Photoshop for Illustrators III: Color and Texture | Matt Kaufenberg | Skillshare

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Photoshop for Illustrators III: Color and Texture

teacher avatar Matt Kaufenberg, Freelance 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.

      The Importance of Color


    • 3.

      Color Swatches


    • 4.

      Brushes and Paint


    • 5.



    • 6.

      Shape Tools


    • 7.

      How to Make Color Adjustments


    • 8.

      Adding Texture


    • 9.

      Closing Remarks


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About This Class

Color is regarded as one of the most important aspects of illustration because it conveys so much. Moods, time periods, and feelings are all evoked by the colors we see.

In this final of my three-class Photoshop for Illustrators series, I’ll take you through different coloring techniques you can use in Photoshop. I’ll also cover texturing and color adjustments for adding that vintage vibe to your illustration.

Throughout the course, you’ll be encouraged to make your own artistic and creative decisions. What color palette will you choose?

This three-part series will take you through the fundamental features of Photoshop that illustrators use. This series was created specifically to help aspiring illustrators learn the basics of Photoshop without having to go through tools that don’t apply to their work. Photoshop is the most versatile program for creating artwork because of its ability to combine raster and vector images, and this is the series to help you maximize and master its essential tools.

Also see: Photoshop for Illustrators I: Workspace, Layers, and Drawing and Photoshop for Illustrators III: Color and Texture.

What You’ll Learn

  • Color Palettes. You’ll create your own color palette, selecting the colors you want to use in your illustration.
  • Coloring Tools. You’ll learn how to start adding color to your illustration using tools we’ve covered.
  • Color Adjustments. You’ll learn different methods for adjusting the colors in your illustration.
  • Texture. You’ll learn best practices for incorporating textures into your illustration with Photoshop.

What You’ll Do

  • Project Deliverable. Color an illustration using Photoshop.
  • Description. Share the illustration you made with your classmates. Explain the tools you used to create it.
  • Specs. Feel free to use an illustration from a previous class, your own work, or the files provided in the resource section.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Matt Kaufenberg

Freelance Illustrator


Matt Kaufenberg is a freelance illustrator living in Minnesota.

For over 10 years he's had the pleasure of working with companies such as Facebook, Netflix, Hasbro, Target, and more. He is influenced by artists from the 60's and 70's, especially children's book illustrators.

In his free time, he enjoys sculpting, making toys and spending time with his wife and their five kids.

