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31 March 2008 @ 06:04 pm
icon tutorial 001 ♥  
I haven't made a tutorial in ages! So here's how I color my manga icons, step by step.

go from this to this:

icons made with this technique:

Start with your base, try to shoot for something without too many screentones and with some empty background space.

Choose a texture that's interesting enough to serve as the background. It helps if it has lots of different colors in it. I'm using this one by 77_words from her mixed bag set.

Get your lineart on it's own layer. If you don't already use the Quick Mask Mode to do that, I have a tutorial that covers how to do it.

For flat colors, I sample colors found in the texture. Her skin is the lightest peach color, hair is the brown around one of the flowers, and I picked a nice green for her glasses. Use a new layer for each color and shove them all under the lineart layer.

I started cell shading with a 5px solid brush, using a top left light source. To shade her skin, I used a color that was not only darker, but redder than the base color. If you don't go redder with skin, it'll be left looking very flat and bland. I put some darker streaks in the hair, following the lines suggest in the base. The glasses were left unshaded.

Since I couldn't see enough of the interesting part of the texture, I rotated it.

From here I flattened the icon and started adjusting it. I went into Hue/Saturation and boosted it about halfway. It's all personal preference though.

Finally I went into Curves, and into the Red channel. I played around a little til I got what I wanted. This step just darkened it and made it more contrast-y. All done now!

I'd love love love seeing what other people come up with, so please post results (and requests for new tutorials)? ♥


bengalichica92 on March 31st, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
Whoa!! Thats realli kool!!
I'mma try it out right now!!
elufiamanaelf on March 31st, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
hey cool! ♥
i hurt the flower.: dbsk leadersnoozy on March 31st, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Great, gonna save it on my memories.
Thanks for the time you took to make it.
elufiamanaelf on March 31st, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you like it~
Pinky Heaven or Bloody Hell?pinky_heaven01 on March 31st, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
Woah, I love the idea!
Must try that as soon as my photoshop decides to cooperate again D:
*saves to memories* <33
elufiamanaelf on April 1st, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
Aw but I'm sorry, that must be so frustrating D:
ankhutenshi on March 31st, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Whoo! Saved to Mem's. Always looking for manga colouring tutorials. Yours looks really easy to follow, I'll give it a try later. :)
e: kosmos brightlufiamanaelf on April 1st, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
Sounds good! I'm glad you like it!
pixellatedspiff on April 1st, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
thank you so much for this tutorial! you explained the steps so well.

i'm not doing so well with the shadowing step, though. do you think you could do a tutorial on that too, if it's not too much trouble?

thank you!
elufiamanaelf on April 1st, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)

that's a good idea, I have a few days off now and if I get a chance I'll try and make one~
(no subject) - pixellatedspiff on April 1st, 2008 01:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lufiamanaelf on April 1st, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pixellatedspiff on April 4th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
elufiamanaelf on April 1st, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm happy to have helped! ♥
ofsunsets on April 1st, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
This is really helpful. I'm usually pretty bad with coloring manga.
Also,what manga are these images from? It looks pretty. :3
elufiamanaelf on April 1st, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
It's called air gear, and I agree, the art is gorgeous *o*
(no subject) - ofsunsets on April 1st, 2008 01:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
1adychaos: shabadababanechan1adychaos on April 1st, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
Thank you! I've just started playing around with icons, and have been looking for a tutorial just like this.
e: kosmos icylufiamanaelf on April 1st, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
넌내게미쳐 ❤: Sai ♫ 11ironfist on April 1st, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
This is an awesome tutorial. ♥

I have a rather silly question for you though. I don't know anything about light source so how do you know where to shade or whatnot? The majority of tutorials I see that include shading often say to shade where ever feels right.

My apologies for the question. Ahaha.
e: kosmos brightlufiamanaelf on April 1st, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)

I know from years of practice drawing to answer your question, but since that isn't helpful, I'm going to make a tutorial on that within the next couple days I think, cause it's too hard to explain in a comment. xD

No no, it's fine, I love questions~
(no subject) - lufiamanaelf on April 1st, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Dr. Dinwiddie of UU: chopper || teh shineydried_frog_pill on April 1st, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
Awesome tutorial :D And very cool coloring style to boot.
elufiamanaelf on April 1st, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
Hey thanks ♥
Merry Mary, Quite Contrary: ouran hot n' nerdyaeolianafay on April 2nd, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
Great tutorial. :D I'll have to try some of these things when coloring. ♥ It's fun to learn how other people color their icons. I love getting new ideas. So this is awesome. Thank you for spending the time to put this together~!
recuerdin on April 28th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
Good tutorial i love the colors *-*

Well i try to make it. And this is my outcome:
just aisha♥   ["san" is i-wanna-be-otaku sh!t]: Avril Lavigneaisha_san on May 26th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
this tutorial is really good but i have a lot of problems while making the lineart >.< mine isn't as clean as yours... it seems to be made with pixels xD i don't know how to explain it lol.
Li-Yinw_e_n_d_a_l_x on May 30th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
great tut. >.< memed
Li-Yinw_e_n_d_a_l_x on May 31st, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
Can I ask what manga this is? +__~
elufiamanaelf on May 31st, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
air gear~