Jan 3 2012 18:21 2,224 notes

CAE’S COLOUR TUTORIAL

LMAO OKAY OKAY SO.

AFTER MUCH DELIBERATION WITH MYSELF (what to include, what not) i’ve finally figured out what to put on my colour tutorial! LSKDJSKLDGJ. i’ve split two parts with multiple subparts! the first part will cover a bunch of rules that you’d PROBS find in a OTHER TUTORIALS/artbooks and are THEREFORE pretty important! i’ll call these the *~*CAE…SICS~*~* b/c they are basics which i (CAE) think are NECESSARY to understand the reasoning in the second part of this tutorial (which will be how i personally stylize/apply/bend/break???? these rules)!

 i’ll call this second part APPLI…CAE..TIONS. 

applicaetions are way heavier on actual colour coordination/palette making (AND I MAKE UP MY OWN TERMS OOOO), as opposed to CAESICS which are AGAIN more based on universal terminology. CAESICS can totally be skipped if you know what I mean by… “hue/saturation/luminosity” and “colour relativity (AKA warmer blue/cooler red).” 

DSFKLDJF DISCLAIMER: I AM BY NO MEANS AN EXPERT AT THIS GAME. and really, the only kind of training i have is… lots and lots and lots of practice??? COUGHS MOVING ON

A. part one: CAESICS

  1. - hue/saturation/luminosity
  2. - colour mixing
  3. - colour wheel (kinda)
  4. - colour warmth/colour coolness
  5. - color relativity

B part two: APPLICAETIONS

  1. - colour “weight”
  2. - general palette tips
  3. - palette breakdown
  4. - shading with colour!
  5. - last thoughts.

part one: CAESICS. 

SOME SUPERRR BASIC TERMINOLOGY RIGHT OFF THE BAT! 

A1. HUE/SATURATION/LUMINOSITY!

(that’s from my preferred program paint btw AHAHA)

COLOUR HAS THREE DIMENSIONS, HUE, SATURATION/SAT, AND LUMINOSITY/LUM.

  • HUE = YO COLOUR (blue, yellow, etc etc). IT’S ON A RED TO VIOLET GRADIENT.

    (consistent luminosity and saturation)
  • SATURATION/SAT = HOW MUCH PIGMENT IS IN YO COLOUR. IT’S ON A VIBRANT TO GREY GRADIENT.

    (consistent hue and luminosity)
  • LUMINOSITY/LUM = THE BRIGHTNESS/DARKNESS OF YO COLOUR. IT’S ON A WHITE TO BLACK GRADIENT!

    (consistent hue and saturation.)

A2. Colour mixing

LMAO UH. I’M NOT GOING TO GO INTO THE ADDITIVE COLOUR MODEL (unless anyone wants me to show them on pchat how THAT WORKS), but YEAH. SUBTRACTIVE COLOUR MODEL DICTATES THAT (except for the primary colours RED, BLUE, AND YELLOW), you get colours by mixing other colours together! 

 

(consistent luminosity and saturation)

  • Red+Yellow = Orange
  • Blue+Red = Purple
  • Blue+Yellow = Green
  • Red+Blue+Yellow = Black 

You should internalize these facts if pre-k television/art classes haven’t already taught you a thing or two!

A3. THE COLOURWHEEL!

HM. THE COLOUR WHEEL i see as a convenient short hand for colour mixing! For example, take Purple+Red and you get Violet, take Violet+Red and you get a Redder Violet and so on and so forth. 

  • http://colorschemedesigner.com/ this is a colour wheel better than any i can make myself!
  • Cool colours are colours near the green-blue area of the colour wheel. Warm colours are colours near the red-orange.
  • Opposite colours on the colour wheel are complementary! They pop and clash when put together! 

    If you mix two opposite colours with one another you get a weird kinda low saturation brown.
  • Colours near each other on the colour wheel are analogous! They harmonize when put together. 
  • oh yeah and there are also tetrads and triads and accented analogics

BUT UH. YEAH. while i think the colourwheel is DEFINITELY VALUABLE  i think aside from (maybe) COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS, most colourschemes that arise from the sole consideration of a colourwheel border into BORING/BASIC/SAFE. 

to add to my feelings of “MEH” towards colour wheel-based colourschemes, there’s a focus primarily on hues and doesn’t really explain the use of luminosity/saturation. that’s uncool!