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1. Trailer: Hi. I'm Matt Kaufenberg, a freelance illustrator from Minnesota. I'm teaching a three-part Skillshare series titled "Photoshop for Illustrators" and this series is going to take you through the fundamentals of Photoshop, concentrating on the tools that illustrators would use. In the third and final part of the series, we'll be exploring the different coloring tools that you can use in Photoshop by coloring an inked illustration. Selection tool, brush tools, and vector shapes will all be covered and you'll have a chance to use one of the methods on your project. I'll also talk about color adjustments and adding texture to an illustration. This series is specifically tailored for artists who are just starting out and want to learn how to use Photoshop from an illustrator's perspective. 3. The Importance of Color: All right. Welcome to color and texture, the final class in a three-part series called Photoshop for Illustrators. Now, if you've been following along, you'll have an illustration of your own that you're going to be coloring that we inked in the last class. If you're just taking this class, then feel free to use the race car inks that I've provided in the resources section. Basically, what this class is going to teach you is how to color an illustration of the different ways that you can do that in Photoshop, whether it's using the selection tools or the brush tools or the shape tools. I think that really this is one of the most important parts of the Photoshop for Illustrator series, and that's just because with color you can convey so much, whether it's lighting or time of day, or even a mood or time period. Color has such a huge impact on the viewer and can really make or break a piece. So, I'm really excited to see what you guys do with the art that we've created so far. So, let's get started and let me show you some really cool, really fun coloring techniques. 4. Color Swatches: Okay. So before we actually get into coloring, I wanted us to create our own color swatches based on the object that we illustrated in the past lessons. Now, if you're just starting off with this lesson, then feel free to use the toy race car image that I've provided in the resource section, and that's what I'll be creating my swatches palette from. So let's go up to File, and Open, and whether you're using the car or your own, navigate to that folder and double-click. So now, we've got our image, and this is what we're going to create our swatches from. Now, over here in the swatches palette, if you don't have this open, go up to Window, Swatches, and we're going to click on the little icon in the top right corner, and we're going to replace swatches. I'm not going to save this. If you have a custom swatch palette made already, then I would suggest saving it. I'm going to open up the blank palette. Now, this only has one because you can't actually have a blank color palette. So, once we create our color palette, we can delete this swatch. All right. So, let's go down, actually up to the eyedropper tool, and we're just going to sample some colors, and we can use this. If we click the Foreground Color, we can use the color picker, and I'm just going to decide on a few colors for this, maybe some dark blues. Now, when we have our color, what we can do is click this button right here and that's going to show our new swatch. I'm not going to name it. I'm just going to use the default name. If you'd like you can name it. Now, we can actually delete that red swatch. So, I'm going to go and do that and pick through all these colors. So follow along, pick your own colors from your object, and then get them all into your color palette. Some of these aren't exactly what they are in real life, so if you have the object with you, you can kind of look and see. Mine is actually a more orange-ish red color, so I'm going to pick that and maybe even modify my blue just a little bit. I'm going to go a little bit more yellow with this, and we can adjust these as we go. So they don't have to be perfect, and that's actually going to be more of a white color, and just in case, I'm going to add a black. Okay. So that's kind of the custom palette right there. Now, what we're going to do is click on that and hit Save Swatches, and I'm going to name this "Race Car Colors" and save it, and there we have our custom swatches. So, let's move on to the actual coloring stage. 8. Brushes and Paint: Okay. So, let's open up the ink file. So, open, and race car inks, or whatever your file is called. I'm just going to resize this a bit, and I'm going to click on New Layer, underneath the inks, and then I'm going to lock the inks layer, and go back to the blank layer that we just created, and I'm going to choose one of Kyle's brushes. I think I'll do one of the new ones, and I'm going to just made my brush a little bit bigger, and I'm just going to go in here and start painting. Now, since I'm using a paint brush, I'm going to keep this pretty rough. I'm going to do a little bit of offset coloring for this. So, it's not going to look perfect. Really with these, I want to experiment with the brushes, with the coloring technique. So, for this one, I'm going to leave a little bit of offset. Something like that, and then I'm just going to quick color it. Now, normally, you wouldn't necessarily call every piece in like this. But I like that sometimes, you miss a few pixels and you get a little bit of