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black general - walkthrough by len-yan black general - walkthrough by len-yan
after a lot of inquiries about my colouring technique i have finally put together this walkthrough. sadly the file i prepared was too big for dA to support, but i hope this is still readable. i also hope this will answer at least part of your questions regarding my colouring process.

some of the changes between the steps shown here are not easy to spot, which is why i included miniatures of how each new layer look like in normal mode (at least where i thought it necessary).

good look trying out this (very fun and effective) technique^^

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software used: photoshop cs5e

final version of this picture can be found here:

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tumblr link here: [link]

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decorative brushes from ~tiffcali06

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(c) `len-yan
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:iconmothberry:
mothberry Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
what kind of a layer is that you put colors on? A transparent one with 100% opacity?
Reply
:iconxdark-artistx:
XDark-ArtistX Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2015
Can you make a drawing tutorial?
Reply
:iconaelireen:
AeliReen Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2015
Thank you for very interesting tutorial : )
Reply
:icond6lies:
d6lies Featured By Owner Edited Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you sooooo MUCH for your great explaining!!!
it is always stuck in my mind when I need to convert from greyscale to color!!
I am always wondering when the color does not right TT^TT (something like, I tried to shade dark orange but it turn yellow?!?)
but when you show the picture comparing between normal mode and overlay/soft light/multiple mode, it become clear!!!!
(Arggg, so I could not apply color directly then)