(I’LL TRY… TO… EXPLAIN FURTHER HOW I MAKE LUMINOSITY AND SATURATION COME INTO PLAY WHEN I EXPLAIN “COLOUR WEIGHT” IN applicaetions)

BUT FIRST…

A4. COLOUR WARMTH/COLOUR COOLNESS

As I noted earlier in the colour wheel section, cool colours are focused as you get closer to the green-blue area of a colour wheel, while warm colours are focused around the orange-red area. HOWEVER that doesn’t mean necessarily that ALL BLUES are ABSOLUTELY cold nor does it mean ALL REDS are ABSOLUTELY warm! TO DEMONSTRATE, have some gradients. utilizing the process of colour mixing AND COOL VERSUS WARM, i’ll show you with some colours as they go from warm to cool! 

 

(THESE ARE APPROXIMATIONS BTW. I DO MOSTLY MANUAL WORK WHEN I PLAY WITH COLOURS, AND I DON’T ACTUALLY USE BRUSHES/OPACITY DUE TO PERSONAL PREFERENCE/WANT FOR CONSISTENT PRACTICE)

Thus, if I say “this needs a cooler yellow!” i mean i need a yellow with more blue-green thrown in (closer to the left)! if i mean “i need a warmer blue” i mean a blue with more orange-red thrown in (closer to the right)! 

AND FINALLY.

A5. COLOUR RELATIVITY.

WHICH is p. much my favourite part of any colour lesson to explain and THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THESE CAESICS LSKDGHLSKG.

As I kinda implied in the previous section, colours interact with one another. Depending on what other colours surround a certain colour B… You will perceive colour B differently. Take for example this optical illusion I pulled off the wiki!

 

Both the orange spots are the same colour.

…and so are the grey squares surrounding said orange spots.

(GO AHEAD AND EYEDROPPER IT IT’S REALLY NEATO)

Because that grey/orange outside the shadow are in lightness, you perceive it as dark. Because the grey inside the shadow are in darkness, you perceive it as lighter/brighter.

In other words, in comparison to its surroundings, one grey looks LIGHT, and the other grey looks DARK. 

NEATO, RIGHT? 

Now, for some (kinda) application. Let’s say… You wanted to make a fire. Fire is yellow! and the candle is white! Darkness is blue-black.

THAT LOOKS RATHER UNIMPRESSIVE, DOESN’T IT!

That’s because you need to make the yellow and white interact with the blue background. Additionally, the yellow light needs to interact with the white. THUS cooler yellow, cooler white… And cool+warm white near the light source (yellow+blue = green!) You want a colour that will SEEM yellow in the context of the picture and a colour that will SEEM white in the context of the picture.

Thus, you’re going to use a kinda… bottleglass green for some of the yellow. And you’re going to use light blue for the white. And green when it’s nearer to the flame.

(that’s for the sake of illustration, not indicative of my personal paletting/drawing skill) SO YEAH. All colours depend on each other to work. What may seem like a grey in one situation may look yellow or blue in another situation. So keep this in mind when you pick colours!

SWEET. OKAY. now we’re going to mosey on down to applicaetions, which i think are way more personal for me!

————————————————————————

part 2: applicaetions

B1. Colour weight.

I’M NOT SURE IF ANYONE ELSE SEES IT LIKE THIS, BUT IT WORKS FOR ME! 

THE WAY III SEE IT… Colours come in three dimensions, and each dimension determines its weight/impact in a palette.

  • The more saturated a colour, the greater the impact
    From left to right the greatest PUNCH!
  • The greater the contrast your colour provides to the overall colourscheme, the greater the impact (In otherwords, the level of luminosity of the colour versus the luminosity of the other colours)
  • AND THEN WE COME DOWN TO HUE! The closer in hue your colour is to your overall colourscheme, the less impact. The farther (all the way into the complementary) the greater the impact!
  • A good colour palette I THINK takes into account each colour’s hue, saturation, and luminosity and its effect on the rest of the palette! 

