Color: Selections and Curves




Today I'm going to show you how I use selections and curves to quickly color my drawings.


Let's start with the selection tool. But what exactly does this tool do?


Basically, it allows us to isolate specific parts of our canvas to work on independently.


Today, we will focus on the lasso tool and briefly look at the automatic selection tool

We have options like add or remove selection and the smoothing option.


For the first part of the coloring we will leave the properties at “Selection mode: add” and “Smoothing: Nothing”

In case you make a mistake, holding down “ALT” will change it to delete selection mode and you can remove what you don't want to select. Once you release it you will return to how you had it by default.

I always start with a flat color base. I use the auto selection tool with the “Apply only to adjacent pixels” option checked and the scaling area set to 0.

I placed myself on the layer where I have the line of my drawing, in this case, my character and I click outside. It is important that you have the lines well closed because otherwise you will select parts of the interior of the drawing. After selecting the desired area, I invert the selection by using Ctrl+Shift+I or by going to Select/Invert Selected Area.

Then, in a new layer located below the drawing, I fill it with a base color, in this case I have chosen gray, but it is better to use a more striking color.

With the base ready, it's time to add the actual colors. I continue on the same layer and use the lasso to select different areas of color, taking advantage of the base color as a guide for the outer edges. With the fill tool we add color to our drawing: “Apply only to adjacent pixels” must be deactivated, and the scaling area at 0 or deactivated. You will see that the fill does not go beyond the base color, so we will not have to outline the external areas. I work everything on a single layer, removing the anti-aliasing from the lasso tool to get colors with defined lines. This is very important.

This also applies inside the drawing, since the fill tool will limit your work with color changes.

I work this color completely on the same layer.

Now that we have our color base, it's time to shape our drawing. We introduce tone curves. We right click in the layers window and click on new correction layer/Tone Curve.

We curve the line until we are satisfied with the change of light

We can also explore the different color channels (R, G and B) to slightly change the tone of our base colors. This way we can make warmer shadows and colder lights, or the other way around. We accept and this layer will be added to the layers window.

It is important that it is located above the base color and that we adjust it to the lower layer.

The curves layer comes with a mask by default. We use the fill tool with transparent color and with the mask selected we click on the drawing to hide the curves layer for now.

Now, with the lasso tool and this time with weak anti-aliasing, we select the shadow areas in our drawing. We change the color from transparent to any color in our palette and now we click on fill within the options of the selection's floating menu. And that's it, shadows applied!

We can experiment with the airbrush for gradients and the transparent color for corrections.

We repeat the process with the lights, and if we want more contrast, we add a darker level of shadow, but without going overboard, only in small areas.

It is possible that the flickering line of the selection bothers you when coloring, especially if you use the airbrush. You can hide the selection line even if it is active. You just have to go to view/selection border and that's it. You can hit it again to make it appear again. You can also add a quick access button in the selection's floating menu settings. Look for View and inside, selection border and that's it.

You can take advantage of the masks created to add patterns to the drawing. Ctrl+click on the desired mask, add a new plot in the floating menu and you have it.

And this is how, with a few selections and tone curves, we can quickly color our drawing. I hope these tricks are very useful to you in your own creations.

Thank you for joining me in this tutorial, I hope you enjoyed it and that these tricks are very useful to you in your own creations.



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