Anyway, Thanks a lotttttt! (>__<)//
Reply
:iconcinderfall21:
CinderFall21 Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you so much for making this, now I need to try these techniques :D
Reply
:iconrachelfrasier:
RachelFrasier Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I found this SO helpful, glazing was never one of my strong suits, now I hope I can be better at it!
Reply
:iconthursdaychild:
Thursdaychild Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconprincecaeruu:
PrinceCaeruu Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014
This really helps. I'm getting used to "glazing" Thank you!
Reply
:iconchickenpancakes:
ChickenPancakes Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Do oyu think it would work on Photoshop CS3?
Reply
:iconlen-yan:
len-yan Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
yes, i think it would work just as well even on Photoshop7
Reply
:iconchickenpancakes:
ChickenPancakes Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Ok, thank you !
Reply
:iconkendylu:
KendyLu Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
thank you so much!!!! i love you :"* it's so useful <3
Reply
:iconriznof:
Riznof Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Just wanted to say thanks for this awesome tutorial. Probably the best I have found out there!
Reply
:iconpunkion:
punkion Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you...Thank yuuu
Reply
:iconneverward:
Neverward Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Student
Gosh dangit. I won't stop pushing myself and learning until I'm as good as you hehe :) though I won't stop there... but you're sure amazing! And this is an amazing tutorial, so thank you very much for sharing you helped me tremendously!!!
Reply
:icontavisw:
TavisW Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
So helpful - thanks for the effort in making this tutorial!
Reply
:iconjawaadart:
jawaadart Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014
NO EXCUSES! Character Concept Art: From Grayscale to Full Color Illustration." If you enroll with the link , the class is $10! Enjoy your  class with len-yan!skl.sh/1aBlnAe
Reply
:iconjawaadart:
jawaadart Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014
NO EXCUSES! Character Concept Art: From Grayscale to Full Color Illustration." If you enroll with the link , the class is $10! Enjoy your  class with len-yan!skl.sh/1aBlnAe
Reply
:iconroccenere:
RocCenere Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is incredibly useful, thank you very much.
Reply
:icondudgus2429:
dudgus2429 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013
Great!!!
Reply
:icondanketsujin:
danketsujin Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Student General Artist
wow! Amazing! Thank you for the tutorial! =]
Reply
:iconskarlet-kitten:
Skarlet-kitten Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Hobbyist
thanks so much for this tutorial. :happybounce:
used it here: fav.me/d6sn2y2
Reply
:iconkitsunemimichan:
kitsunemimichan Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you so much! I was so confused before! :hug:
Reply
:iconveyber:
Veyber Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013
Very helpful, thank you! Do you work with a greyscale image first for all your pieces?
Reply
:iconciereine:
Ciereine Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Student Digital Artist
this is the first time i understood the use of grayscaling the pic before coloring it......but i am really curious of what brushes do you use?(pls. answer)....i wanted to create something like this in the future well thank you again
Reply
:iconlen-yan:
len-yan Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
hello and thank you for your comment. for 95% of what you see in my pictures i use the basic photoshop brush with size, opacity and flow jitter set to pen pressure (i made a post about the brushes i mainly use on tumblr: len-yan.tumblr.com/post/288795… ). hope this helps a bit. good luck~
Reply
:iconblackkhally:
blackkhally Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Awesome Tut!!
Reply
:iconvivelda:
vivelda Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow! This is the first time I've seen this technique and it blew me away :O
I might try this.. I think this technique gives the work the chance to have a better light/dark contrast for more depth, something that my own work lacks haha...
Thanks for sharing this!
Reply
:iconkuriosit-kat:
KuriosiT-kat Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a very clear and I had never understood the technique before. thank you for taking the time to share this with us! :D
Reply
:iconsecondchildrenasl:
secondchildrenASL Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It's one of the most accurated and clear tutorial I've read so far. Eternal gratitude for this :unworthy:
:hug:
Reply
:iconcgronin:
Cgronin Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Interesting technique. Definitely looking forward to giving it a try sometime.
Reply
:iconnevershop:
nevershop Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I regret that I can only favorite this piece once.
Reply
:iconalice8882:
alice8882 Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank your so much it really helped me!
Reply
:iconbexcreations:
BexCreations Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Can you please post a screen shot of what your grayscale layers look like? Do you work on one layer or several for the base grayscale layer? thanks in advanced!
Reply
:iconlen-yan:
len-yan Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
i answered to that in the 'grayscale' part of the tut (that is to say, i mostly work on a single layer). sorry if this isn't very helpful;;
there are some step-by-step posts on my tumblr if you'd like to take a look, maybe they'll be more of a help: [link]
Reply
:iconbexcreations:
BexCreations Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, sorry about that. Thanks so much for responding! I'm so impressed that you can keep your lines so clean all while working on one layer. I like to use airbrushes so my lines blur into each other a lot if I work on one layer. Good tutorial, by the way!
Reply
:iconarallion:
Arallion Featured By Owner May 2, 2013
Thanks for the very well-thought-out tutorial! I am looking forward to giving this a try.
Reply
:icondankelby:
dankelby Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Student Digital Artist
This is really useful, thanks for sharing your technique! I'll definitely try it and I learned a lot too.
Reply
:iconbdunn1342:
bdunn1342 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013   General Artist
This is exquisite! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your technique. :)
Reply
:iconkaboom-wabit:
kaboom-wabit Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank you for sharing :D i'm gonna try it out ^^
Reply
:iconragamuffin-express:
Ragamuffin-Express Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so freaking incredibly much! I've been wanting to give greyscale to color a try for a while now, but couldn't seem to find a straight forward, easy, yet detailed explanation before. Thank you so!
Reply
:icontavisw:
TavisW Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, Len-Yan! Fascinating process - gonna try it out, myself.
Reply
:iconsincomix:
sincomix Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
this is very helpful.
Reply
:iconvampirisa:
vampirisa Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What has this to do with a Dragon Age related group? Please don't random post in groups.
Reply
:iconlen-yan:
len-yan Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
i didn't post in your group, i got an invitation and assumed the person who sent it knew what they were doing..
Reply
:iconvampirisa:
vampirisa Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ok then it's not your fault... sorry. I guess I can only suggest you not to random accept, then :P
Reply
:iconlen-yan:
len-yan Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
it's a bit difficult to investigate every group with my working schedule >= but i guess i'll remember this particular one now.
have a good day!
Reply
:iconvampirisa:
vampirisa Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you. I later discovered that they actually have a section for tutorials and resources, so their request was intentional... though I still don't understand what those have to do with a videogame. I asked moderators about it but got no answers, it seems that random deviations in random groups is just my problem nowadays. Oh well.
Thanks for your polite answers by the way, I hope I didn't bother you... not too much anyway ;)
Reply
:iconnicolaas-g:
Nicolaas-G Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
Thank you so very much :D
Reply
:iconasarisexual:
asarisexual Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is so much help! thank you for making it :3
Reply
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