Digitally Coloring Detailed Illustrations: From Sketch to Print or Web

Leigh Rooney

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15 Videos (1h 15m)
    • 1. Introduction + materials

    • 2. Sketching your illustration + finding inspiration

    • 3. Inking your illustration

    • 4. Scanning your illustration

    • 5. Isolating the line work in Photoshop

    • 6. Adding color to the line work with clipping masks

    • 7. Isolating the line work in Illustrator with Image Trace

    • 8. Creating a limited color palette

    • 9. Blocking in colors

    • 10. Blocking in colors continued

    • 11. Locking pixels to add depth

    • 12. Adding depth continued

    • 13. Adding texture

    • 14. Saving

    • 15. Goodbye and THANK YOU!!


About This Class

Artist and teacher Leigh Ann Rooney will guide you through creating colorful and detailed illustrations. This course focuses on coloring detailed hand-drawn illustrations and it will take you through all the steps from sketching to saving for web or print. Advanced techniques are used, but the step-by-step instructions are suitable for beginners, Photoshop experts, and everyone in between. A lot of options are discussed so that you can create a unique and original illustration. You will find your personal style of working with Photoshop and learn to have fun and be creative with the program.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Inspiration for illustrations
  • Scanning and preparing your illustration for digital color
  • Creating custom color palettes to get the look you’re going for
  • Painting in Photoshop (I’ve developed some helpful tricks to make this kind of detail work MUCH easier)
  • Adding depth with handmade textures
  • Saving your illustrations so they are ready for print or web or anything else.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Pencil
  • Paper: sketch or computer paper and cardstock or bristol board
  • Pens or brush and ink
  • Scanner
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Optional: Adobe Illustrator

I made this course because I was frustrated by trying to digitally color my illustrations which can be detailed with lots of sketchy line work. All of the tutorials I found were for coloring really clean drawings so I decided to make my own!

These digital coloring techniques could be used on simple images, collages, and really anything you can think of.

I’ve spent HOURS of trial and error developing these techniques so that you don’t have to. I give you lots of options so that you can make your illustrations look exactly the way you want them to. It’s important for me to understand how and why things work in Photoshop and I'll explain everything I know about the program to you. My hope is that this understanding will give you the confidence to find your own personal ways of working with the program.

11 of 11 students recommendSee All

Great class and the PDF is wonderful to have. Thanks!
Ronit Ziv

So little time - so much to know! (J.H.B)

Good class, covers many of the tips and tricks for digitizing your inked drawings.

Lifelong Learner

I like this class a lot. She is very clear and easy to follow and shared some techniques in photoshop I hadn't used before.






I've been making art for as long as I can remember and I've been teaching art for nine years. I love passing on all of the skills I've learned along the way to my students.

I have my Masters in Fine Arts from the New York Academy of Art where I focused on figurative drawing and painting. Since then, I've continued my education by learning Adobe programs from online tutorials and a lot of hours of just trying every option in the programs - basically nerding out hard!


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