Digital Illustration: Color Mastery in Photoshop Level 2 | Sydney H. | Skillshare

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Digital Illustration: Color Mastery in Photoshop Level 2

teacher avatar Sydney H., Digital Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Overview of Level 1


    • 3.

      Color Weight "Focus"


    • 4.

      Color Weight & How to Apply it


    • 5.

      Color Harmonies


    • 6.

      Color Harmonies in Art


    • 7.

      Color Moods


    • 8.

      Project Overview


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About This Class

In this level, we are going to be diving deeper into the theory behind color. You’ll be using the foundation that you learned in Level 1 to understand the complex topics such as Color Weight, Color Harmonies and Color Moods. Not only will I provide you with a basic understanding of these concepts, I will also explain to you why they are important and how to apply them to your own artwork. With a combination of what you learn in Level 1 and 2, you will have a better understanding of why color works the way it does and how to intentionally add these concepts to your own work.

Just like in Level 1, each lesson will have a worksheet to help you understand and apply the concepts in real time.

I will also be using a color wheel plugin for Adobe Photoshop called Coolorus when referring to quick color applications! This specific plugin is not required for this class but having some kind of color wheel available will make this class a lot easier.

PLEASE NOTE: In this class I will be using Adobe Photoshop and Coolorus during my process.

Tools You Need:

-Photoshop installed

-Basic Understanding of Photoshop Interface/ Objects

-Photoshop Color Wheel Plugin Recommended

-No tablet required

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sydney H.

Digital Illustrator



A freelance artist creating artwork that strives to engage and generate pieces that everyone can enjoy. I love exploring multiple fields of the art some of which is digital, traditional, design! I'm highly influenced by old illustrators (like J.C Leyendecker), anime, and video games.