B2. Palette tips!

Some other off-hand tips. 

  1. COLOURLOVERS IS YOUR FRIEND. I SPEND A GOOD FEW HOURS ON THIS SITE SOMETIMES JUST MEMORIZING ODD COMBINATIONS/ABSORBING EVERYTHING I LIKE. YES.
  2. NEVER FOLLOW A TUTORIAL THAT GIVES YOU BASE COLOURS FOR YOU TO USE (<for example, “I ALWAYS USE THIS SHADE OF YELLOW FOR SKIN, AND THIS SHADE OF PINK TO SHADE THE SKIN”>). THAT IS A BAD HABIT. YOU SHOULD BE PICKING YOUR OWN COLOURS WITH CONSIDERATION TOWARDS THE COLOUR SHADOWS/LIGHT OF YOUR OWN PIECES.

    SLAPS ALL YALLS YOUR HANDS. hi sorry i saw a couple of palette swatches floating around that made me v. angry. HA HA UHM. moving on…
  3. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I HAVE EVER LEARNED EVER was when i took up pixel art… and found that… limiting your colour palette is REALLY important. WHY? because it increases your control of ALL your colours (less to worry about) and it better unifies your pieces! I like a maximum of five~six target colours, really!
  4. VARY YOUR AMOUNTS. For example, you don’t need equal parts of colours! YOU CAN GO <PRIMARY: SEAGREEN, SECONDARY: PINK, YELLOW, ACCENT: ORANGE, BLACK.> 
  5. ON THAT NOTE, USE DIFFERENT WEIGHTS! DIFFERENT HUES, DIFFERENT SATURATIONS, DIFFERENT LUMINOSITIES! it’s usually a lot more interesting seeing a variety of weights!
  6. A LOT OF MUDDY IS BETTER THAN A LOT OF BRIGHT. Better to have more neutrals/earthy/just low saturation colours than a bunch of high saturations! The closer to grey/brown your colours are, the more likely they’ll match with one another. The more bright colours you have, the more they’ll fight with one another for attention and detract from the overall POWER of your piece!

B3. PALETTE BREAK DOWN.

The actual process of making a colour palette is not a set in stone thing for me and other than the rules i’ve stated above most of it is INSTINCT, HA HA HA. SO I’M GOING TO LET YALL GO OFF ON YOUR OWN! AND EXPERIMENT! EXPERIMENTING IS THE BEST WAY TO LEARN! But, before I LET YOU ALL FREEEEE, I’ll break down some personal favourite colour palettes and explain why I like them! (WATCH THEM ALL BE MY OCs’ COLOURSCHEMES OOPS…)

This first one is my bb RIDLIES’ colourscheme (i added the blue shading, i’ll explain why blue shading in the next section)

  • I like it because THAT SHADE OF YELLOW-YELLOW-GREEN is probably my favourite colour! TO MAKE IT REALLY POP, I’ve surrounded it with black and colours of low saturation (GREY). THUS, nothing is really fighting that yellow-yellow-green and it’s allowed to REALLY GLOW. I also like it because at the same time it feels balanced to me! There’s a lot of heavy black to offset the heavy highly saturationed yellow-yellow-green.

  • HA HA FAVOURITE COLOUR AGAIN. this one’s a littleee harder to explain, but it’s my default colourscheme/the colourscheme i use on all my self-inserts (middle). SLDKHGLWKjlk ANYWAYS. i’ll try my best to justify why i like this one. in this instance, yellow-yellow doesn’t glow because i’ve used a lower saturation, and counter-balanced it with the lavender and pink (lavender being closer to purple and therefore opposite/kind of almost complementary??).

    and, yeah more purple to offset that strong yellow. and i threw the blue in there as a kind of transitiony… colour… i suppose! it’s light weight while looking CUTE with these colours. i suppose the black is thrown in there because it STANDS OUT AND POPS among the pastels. the colourscheme is light and girlish and strange… but i like it because it doesn’t *~*fade into the background*~

  • THIS IS VASKA'S (1) COLOURSCHEME, and one of the few colourschemes i can really appreciate wherein the colours can be used in any amount and it’d be awrite. SO UH. boringly enough, they’re just primary colours (but the saturations have been lowered so they don’t really fight with one another)! +a relatively neutral green+a darker blue black to help support the rest of the colours… 

    LMAO WHAT CAN I SAY, the way the luminosity+saturation worked out made it so the hues though different balance each other out in a way? HMM. yeah!

