Traditional Coloring: Ariel

Wellcome to Coloring Tutorial number 2!
We are gonna need the next materials:

  • paper
  • pencil
  • rubber
  • inking pen [optional]
  • white paint [optional]
  • color pencils [recomended various colors and tones]

First of all we need to draw something!! I'll put here a lineart so you can print it and color it using what you learn in this tutorial.

lineart: link

Well, you either can print it or draw it yourself or draw anything you want. As an optional step, you can ink your pic, it can help you if you want the pic to be cleaner.

You have the lineart in your hands, the first question that have to come to your mind is: it's day or night? remember that the colors will change depending the day time.

Second question: where's the light source? Of course you choose if its day or night, and you also choose where's the light souce. Keep your choose in mind, or -if you forgett thins easelly like me!- take a little piece of paper and draw something like this:


If you wonder why should you have to put a light source I'll answer that without light you can't see colors XD just that. Why is it important to set the place of light source? If you set a place where the light comes from, you can imagine how your character will look (I'm talking about lights and shadows). If you want take a table lamp and your own hand and turn the light ON. Move the lamp in different directions (don't move your hand) and see how the way you see your hand changes. It's the same for the drawings.

So well, now we have the pic, the day time and the light source setted up. Good. Next we are gona start coloring.

Some coloring techniques:

  • color by drawing in circles. The hand move is spiral
  • color by drawing in half circles. The hand makes a quick move, you draw half circle
  • color by drawing in lines. The hand move is left to right.
  • color by drawing in lines 2. The pencil almost paralel to the paper, the hand move is left to right

If you don't have many color tones (like me! XD) you can make it by changing the pressure when you color: less pressure you got a lighter color...
Another usefull tip: don't test the olors o the picture itself! try the colors in another paper, otherwise you can loose your pic :'(

Let's start coloring!:

For the skin we can choose different colors depending on the character's skin color, and different tones between each skin color:

image from: click here!
Choose the one you want. Remember that (for maked-up girls) when you choose a skin color, make up color will change too! ;P

Use the less intensed color to start coloring. If the light is strong enough, don't forgett to let those brighter areas in white, for example:


If you let some white areas, remember you have to color in degradee [from less to more intese] starting from the white area.

Darker areas will need darker color tones.


For a blushing effect use red/pink tones in the cheeks. Try to make it look soft. You can add an extra-effect in the blushed areas by letting a white cricled area in the cheek. That'll make it look brighty. You can use the blushing effect in fingers, shoulders and keens, but it's not a good idea abussing of it.


To have an idea of light and dark areas, use the "Hand Technique" or look for some pictures in magazines or internet. Whatever you want, but try to look at the different skin tones and associate it with the body's shape (remember that the character is not a flat thingy! lol)

Skin finished link

Okay, we're done with the skin, next we're gonna color the eyes.

It's pretty simple: as you can see its totally blank. So well, first thing we do is color the Iris border with the dark blue, also the pupil (the 'black pearl' of your eyes i mean! XD) area. Then take a light blue and fill the rest of the space, letting some white parts in the corners. Then take black pencil/inking pen and draw the 'black pearl' of the eye. If you want, draw the white parts with the white paint.
Here's the image, I think you can understand it better than that i've said XD


The hair!!! Background can wait ;) yes, let's go color the hair ^o^. People have different ways to color the hair. some uses a 'realistic' style, others just a simple color and a white line for the light area, others uses different tones and smooth light areas (wich is this case).
Our girl haves red hair *so cuuute* So we're gonna need red tones, and pink tones to color it. Remember the *holly* light source!. As a help: go to the batchroom, turn ON the light and see how your hair looks: bright areas, dark areas, color tones. It doesn't matter if you don't have red hair [wait!! don't go color your hair! XD], you can take your hair as example, and turn your color tones into red tones!. If you think this is complicated, wait to see backgrounds! XD No. really, if you think it's very complicated then go back to internet or any magazine you have and look for red haired people. As you can see coloring [and drawing] needs you to watch everything around you, even details that you don't usually pay attention to.

So well, when you got the red hair idea, go to the pic and -as allways- start letting in white the bright parts (you can delimit those using the lowest red tone), then color the rest -softly- with the lowest red tone. Follow the hair form and draw some darker lines (respecting the bright parts).


1] Bright areas of hair. Delimited with soft colors (pink and yellow).
Note: Both images are same, but I've modified the intensity of the one in the right so you can see the bright areas better.


2] Here is the final versio. Note that it's better to color the hair using he line-coloring technique, emulating a real hair. Play with the intensity of colors.

We're done with skin, eyes and hair.Then let's start with the clothing. [Background still waiting! XD]

As you can see, she is wearing a dress. You can choose any color you want, I'll use violet and pink tones.

You have to make the same work about the light and dark areas (ask yourself: where's the light source, dark areas where?...). If it helps take the lamp and a cloth (take it from the middle and it'll show folds as in the dress), set the lamp as you did in your pic and look at the cloth and its different areas.


1] dress's light areas. Note: i've modified the intensity so you can see the 3 colors that i've used: pink-violet-white. It's a good tip to keep the dress's borders in gives a translucent effect to it.


2] Image in real intensity. Try to color it soft.

For make up: magazines and internet!! or you imagination!! Try it. Combine make up with clothing. ;)

Now for the earrings, keep in mind to give a 3D effect to the things you color. Also, for the traslucent shawl remember that the color of each part depends of 'what' is behind it (hair, skin, dress, background). A good way to give it a translucent effect is to color softly some parts of it, except the borders wich have to be in white. Here is the image:


Now you have the main ideas about the character coloring, we can start coloring the background.


1] Without background

But here're some tips for backgrounds:

-if you feel lazy, better do a simple background, otherwise you can ruin the pic
-if the character is so Baroque (much details and...things XD), use a simple background
-if you want to set your characters in a certain context, make a complex background
-if you've done a pic with simple background and you feel that something is missing, use frames!
-if you make sky as background, search for some pics or look at the sky above you at different moments of day, and see how the sky color changes as day pass.

there are millon tips for this, but I wont explain backgrounds in this tutorial [Brunette's being lazy!! Ö] XD
yes I'm being lazy, so I colored the pic's background with the computer...but you can do it with the pencils, it'll be the same, or even better!. For the background you can use the coloring technique where you put the pencil almost paralel to the paper. Anything you want.


2] with background

Hope you people like this tutorial. And I hope that if you try this (with or without my lineart) you show me the results and leave your pic link here!! :D that'ld be awesome. Also, if you are using my lineart I'll ask you to give me credits for it.

And thats all friends!

See you in next tutorials!

External Image