a rougher look to it. I mean, I'm doing a pretty good job but still, maybe just a few places where you don't get full color. I'm just going to erase a little bit here, just because we want to have that offset field. Okay. So, I'm going to just pick a darker color for the wheels, I don't really want black. So, a really dark gray. Again, I'm not going to color this in perfectly. Now, another way to do this would be the color it in perfectly and then just shift it. I find it's just more fun to color it like this. Then, I'm going to lock the transparent pixels, and color inside of the colors that we already laid down. So, now, we can start coloring the windshield, and we don't have to worry about going outside of the colors that we've already created. So, that's really nice to be able to lock the transparent pixels while we do that. Then, I'm going to start coloring in the little details. I'm going to just make my brush a little bit smaller just so that I can color in this five. Again, if you don't have a stylus this is going to be a lot harder to do it this way. But if you are using a tablet, or a Cintiq then, this is going to be a lot of fun. I'm going to keep this pretty messy. Now, you'll see the Eyedropper Tool come up, and that's because I have a quick key assigned to my pen, so that I can quickly color and sample the colors around the piece that I'm working on. Now, you can hit Alt on the keyboard if you want to do the same thing, or if you want to set your pen to the Eyedropper Tool, all you have to do is go into your preferences for the pen, and have that button as Alt. So, I'm just going to color in real quickly this is last little piece. Again, keep it messy, and then I think, I'm going to just add a few highlights. Maybe, make my brush just a little bit bigger. A little bit to this window, not too much, I don't mind if it goes over the color a little bit. I'm going to choose a darker color because I want to do a little bit of a shadow on this. So, I'm going to choose Rough Dry Fun, which is one of Kyle's brushes that I use the most. I'm going in here. See, I don't mind if it covers up the wheel a little bit. I can go back and take some of that out, but I like that splatter look, and a little bit there, a little bit of the black gets on, the dark gray gets on the blue, and that's okay. I like how that looks. I'm going to shrink it down and just color the pipes that I forgot to color with that. I think, I'll actually do it a little bit later. Now, I have to uncheck transparent pixels while I add a little bit of color to this, and then I'm just going to fill in the wheels a little bit with some of the gray, maybe fill in a little bit of that blue. All right. So, that looks pretty good like that. I like how that is. So, let's start talking about the pencil tool, which is another option to use for coloring. So, I select the pencil, I'm going to zoom in here, and I'm going to create a new layer. Again, below the inks, and I'm just going to follow the inks here. So, I'm just going to trace around, not filling in just tracing and following the inks, and just erasing bits that go over. You don't really have to erase it. I just want this one to be a clean color as opposed to what we did with the other one where it was really messy. So, I'm just going to go over here. I'm going to fill in these tires as well. I don't need to fill in these tires with the correct color right now. I just want to get an outlined color, and I'll show you why. So, I'm just going finish tracing this, and this is a lot easier to do with a stylus. If you're doing it with your mouse, it's a lot harder. You got to be a little bit more careful, just because it's easy to go outside. So, now, I'm gonna take the Paint Bucket Tool, and I'm just going to click in on all of these, and make sure that contiguous is selected. Otherwise, it's not going to do that, and I'm going to lock the transparent pixels now. I'm going to open up color picker. You just pick up a lighter color for the windshield, and now that again, I've got locked transparent pixels on there, I don't have to worry about going outside of the colors we just made, but I'm still using the breath the pencil tool for this. This is great because you could just fill in the missing areas with the Paint Bucket Tool. So, I'm going to continue doing this for each little piece. This time, I'm just going to color around the five rather than coloring in all of the white and then recoloring the five. This is a slower way to do things, but to be honest, I enjoy this part of it. It's relaxing to color so if I have the time, especially in client work, I'll color it like this just because it's fun. I'm going to choose a little bit darker gray. But again, for the tires, I don't have to color them in and I can use the Paint Bucket Tool for that, and just color in these pipes, and I just unlock transparent pixels for just a second there because I was missing a few pixels on the top. You won't really see that. But for me, it bugs me so I had to fill them in. I'm going to just a slightly lighter gray for the top. All right. So now, we get to fill in. This is really my favorite part. These numbers and the front hood is really the best part, just because I get to put in this fun retro rainbow-type coloring scheme. So, I'm just guessing where the gradient ends here. I have the car right next to me but don't really need to look at it for this part. I'm just filling this in, almost finished. This is actually the most fun part. Like I said, these bright retro colors are what makes the car special. I definitely knew that I was going to have a lot of fun coloring this car. I was pretty excited to use this as an example. All right. So, I'm just going to finish this up, and I don't really need to do this but I'm just going to fix that. That's about it. So, that's creating color using the Brush Tool, the Pencil Tool, and the Paint Bucket Tool. Next, we're go in to using Selection Tools to color. 