English illustrator Sarah Wade shows us how to “colour” with a digital brush
Children’s book illustrator and surface pattern designer Sarah Wade of Design House Studios in Ipswich, England has put together a short Photoshop tutorial for us. We’ll get right to work with it in a minute.
But first let’s meet the two characters she’ll feature in her tutorial.
A Short Photoshop Tutorial: Colouring up
Pictures and text by Sarah Wade
1.) Create your line art and scan at 300 dpi. I tend to use fine liners on layout paper to create my illustrations. Layout paper allows you to trace up consistent elements within a series of illustrations. This works really well if you are animating characters.
2.) Import the scanned image into Photoshop. Make sure that the image is CMYK. Image > Mode> CMYK
Adjust the contrast and brightness of your image to ensure that you have a crisp white background and solid black line work – this will make it easier for you to select areas when colouring up.
Image > Adjustments > Brightness / Contrast
Also remove any marks and blemishes that might have appeared during the scanning process. You will need to select the Eraser Tool to do this.
3.) Using the Magic Wand tool, select the area that you would like to colour first. You can hold down the shift key to select multiple areas. Adjusting the tolerance settings at the top of the tool bar will allow you to determine how much of an area you select. As we are working with black and white imagery a high tolerance of about 90 will be most suitable.
When the area has been selected use the Colour Picker to choose the colour you would like to use.
4.) Now you can select your brush. Choose the Brush tool from the tools panel – this will automatically open the Brush Palette. Here you can adjust the size of your brush and it’s softness. Have a play around with different types of brushes to find one that suits your illustration.
5.) Once your brush is selected you can start to colour. The brush will only effect the area which you have selected with the Magic Wand tool. To deselect an area use Select > Deselect from the menu. Work your way around the image until all areas are coloured. Adjusting the brush opacity in the header bar will help you to create a layered, painterly style.
And there you have it! OK, now you can watch the video again!
Sarah studied Graphic Design at Northampton University, specializing in Illustration.
She graduated in 2004. ” I went on to work within two large studios that produced designs for giftware and children’s book publishing.” she says.
“I decided to go freelance in 2006 and have been working from my studio based in Ipswich for the past 4 years. I now produce surface patterns for a variety of applications including textiles, wall coverings, jewellery, fashion, shop interiors, ceramics and advertising campaigns. “I also illustrate children’s books and have almost 20 titles in publication.”
You can see some of her images and book covers, and read Sarah’s and Lloyds blogs at their website, Design House Studio. (Lloyd Evans is her design studio business partner, and as of about a week ago, her husband.) Here’s the URL: www.designhousestudios.co.uk
Sarah’s gracious guest post demonstrates that children’s book artists on the other side of the Atlantic are just as fun, creative, charming and nice as…well, we are. We’re speaking in generalities, of course.
Sarah and I discovered we had one more connecting point besides our involvement with kid lit art: We’re both students of Salsa dance. And it just so happens that my Rueda Salsa instructor, Esther Weekes is from Ipswich, England. Esther and Sarah do not know each other, but perhaps someday they will. The world does seem to get smaller every day.
Now, I’m not sure when Sarah will begin teaching us computer animation classes 🙂
But she tells us, “It is just something that I have been experimenting with at the moment, but I love how it gives characters a whole other dimension!
“The sound effects were fun to work on too, although I’m concerned that our neighbors might think we mistreat our cat! It took a few attempt to get that recording right …..it’s Lloyd’s voice — not our cat!”
Thank you, Sarah! It’s been a total treat. Btw, your video makes my day each time I look at it and I look forward to seeing more!
And here are some Austin salsa links for you:
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Austin SCBWI – Picture Perfect!
A “spit-polish picture book workshop” featuring author Lisa Wheeler and illustrators Don Tate and Laura Jennings
Will you be anywhere near Austin, Texas around Saturday, October 9th?
All right, then. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 9th when the Austin SCBWI chapter will meet at beautiful St. Edwards University to enjoy an intensive one-day workshop for author-illustrators, Picture Perfect!
This professional workshop (we did say spit and polish, remember) will help hone your children’s picture book manuscripts and illustrations to radiant perfection.
Author Lisa Wheeler will present the keynote and other author-illustrators will offer presentations and critiques. Here’s the complete faculty lineup.
- Lisa Wheeler has written 17 books for children. Her most recent picture book for Atheneum is the hilarious Castaway Cats, illustrated by Ponder Gombel. Learn more about Lisa on her website at www.lisawheelerbooks.com.
- Sarah Sullivan who has written three picture books. Her latest, Passing Music Down, published by Candlewick is forthcoming very soon. Learn more about Sarah on her website at www.sarahsullivanbooks.com.
- Stephanie Greene is a master of the series chapter book. Stephanie has written the Moose and Hildy and Owen Foote series, several middle-grade novels, has earned Horn Book’s coveted starred review for her latest…Happy Birthday Sophie Hartley. Learn more about Stephanie at www.stephaniegreenebooks.com.
- Don Tate who is an illustrator of children’s books and educational products. His background includes illustration as well as graphic design in the areas of advertising, educational publishing, and visual journalism. Learn more about Don at www.dontate.com.
- Laura Jennings who is a freelance illustrator living in Austin, Texas.
Notice #1 : You don’t have to be an SCBWI member to enroll in the workshop. It’s just a little cheaper if you are, and you can do that when you enroll. 🙂
Notice # 2: Manuscript critique slots are filled — but there are still some portfolio review slots left, illustrators!
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Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators features Carus senior art director Karen Kohn
PSIcon is set for September 25, 2010 at Pittsburgh Technical Institute, Oakdale, PA. Keynote speaker is Karen Kohn, Senior Art Director at Carus Publishing Company, publishers of Cricket, Ask and Ladybug. Karen will speak about the various types of illustration styles their publications look for as well as new developed apps soon to be released. Karen often finds new illustration talent to use throughout the publications from speaking engagements. She’ll be reviewing portfolios as well. Six additional industry-wide speakers are planned.
The one day conference is 8 am – 6 pm. It will be valuable to all levels of experience. Seasoned professionals and young talent alike will benefit. Light breakfast and lunch included.
Continue to check for updates on PSI’s website at: http://www.pittsburghillustrators.org/
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Author-illustrator Mark Mitchell of Austin, Texas hosts this blog. Check out his online course on drawing and painting for chillren’s book illustration.
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