here and there. One thing I learned from coloring it is that you should not make the light spots completely white. I know its a bit late to mention it but before you lay the color in just go over them a bit with a light shade of gray. If you don't it will make the highlights quite hot, and that wasn't really what I was going for so I changed it while I colored.

This step I spend a lot of time on. I wanted to do a nice deep red fuchikama so I had to test a lot of different colors. I ended up going with a maroon or higher saturation tuscan red. Just expieriment with the colors you want. The best way to change the grayscale to color that I found is to change the airbrush option to "overlay" It gives a very nice effect. Notice around the hightlight I left it more gray, you don't have to do this but it just added a bit of extra dynamic to the way the highlights come out.
Here you can see where I colored part of the body red and then began to highlight the abdomen of the beast. I found it best not to change all the gray to color at once. You can control the level of saturation and brightness this way more precisely. As for the highlight color I went with a cream color and used the "overlay" function of the airbrush once again. The only way I found that I like this color was by testing a ton of them. I can't stress enough how much you must expieremnt. Happy accidents can lead to very usefull knowledge of how colors interact with eachother in photoshop.

I used a darker orange around the highlights to blend them into the red better. I put the airbrush on "soft light" and just lightly went around the edges till I was happy. I also added a ambient highlight as well in this picture. I however used a green in the ambient light to signify the different light source and to add just a touch of extra color outside the spectrum already chosen. To get the shadows just how I wanted them I used a tuscan red or deep maroon with the "overlay" function. It will darked the existing red and lighten the black of the deepest shadows. This is why it was important not to go all the way black on the shading earlier. It will make you job much easier here. ^_^ I also added a yellow ring which was planned on being part of the bg. This way I could pick up the reflection of the yellow in the legs as I began to color them.

This is just a personal preference but i like to finish each piece of the fuchi as I go. That way I can see the true interaction of shading and also see if the shading matches up and keeps the effect going. Here I shaded the lights using the same method for the rest of the drawing. Once again you must remember the ambient light, it adds more than you could imagine just by having those small highlights on the bottom part of the glass. It also makes it more realistic.
I laid in the rest of the color on the body and did small adjustments on the hightlights all around the fuchi. If I saw something about a highlight I didn't care for I would go back at that instant and fix it so not to forget about it. Just keep experimenting is all I can say.
Mostly just the continuation of adding highlights and such. I also added a few small details to the abdomen since I figured it was just how I wanted it.
I took a small copy of part of abdomen here just so I could have a good color reference and sample of colors to select if something wasn't working out just how I wanted. It was a lot easier than zooming out and selecting the color all over again. Once again keep up the highlighting and the ambient light. I also did a few small adjustments on the right leg (left side) joint so it just seemed more correct. ^_^ You have to look close but I also added small yellow highlights where the legs came into contact with the yellow ring. Other than that it was just more hightlighting and other adjustments. CONSTANT ADJUSTMENTS I SAY!!!

Well here is the finished piece. Click on it to see the larger version. I just finished up the highlights and a small adjustment to the left leg (right side) and then added shading to the yellow circle and a shadow to give the fuchi more depth. The most important thing in adding shadows is don't use black. Avoid black in paintings at all costs. It creates dead colors and holes in your work. Here I used a low saturation deep blue roughly equivilent to a Pains Gray. For the yellow I just used a ocher color and overlaid it on the yellow. Of course added a few details and just a bit more of hightlight adjustment. There ya go all done. If there is enough demand I will make my lineart avialible but until then if you want just e-mail me. ^_^ GL and have fun. ^_^
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