10. Selections: Now let's try using some selection tools to color this piece. So, I'm going to create a new layer, then zoom in just slightly and I'm going to use the polygonal lasso tool. The other ones don't work quite as well, so this is the one I want to use. I want to make sure that anti-alias is actually unchecked for this because this way we can use the paint bucket with it if we need to. So, I'm going to click. Make sure I'm following the inks and I'm not going outside of them. If you accidentally go outside, just hit delete and that will go back to the last point, and it's really up to you to decide which of these coloring techniques you prefer. Some are faster and it really depends on what you're using it on. Sometimes, this is a better tool to use than the brushes, but sometimes the brush tool is better. So, it's really up to you. Now, don't accidentally double-click because then you're going to close the selection and you're going to have to just add to it to finish it up, which it actually happens all the time. So, it's not a huge deal. So, now, we've got a selection and we can go up here to add to selection, and select that. And that's how we can select these wheels as well with the same selection, and just go around. It doesn't have to be perfect, can be jagged because they're not going to see it underneath the inks. All right. So, we have that. I'm going to select the blue color and I'm going to hit "alt delete" and fill it in. Now, if we hide the inks, we can kind of see what that looks like. Well, it doesn't matter because, again, the inks hide that. So, now, you could go in and fill in all these different pieces using this tool. Let's hide that layer, and I'm going to show you how to use the magic wand tool which is one of my favorite tools to use when I'm coloring inked art. So, I'm going to create a new layer, I'm going to uncheck anti-alias with the magic wand tool selected, and I'm going to actually select outside of the car. So, we've got this all selected, and what we're gonna do is we're going to go to select inverse; and actually, before we do that, go select, so undo that, go to select, modify and expand. Let's expand it by like four pixels maybe, and if it's not enough just go back to expand and do it a little bit more, maybe three, and that's good. So, now, what we're going to do is select, inverse and now we can hit the alt delete and color it in. Now, if that wasn't quite enough, you can always use the pencil tool to fill in any little areas that it might have missed. So, then once we have that, let's lock the transparent pixels. I have a shortcut key setup for expanding, so I'm going to use that, but for each time that we use the magic wand, you just go up to select, and modify and expand. So, all we need to do is we need to deselect this first: control D, and then we need to be on the inks layer. The reason we do that is because we're going to use the magic wand to select these inner shapes, and that's from the inks. So, what we need to do is make sure that the add to selection is selected, and now we can go in here and do this, and we can go up to expand, which I am using my key shortcut key to expand, and then we can fill it in with whatever we'd like. Now, you need to make sure after you've selected to go back down to your color layer; and again, deselect and then you can just keep doing that depending on what you need colored. So, I'll color all of these things white, and I'll expand the selection one a bit; and again, if you get some over spill from the color, just use the pencil tool to touch it up. So, that's how you can use the magic wand and the selection tools to quickly fill in pieces of art. So, if I'm on a tight deadline, this is how I'll do it because this is a lot faster. Again, if it's not such a tight deadline, I'll just have fun with it and I will paint it in. All right. So, let's go on to using shape tools to color. 12. Shape Tools: All right, so really quickly, I'm going to run through how to create color using the shape tool. So I'm going to hide this layer. Now, since we're using the shape tool, we don't need to create a new layer. I'm going to hold this down and make sure I'm on the pen tool and I'm on my blue color. I'm going to zoom in here a little bit farther since I'm using the pen tool and I'm going to click and this is a lot like the lasso tool. But as you can see, we already have colors starting to follow us and we can also curb it a little bit and this is going to start filling it in automatically. What's nice about using the shape tool is that once we have it filled, we can actually just double-click on the layer and change the color as needed. So, that's really nice and kind of a shortcut to filling it in with the lasso tool. So we don't actually have to do the filling in and we also don't have to fill in every time that we want to change the color. So really, the key is trying to do this with the least amount of points as possible. But really it doesn't