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Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: hi, everyone, and welcome back to color, mastery and Photoshopped level to. As you've probably noticed, when it comes to color theory, there's several levels of understanding. Color can challenge your perception, reality and even invoke emotional responses. Most of us are completely unaware of this and artwork and just consider another pretty picture and this level we're going to be diving deeper into the theory behind color. You'll be using the foundation that you learned in level one to understand that complex topics such as color, weight, color harmonies and color moods. Not only will I provide you with a basic understanding off these concepts, I will also explain to you why they're important and how to apply them to your own artwork . With a combination of what you learn in level one and two, he will have a better understanding of why color works the way it does and how to intentionally add these concepts to your own work. Just like in Level one. Each lesson will be accompanied by a worksheet to help you understand and apply these techniques in real time. I will also be using a color wheel plug in for adobe Photoshopped called colors while it's not required for this class, having some kind of color wheel available will make this class a lot easier for you, ready to start looking at color in a completely new way. Let's get started. 2. Overview of Level 1: if you remember from our last class, we went over the core ideas behind color theory. We discussed the importance of the color wheel, Hugh tents, shades and tones, a difference between saturation and vibrancy, and the eight different color schemes. The color wheel plug in helps give you a visual representation of the color wheel and also includes extra add ons that you would normally have to do by hand. Some of these features are adjusting cues, tents and even adjusting settings like saturation with a few quick sliders. Hugh is the color family that the color is from and doesn't include black, white or gray. There are several different color families that are in the color wheel. The first color family is red, yellow and blue, which are also known as the primary colors. With the use of these three colors, you can create a multitude of other hues, such as green, orange and violet. If he makes these colors even further, you can create what are called the tertiary colors. When you add the colors black, white or gray, you can create tense shades and tones of these hues by adjusting the amount of black, white and gray you add to your chosen Hugh. You can create a range of values of that hue In the first class. We also touched upon the difference between saturation and vibrancy. Saturation is the purity and intensity of the color, while vibrancy is a photo shop smart tool designed to increase the saturation of more muted colors and a picture. In essence, vibrancy is an extension of saturation in a more controlled environment. Last but not leaves, we also went over the eight different color schemes that are common in color theory. The's color schemes consists of monochromatic, complementary try Attic, analogous to tragic, split, complementary and accented analogous. Monochromatic is a color scheme that could be achieved with just one color or one Hugh. Complementary colors are colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel . Common complementary colors are yellow, inviolate red and green and blue and orange. The Triassic color scheme consists of three colors that form a triangle on the color wheel who the primary colors yellow, blue and red are essentially considered a triad, a color scheme. Analogous colors are three or more colors that are next to each other on the color wheel to track. It is a color scheme that consists of four different colors that form a rectangle or square on the color wheel. The split complementary scheme consists of three colors, one base color and two colors that air adjacent to the complement of that base Split. Complementary is like the complementary color scheme, but not nearly as harsh. Accented, analogous consists of three analogous colors and one compliment, and the warm and cool color scheme. An extension of the two tragic scheme contains colors like reds and yellows feeding into blues and violets. Now that you had a refresher, let's jump into the juicy stuff. 3. Color Weight "Focus": Now let's start with an important topic called collar. Weight. Collar weight can easily be identified as the main focus of your palate, whether you're working with grayscale or a multitude of colors. How you apply this focus greatly impacts how other colors will look beside it. By changing the sizes of the colors, you can shift the main focus to wherever you want. Different values of light and dark can affect where I will look. Let's start by creating a light gray rectangle just by placing this rectangle. I have already created we in the space. When you look at the rectangle against a black background, your attention is directed right towards it. Black is considered the absence of light, which is why is the darkest color in the spectrum. Your eye disregards the black background and focuses on the Great because it is considered more luminous or lighter. Now, when I placed another shade of grey on top, you will notice that the light gray square demands more attention than the likely rectangle . This is because the square has more weight than the rectangle does. Think about it. If you were in a dark room with two lights Which light would you look at? The candlelight for the light bulb color weight works in the same fashion just by adding this white rectangle. It steals the attention from the light grey, making it the most luminous value in the canvas. Look at a few of these grayscale examples and ask yourself where your eye looks first. Managing color great can be tricky as soon as you add in. Q. Not only will you have to manage values, but also the contrast of different hues, saturation and your own perception. Let's break this down with the use of this color strip you see. Here we have four different colors, one of which has three completely different weights. Which color attracts your attention personally, The color that attracts the most attention to me is violet. Even though it is about 1/3 of the size of the largest brown rectangle, it still has more luminosity. This is because brown is a shade of orange shades, contain black and black is the absence of light. This violent, on the other hand, is almost at pure saturation, which not only high ends the contrast but increases the luminosity of that color. An essence, the more saturated your color is, the more luminous and may be perceived. Another attribute to consider is optical blending. Optical blending is created through her own perception of color. When you look at two colors laid down side by side to appear to create a different color, this color is usually similar to the result of the two when they're mixed in real pigment. You can see this happening in this color strip with the blue, violet, orange and brown. As you know, violet and orange are complementary colors, which results in the highest contrast. Orange by itself would have a higher luminosity compared to violet. But what makes the left strip definite from the right strip of orange? Let me explain. Since the left strip has brown surrounding it, it doesn't make it appear nearly as bright as the one on the right. Because of the lack of contrasts, the brown surrounding it is merely a shade of orange. This shade of blue, violet and orange have about the same luminosity. Due to the optical blending and the gradual change of values on the left