  • I REALLYYYYY LIKEEE primarily white/light low saturation tan/grey colourschemes! as evidenced by EIN with whom i do most of my colour experimenting | HAHAH. BUT UH EXPLANATION. the three colours at the end can be replaced with a lot of different things (red pink purple would look pretty fabulous too), and what’s so great about the white is that… there’s a whole lot of it so it balances out the high saturations+darker luminosities at the end! i guess the same can be said with black when you consider high saturations+lighter luminosities at the end. but yeah.

    AND FINALLYYY anya's colour scheme.

  • LMAO I’VE BEEN TOLD ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS “WHY…CAE…” but i really really do like anya’s colourscheme a lot! in a way it’s similar to the above reasonings. there’s a lot of low saturation/neutrals which are relatively light weight… secondary colours which are heavier, but less are used… and a TINNYYY bit of red accent for a POP.

    YEAH? YEAHH!!

B4. SHADING WITH COLOUR!

I CAN’T SAY I’M A GOOD AUTHORITY ON PAINTING OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT BUT I CAN TOTALLY WORDS… WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING COLOURS TO SHADE YOUR FIGURE!

Every colour matters in your pieces as I’ve said before. THE COLOUR OF YOUR LINEART… MATTERS… THE COLOUR OF YOUR SHADOWS… DEFINITELY MATTER. 

One of my personal petpeeves then is when shading is done with the darker version of that same colour. 

I’ll show you why it’s terrible. AHHAHA.

(star girl belongs to my colour sensei chingchang hi)

It’s lifeless! It’s flat! Terrible!

Taking <CAE SELF-INSERT> colourscheme.

Terrible!

CHINGCHANG TOLD ME ONCE THAT UNDER REGULAR CONDITIONS the light you choose will create complementary shadows. for example, yellow light causes purple shadows, green light causes red shadows.

(also remember kids, your midtones TEND TO tho not always are the most saturated part of your palette! your shadows+the lightest areas TEND TO tho not always become less saturated as it goes into darkness/lightness. i say not always, because if your light is super saturated, then your light areas will be saturated also. LSKJDFLSDF

…IN ADDITION, when you black and white your picture, you should see contrast)** 

anyways.

CAE IS A REBEL AND TENDS TO FORGET THE COMPLEMENTARY RULE (tho it is a very good rule). LSKDHGLKJ. AND GOES INSTEAD “i wonder what goes with yellow i like blue so i will shade with blue heh. and uhhh i like yellow with blue so yellowish light cool.” thus these are known as applicaetions rather than set-in-stone artbook rules.  

Let’s revisit stargirl. I’ve changed the palette there to the side to reflect the fact that YES, i’ve decided to shade with that particular blue. i’ve also changed the base colours because the old ones pained me. the yellow becomes cooler, the shadows of the yellow are basically yellow mixed with blue with saturation lowered. same thing happens on the skin colour.. 

(a scribble for illustrative purposes HA HA HA. note that i also changed the lineart colour!)

NOW FOR A CLEARER VIEW OF HOW I SHADE MY COLOURSCHEMES! Let’s take a look back on default palette!

I want to shade with teal shadow anddd i want purple light BECAUSE REASONS. Thus, all the colours work toward that final teal colour as they get darker and less saturated. THE SAME GOES FOR LIGHT. all colours become lighter and less saturated (at least in the colour light i’ve chosen) as they move towards that final ultimate… purple i got going on there!!

B5. CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

HOHUM. i guess, to summarize that’s pretty much how i colour! i have a set colourscheme, set shadow colours i want to use that match said colourscheme… then i have at it!

YEP! 

mang i wonder if this is helpful, i’d love any feedback on whether or not my tips make any sense or not. LKSHGLKJDG. 

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