matter because again you're not going to see the jagged lines underneath the inks. Now this is where it's nice to have the pen tool because we get to round it off here. Alright, so now we have that. So. what we can do is use the circle tool, the Ellipse tool, to fill in this. And I'm going to hit Control T and then we can go in here and hit that, Enter and then the direct selection tool we can go in here and just modify these points so that it fits. And now, I'm going to hold down Alt while I'm on the Move Tool and I'm going to drag this down to this wheel and hit Control T and then I'm going to go back to the direct select tool and just fill this in really quickly. All right so we have all those filled in. So now, what we can do and you can see that they are their own layer. I'll bring this up so that we can see a little bit better. So if I double-click on the wheels, I can get that color and I just need the color picker. And now the fun thing about this is let's grab a color for the windshield and I'm going do it. Make sure the car layer itself is selected and I'm going to draw over the top of it and you can actually see that because we're doing it over the top of a Shape layer, takes on that color, but that doesn't matter. So, I'm going to hit Alt Delete to fill that and then we're going to go down and right click and create a clipping mask. So now we have a mask and if we do it underneath, it's going to create the mask still and fill it in. And what's nice about this is if we decide we want a different color car, we can go through the options really easily. So, that's really nice. And we can change that for all of them. And then just to show you how well brushes work with Shapes, I'm going to click on the shape of the car, make sure that's selected. I'm going to make sure the brush tool is selected and go up to rough, dry fun which is right here and I'm going to grab the darker color and I'm going to create a layer. So, I created it underneath these other two. So it automatically created a clipping mask. So, I'm going to go in here, and color this like this. It stays within that shape. So that's really nice. So, since this is a clipping mask and we can't do one on top of a clipping mask that's already been clipped, we can create a new layer, create clipping mask and then we're going to control click on the windshield and this is just if you have something like this on your drawing. But just as an example, I'm gonna control click on it and it's going to select it and then I'm going to hold down shift so that I can select that one as well. So I've got those two selected and we are still on layer nine. So I can pick white. Go in here. If I need to erase it I can just select that otherwise select the white again and we've got a reflection. I'm going to deselect and we can take that off of we want. And so that's a really nice way to be able to render using shapes and brushes. Shape is nice because we could quickly change the color of the car still. We'd have to adjust the shading. But that's not a huge deal. So, what we could do, just really quickly, to show you how you would do that is I wanted this to be a red car instead. We would select the shading. We would choose the block transparent pixels on it. I'm going to eyedropper the red and a little bit darker and then we would alt delete and just fill it in. So, there we've got a red car now instead. So, that's really cool that you can simply change the color without having to do a lot. All right, so I'm going to show you a few tips and tricks to coloring, to changing different colors if you're not using the shape tool. So, let's start that. 13. How to Make Color Adjustments: Now let's look at a few ways that we can change the colors easily without it being a shape layer. So, first what we're going to do is select your color layer that isn't a shape layer, and hit Control U. That's going to bring up Hue/Saturation. Now, with this, we can either adjust all the colors at once, and it looks kind of cool. Like this. Or we can set it back to zero, and we can go to up to Master here and choose Blues. And then down here, we can choose the range of Blues. So, change. So, I'm going to go this way. Then once we do that, now only the blue color is changing. So, we can change the color of the car without changing anything else. So if I wanted to be a little bit different color of blue, maybe like that, click OK. And now, I'm going to hit Control Z, just to see what it looked like. Looks pretty good. So, that's the way you can do it with Control U, which is Hue and Saturation. Now, I'm going to Undo that, and we're going to go up to Image, and Adjustments, and Color Balance. Now, with these, we can change. Obviously, Cyan, more Cyan going this way or more Red going this way. You can just adjust the Color Balance, by clicking on these sliders. To give it a little bit more vintage look, add a little bit more Yellow to it. A little bit more Red. Okay, so then again Control Z, just to go back and see what it did look like before. And I like that, I like the brown wheels, so I'm going to save that. Then one last edit we can make is either going to Adjustments and Levels or hitting Control and L. And that's going to bring up our Levels, and here we can darken the colors or we can lighten the colors, really depending on what you want and maybe I'm going to lighten it just a slight bit, darken that. And now, I've added some color holds to my inks by having locked transparent pixels on, but I'm going to put it back, maybe actually even change it to a dark brown for the color holds. That looks nice. So I'm going to save that. And so, those are a few ways that you can adjust colors that aren't created from shapes. Obviously, with shapes, you're able to double-click and just change the color pretty easily. But this way, you can change colors that were drawn with the Paintbrush or the Pencil Tool, and you can change them really easily. 