side, it has a much softer transition than the right side, which runs sharply into a saturated orange. Now, when I added in the teal, you notice that your Aiko's directly to that. Even though it is much smaller than the orange, it contains more luminosity simply because it is more saturated when I d. Saturate the teal C. How it no longer demands all of the attention. If there is a color that steals the spotlight, you can de saturate er in order to mix the colors better. Imagine if the Saturday teal was any larger than it waas. It will completely dominate all the colors in the color strip. Using proportions to organize your color strip is a great way to control color weight in your piece, just like how saturated and luminous colors can carry weight. Dark colors and shades can also in certain situations, take this next color strip, for example. Not only is the dark brown large enough to take the space, the warm tone also enhances its presence against these cooler tones. Remember when I said that black is the absence of light? Well, white is the opposite. It contains the light of all hues, making it the most luminous color on the canvas. The reason why most artists tell you not to use pure white unless you're hitting. A highlight is because it will completely dominate the stage. Look at the difference between the color strip against the black background compared to the white one. The white background sucks out all of the luminosity of the other colors, making them looked washed out in comparison. This is why it has never recommended to paint color against a white background unless you're sketching. Here's a cheat sheet that I found online, displaying what the luminosity of all of the colors are. The percentages are showing you the percentage of white in that color. When turned, Greece scale yellow is the brightest you on the color wheel for exercise born. I want you to observe how color affects your I look at the color strips in the worksheet and identify which color attracts your attention the most. Then ask yourself why this is 4. Color Weight & How to Apply it: Now that you know what color weight is, let me show you how it works by using my own art as an example and most art pieces, there are quite a few colors, ranging from different tents, two shades of multiple Hughes. For this exercise, I'm going to focus mainly on the colors that carry the most weight or stand out the most. How you divide up the color way in your art can make or break your piece, so it is important to have a clear understanding of where you want your main focus to be. The first thing I'm going to do is highlight the main areas of color on my piece, using the pen tool, the main Hughes that I see or red and blue. Since I'm one of the character to stand out the most, I painted her red clothing against a blue background. The contrast of temperatures helps this figure stand out from the background more while the dragon is composed of multiple blue hues, I added in warm shadows, along with light blues and violets for highlights in order to bring out more contrast. This not only helps pop the dragon out of the background, but it also helps distribute the warm hues across the canvas without it demanding too much attention to break up the blue background. Further, you see that I add in some dark violet shapes to give the illusion of depth and mountains, and then focus on the different tones of orange and yellow that were present. Those Hughes mostly dominated in the sky swords and also parts of the figure as well. Even though I do have white in my drawing, notice how small the specs are and where I put them, I only place white on the highest point of contrast and where I wanted a shape to really stand out. Now that I have highlighted the main colors, I'm now going to create a color strip with color weight in mind. We're going to work with the Mayhew's blue and red to start and then work our way down to the tints and shades. Using the eyedropper tool. I select the different colors in my art and arranged them according to how I see them. In my drawing, one is consisted of dark shapes that are seeing on the left side of the peace. Do is a combination of both. The background in the Dragon three is the dragon's mouth. Four. Is this guy. Five is the figure. Six is the multiple Hughes interlocking each other on the right edge. If you wanted to, you can use these hues to simplify your palate even more. Simply select the more dominant color of the group to use. To fill in the rectangles. See the difference between the normal color strip and the simplified one for exercise to find a piece of artwork that you enjoy and create contours around the major color masses, then create a color strip based on those colors with proportion in mind. Does the color strip look pleasing to look at which color or colors stand out the most? Does your answer match what you see in the original drawing? 5. Color Harmonies: you've heard me say color palettes before. But what is the difference between a color palette and a color harmony? An essence. They're very similar, but there's one key difference between them. The colors in the color harmony have to look aesthetically pleasing to the eye. You can make a color palette out of any colors that you want, but that doesn't mean that they will necessarily look good together. A color palette is simply referring to the set of colors that you were using for your composition. A color harmony tells you whether these colors air getting along or not. Take these two color strips. For example. The 1st 1 makes use of in August colors that have a similar luminosity to each other, or the 2nd 1 has several harsh colors with high saturation. The 2nd 1 is more of an extreme example, but you see my point now. What is the difference between color, harmony and color schemes? The way to differentiate the two is to think of color schemes as specific you combinations and color harmonies with a multitude of colors. Co schemes are the color combinations you used to figure out the main Hughes in your piece without all those tents, shades and tones to confuse you. The fact that color schemes consists of Pierre Hughes Onley makes them ideal building blocks for setting up harmonies. Color palettes, color harmonies Open up the possibility to include those tents, shades and tones into your palate. I'm going to use the colorist plug in and ordered a quickly locate my chosen color scheme. I decided to go with accented analogous, since it always brings interesting color combinations to the table. With the use of photo shops, a variety of tools, we can easily change the colors in this color strip. You can use the hue saturation tool to shift the Hughes saturation and lightness off all the colors and the strip at the same time. You could do this by using image adjustments, hue saturation. You can also use the color balance tool to adjust which color dominates. This can also be access by image adjustments. Color balance. When I move the slider towards science, you can see that all the colors shift towards that. Hugh. It's like mixing without all the work. If you wanted to change the temperature of your piece, this is the best way to do it in a quick and efficient manner. If you only wanted to edit one color in your strip, you can easily do that by using the select tools to map out the areas you exclusively want to edit. You can use any tool in the image of Justin's tab to change your colors, but hue, saturation and color balance are the ones that I use the most. Here are a few examples of color harmonies Noticed how many different harmonies you can create with just one color scheme. If you ever get stuck on which color scheme are color harmony you want to use for your art , there are