When we're young we learn in terms of colored markers and crayons: grass is green, etc. Learning to paint starts with unlearning these color stereotypes. This video looks at color with a critical eye, focusing on painting white objects. White objects are especially challenging for beginners to paint, though the concepts found in this lesson apply equally well to objects of any color.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
CategoriesPainting
TagsColor
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You're familiar with the color picker, but are you using the best one? This video introduces three different ways to pick your colors in order to help you choose the one that is best for your working habits. The third party offering I mention in the video can be found here:  Coolorus.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
CategoriesDesign
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Even though it's counter-intuitive, sometimes you add a little salt to make a recipe taste sweeter. The same logic can be used to make your colors more vibrant! The principle at work in this short video is called "simultaneous contrast", or "color contrast" - and it is a sure-fire way to liven up your colors.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
TagsColor
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Making colors appear vibrant can be a challenge. In this video I'll discuss a trick to grab the viewer's attention with smart use of strong, saturated colors. And if you think the answer is "use a lot of saturation", you might be surprised to by the approach. After all, color is all about relativity.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
CategoriesColor
TagsColor
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We've talked about starting small and working bigger - but this time we're going to start tiny. Color is challenging to work with, and much of the instruction on Ctrl+Paint is done in grayscale. If you want to start working directly in color I recommend the 'tiny study' exercise. When you're looking at a photo filled with rich details it's tempting to re-create each pebble and tree. This exercise forces you to simplify what you're seeing, skip the details, and only paint the colors. Even though the end result won't impress your friends, it helps hone your eye for color and builds a foundation for landscape painting.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
TagsColor
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If you're exploring various color palettes and moods for a piece, Photoshop has a secret tool to help you speed through the process. It's actually not a secret, but many illustrators simply don't know about it.  Unlike other color overlay techniques, this command will replace colors based off of their value.  This means that your highlights will be treated differently than your shadows, etc.  To properly use this technique you'll need to know how to create a gradient in Photoshop, though it's not discussed in the video.  Luckily, gradients are a very old feature for Photoshop and Illustrator, so it isn't hard to learn about them on the internet.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
CategoriesDesign
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The previous video encouraged you to experiment with the colors of a character design. What about the color of the lines themselves? This time I invite you to take the same illustration and to experiment with colored lines. Black lines have their place, but you can add nuance to your images with intentionally colored lines. And if you like this video, please remember to click the "Like" button at the bottom of the post!  The only advertising for Ctrl+Paint is word of mouth, so I'm counting on you guys to spread the word.  Thanks!

Assignment: Experiment with colored linework the provided character designs.

Things to consider: Soft vs. Hard Materials, Lock Transparent Pixels

Recommended videos:Basic Color Schemes, Unify Your Palette, Alternative Masking pt.1 (Lock Transparent Pixels)

Worksheet Downloads:Gorilla character Worksheet

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AuthorMatt Kohr
CategoriesDesign
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One of the best ways to learn about color and color relationships is to play. In this exercise, I invite you to use my illustration as a coloring book, and see what happens when you try different combinations and arrangements. Though the digital painting you end up with is not a portfolio piece, using my provided linework should keep you focused on the task at hand: changing the colors. And if you like this video, please remember to click the "Like" button at the bottom of the post!  The only advertising for Ctrl+Paint is word of mouth, so I'm counting on you guys to spread the word.  Thanks!

Assignment: Experiment with color schemes on the provided character designs.

Things to consider: Complementary and Analogous Schemes, Lock Transparent Pixels

Recommended videos:Basic Color SchemesUnify Your PaletteAlternative Masking pt.1 (Lock Transparent Pixels)

Worksheet Downloads:Gorilla character Worksheet

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AuthorMatt Kohr
CategoriesDesign
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Painting color can be done in one of two ways: direct and indirect. Indirect painting is the process of glazing colors on top of one another to achieve a slow build-up. Like traditional some oil painters, many digital painters prefer this method to working 'directly'. If you want to learn about going from a grayscale underpainting to a fully colored image, check out "Grayscale to Color" in the store.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
CategoriesPainting

Color is relative. Depending on the surrounding colors, ambient light in the room, and a variety of other factors - your results will vary. This video explores the idea of relative color, and suggests some tips for carefully observing color. Training your eye to carefully ovserve color is challenging, but very worthwhile. Good luck! If you want to see the earlier video mentioned in the post, here it is -- "guess that color" 

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AuthorMatt Kohr
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The Eyedropper tool is used to sample colors that are already on your canvas. It seems straightforward, but what happens when your layers are set to different blending modes? This video explains a bit more in-depth about the eye dropper tool, and how you might use it in a complex painting. It may seem like the Eyedropper is of only minor importance, but to a digital painter it becomes one of the most frequently accessed.

To learn more about the on-screen mixing talked about in the video, try these others:

Digital Painting 101 #3,  Brush Control Basics ,   Blending Technique

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AuthorMatt Kohr
10 CommentsPost a comment