16. Adding Texture: Now, if you haven't gone to the resources section of this class, do that. Go to the links I've provided and download the textures there. I didn't want to just have the textures available because I wanted you to check out those sites because those people work hard to get those textures and they allow for commercial use. So, it's good that you guys can go over to those sites, check them out, download those textures and save them and bring them in to this project. So, I'm going to open up mine that I've downloaded, and the first one I'm going to try is this cool paint one. So, I've got that open, and I'm going to drag it over here, and it's above the coloring layer, but it's not above the inking layer. Right away, this already looks cool. But I'm going to hit control T and adjust it, and something like that. Maybe shrink it down a little bit. You can adjust the height and then what you want to do is you want to use blending modes, which are super important when working with texture. So, with the texture layer selected, go up on top of the layer panel, there's blending modes. Mine kind of pops off the screen, you can't see all of it right away. But I'm just going to click on normal and on a PC, you can just hit down and scroll through the different options. Now, if I want to try to invert it, I can hit control I and Invert it. So, now we've got white and green, and I'm going to go up to normal, and I'm going to use hue saturation to change that color. So, now we can customize that a little bit. So, I'm going to go more to the color that will blend well with my blues maybe here. Now, I'm going to try blending modes again and see if something better comes from that. What we can do is right click on the texture layer and create a clipping mask so there's only blending with the car and not the background. I may come back to this and use it as a background because I like how it looks. So, I'm just going to go through the blending modes again, and see if there's anything that works well. I kind of like that. Maybe we take the opacity down just a little bit and just to add that much of texture. Then I'm going to duplicate the layer by dragging it down there, and I'm going to drag that duplicate layer behind the car. Going to change it to normal and then I'm going to adjust the colors again. Control U. Just get a little bit of a background texture going there. All right. So, something like that. So, that's one way to use texture. I'm going to bring in another one which is Antique paper. For this one, I'm going to drag it on top, and right now, it looks like this because it's not on top of the coloring layer. Now, I'm actually going to put this one above all the layers including the ink layer. So, I'm going to select normal and hit down, and already, we've got kind of a vintage looking effect going on. I'm going to lower the opacity slightly. Just so it looks more like real paper and do something like that. So, that looks pretty cool, I'm going to leave that. I might play with the background a little bit, but I really like how this looks. Then the other way to do texturing is creating your own custom textures either by scanning or using your phone to take pictures or a nice camera to take pictures and bring those in. So, I have just this kind of texture just for fun to see what this would do. So, I'm going to bring that over and this was just taken with my phone. I'm going to just have this one on the car layer, and I'm going to stretch it out just to fit the car. Normally, you don't want to stretch texturing too much. I just want to see what effect we can get with this. We might not use it but we'll see, I'm going to zoom in. So, I'm going to use normal and go down from there. Just scroll through these and a few of them have some potential like what that does and I like the texture this one does. I'm going to use it just slightly on there not much just enough to get a little bit of texture to it or something like that. If we want we can change the color of it again. Well, yellow, and again, I'm not going to use too much. There, we've got something fun like that. So, experiment with textures yourself. Try out some freebies, try scanning in your own textures and just playing around with them and also try using levels, color adjustments. It doesn't just have to be on the color layer for the illustration. You can also use those tricks on the texturing as well. So, I can't wait to see what you guys do with this. If you have any questions, just please let me know, and thanks so much. 18. Closing Remarks: All right. So, that concludes the three-part series Photoshop for illustrators. Hopefully, I covered everything and hopefully you enjoyed it, and also got something out of it that you can use. If you have any questions or comments, or you want to yell at me, just use the questions and answers section in Skillshare. I will happily answer any of your questions that you have or comments, or concerns. So, please use that and thank you so much for your support.