plenty of resource is online. A few that I use are cola's dot co color palettes dot net in politan dot com for exercise. Three. I want you to create four color harmonies based on the Four Seasons spring, summer, fall and winter. Use photos of the seasons in order to figure out what kind of color scheme you want to use 6. Color Harmonies in Art: when it comes to color, harmony and our color, weight and harmony go hand in hand. If one is out of balance, it could ruin your piece. And less than three. We discussed about how to apply color weight, but let's talk about the actual harmony in the pallets. While there are a lot of different values, if you look closely, the main Hughes that are used are actually muted hues of red, yellow and blue. Violence is simply just a color used for adding shadows to the peace. Therefore, the overall color scheme is try attic. Let me give you another example that might not be as obvious in this piece. I use a lot of muted colors with small saturated elements in order to die cipher the color palette that I used for this piece. I'm going to apprise similar methods that we used in less than three. I'm going to start by highlighting the main colors in the piece. I think carefully proportion that colorist using the eyedropper and rectangles you'll once I finished the color strip could then use it to identify the overall color scheme. Green and violet stand out immediately as part of the color scheme. The third addition to this car scheme is actually going to be orange, since brown is merely a shade of orange. If you look at where these colors show themselves on the color wheel, this color palettes overall color scheme is also try. Attic was making it harmonists for exercise, for I wanted to choose a piece of artwork and highlight the main colors and the drawing. Figure out what the overall color scheme is. Is this color scheme Palette Harmonists? 7. Color Moods: color mood exists as a way to help generate a particular atmosphere or help invoke an emotion through the use of color. Every color on the color wheel has meanings behind them. Depending on how color is used in artwork, it can dramatically change the meaning and the mood behind the peace. Most of the time, the viewer is completely unaware of how the artist is playing with their emotions, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally. Let me give you a few examples. Just start off. You see, I have a grey sphere in the middle of the campus with a cash shadow. It looks simple enough, but take notice how it makes you feel. While I originally made this object in order to display how color could be used, I couldn't help but notice some peculiar emotions I was feeling. To me it felt unfinished, plain and rather empty. As an artist, I absolutely love to add color into every piece, so having a grayscale drawing felt odd to me. Great in general has always given me a cold as well as a neutral feeling, depending on how it was used. When I turned the color on all of a sudden, everything feels so dramatic. The ball is in a cold place with warm light hitting it. Notice how the use of complementary colors heightens the drama and make a quick switch to a more analogous color scheme, making it feel a bit softer than it was originally. I then shifted the entire ball into reddish tones. Instead of making the ball entirely monochromatic, I made the highlight an analogous color. It makes the red look even warmer. If they used a tent of bread rather than yellow, the monochrome ball would feel cold in comparison. This idea fits better with the blue ball. Since I wanted to capture the cold look, ask yourself, How do these colors change the image for you? Since color can manipulate the way you feel, Collinwood could become a controversial subject. Depending on who you talk to. It has many different meanings Across the board, bread is most known for standing for being passionate, having power, ambition and anger. Yellow is seen as bright, the sun and happiness, while blue is considered a color of trust, masculinity, loyalty as well as coldness. Take a look at this diagram that shows the multitude of companies that use color. Corporate companies know exactly how to manipulate the market, those making their logo allying with the color that would communicate their message. Clearly, however, that message can change dramatically when used in a different culture or country. In Western culture, red stands for love, danger and action, while in Far Eastern culture it represents prosperity and good fortune. And even more dramatic difference is how the western Indian Middle Eastern cultures see black as a collar of negativity. While eastern cultures see it as a sign of health and prosperity, you can see how color could be a very tricky subject, especially if designing something for a company that is originally from a country not native to your own. That's why is always important to have an understanding of how color might not only impact you but other cultures as well. I make sure to place these diagrams with the worksheet so you could look at them in greater detail. What's great about color mood is that they're gonna be a 1,000,000 different interpretations for just one piece. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences how you feel about a piece. It's most likely completely different than how the person next to you does. Even if you meant for a piece to turn out a certain way or have it convey a certain meaning . There are always be someone out there to have a completely different perspective on it that you never thought of before. Isn't that pretty amazing for exercise? Five, I want you to experiment with two different things. Choose a few different images and write about how they make you feel it could be in a sentence or a few words. Then create four color harmonies based off of how you feel about each of the four seasons. Take a moment and compare those strips to exercise. Three. How do they differ? 8. Project Overview: congratulations and completing level two off the color mastery and photo shop Siris. In this level, we went over the importance of color, weight and how to utilize it to create the focus and your artwork. We learned exactly what color harmonies are and how they're different from color schemes We even touched based on color moods and how they greatly impact your artwork. Throughout all of these lessons that created worksheets to help you practice these more advanced techniques of color theory, just in case you missed them, here's a review for exercise one. I want you to observe how color affects your I look at the color strips in the worksheet and identify which color attracts your attention the most. Then ask yourself why this is for exercise to find a piece of artwork that you enjoy and create contours around the major color masses. Then create a color strip based on those colors with proportions in mind. Does the color strip look pleasing to look at which color or colors stand out the most? Does your answer match what you see in the original drawing and exercise? Three. Create four color harmonies based on the Four Seasons spring, summer, fall and winter for exercise for I want you to choose a piece of artwork and highlight the main colors in the drawing and figure out what the overall color scheme ISS is this color scheme palette harmless and last but not least, exercise. Five. I want you to thank Reed for color harmonies based off of how you feel about each of the four seasons. Make sure you download the worksheet files to get started after you finished. Be sure to upload them to the Krajicek section so everyone can see it. Thank you so much for taking level to you of color mastery and photo shop, and I can't wait to see your progress.