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About Digital Art / Hobbyist Senior Member Damai Mikaz27/Female/Netherlands Groups :iconemion-fanclub: Emion-fanclub
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As a follow up of my "How to: Anatomy" journal that was received so well by the community, I will continue this series with a how to on color.
Color is considered to be one of the hardest subjects when it comes to art. Most beginners (and even some advanced artists) struggle to get the colors of their work right. I myself do as well. This journal is by no means a full coverage on how to color. It will however be a good list of resources to get you started on this hard subject.

A few things to get started

There are a few things to color
HueChromaValue by DamaiMikaz
There's hue and value. Hue determines what place in the color spectrum the color is in (red, green, blue.. etc). Value determines how dark or light a color is. In order to understand colors, you have to know how to influence and work with both of them.

Your brain is deceiving you
Arethesecolors by DamaiMikaz
Our brains are really, really clever. Even with limited vision, we're able to perceive the color of objects that we can't really see. It's like our brain learned to fill in the gap. In order to learn how to use colors; become aware of this fact. A red car under a blue sky is rarely really red. Shadows are rarely really black. Colors are rarely fully saturated, most of them are awfully mudded in real life. Observe, watch and colorpick until you develop a better sense for color!

Color and mood / emotion
Colormood by DamaiMikaz
Colors aren't just colors; they influence your mood. Like how this brilliant scene from the movie Up plays your mood by using color and composition in a way that it only takes you a few minutes to actually feel about those characters. As a matter of fact; color is so important that it fuels many important decisions on design in the marketing world as well. Want to make something with impact? Then you need to take your use of colors into consideration.

Good exercises

Analyze colors
Analyze by DamaiMikaz
Perhaps the simplest start you can make in daily life is start to look at colors, because most of the time in life we actually don't. We perceive color, but we don't actually see it. Try to look at colors with new eyes. What is the color you see, opposed to what your brain makes you think you see? Why do you like the colors in some pieces of art work? What are the color combinations used? How does color affect your mood? Art, but also movies are great resources for studying color. Especially in movies color is often used to play on your mood.

Start painting with values only
Fundamentals: Value Shading Demo by CGCookie

There are two things to color; hues and values. Perhaps doing both of them at the same time is too hard. Just start with the values then. Yep! That's it. Good old black and white might learn you a lot about how shadows work and how to use light and shadow to show certain shapes. If you manage to get this right, you'll have an easier time moving on to full color paintings.

Study from realism
Bottle by DamaiMikaz
No matter if you do fantasy paintings, realism is important. In order to make your paintings believable, you need a touch of realism. Because even a made up universe won't be believable without the universal rules of light and color. Studying from realism is the best tool in the box you get, because unlike with photo's, you have the possibility to observe the subject from multiple angles (and believe me; this 360 degrees view will help you actually understanding how it works). 
To study realism, just place an object on your desk and draw it, ask your friend to pose for you while you draw him/her, or take your sketchbook into the city to paint some buildings or trees.

Study from photo's
photo study by Izaskun
Yeah, we get it. You can't place all objects on your desk and you can't travel everywhere in the world to study everything from realism (unless you have infinite time and money).
That's where photo's come in. Photo's are great to study from, especially since the subject doesn't move and the light doesn't change either. Just keep in mind that photo's are never a 100% realism. A lot of photo's are digitally enhanced these days and even if they aren't, camera's come with limitations. Just compare what you see at night with the average way your camera captures a city at night, and you'll have an idea of how a camera distorts an image. 
Also; if you use somebody else's pictures to study from, don't forget to credit the original artist of the picture when you publish it. You wouldn't like it if somebody just copied your picture and claimed it as their own, and so won't the average photographer. 

Study from other artists
Cliffs of Green Master Study by ExoMemory
Often also referred to as master study's (as a reference to students in art school that had to study the old art masters).
Skillful artists have often learned the rules of reality, but also found their own unique way of breaking them. This might be worthwhile studying. But also here goes, credit the original maker of the picture. And in the case of the original artists still being alive (most old masters aren't XD) ask for permission. Not every artists might be okay with you publishing a copy of the work they originally made.

Color scheme challenges
Colour Scheme Challenge by skraww
DeviantArt has many challenges when it comes to color. They might not learn you as much as the previous exercises, but they're fun to do and allow you some artistic freedom while they still drag you out of your comfort zone. Also; activity's like these are very fun to do with a bunch of friends!

Good books

Here are some books that were especially helpful for me. I know there are many more books about color on the market. The website Parkablogs made a very thorough list about all kinds of art instruction books (and has reviewed all of them). It might be worthwhile to check out if you're interested.

Color and light 
Color-and-light by DamaiMikaz
Color and light - James Gurney (ISBN: 0740797719)
There's a lot of theory in the book, but most of it comes from the real life experience of a painter. A huge part of this book talks about traditional paint, but even when you're not a traditional painter (like me) it's interesting to know and it'll help you a lot in understanding how colors work. 

Light for the visual artist
317o1J+1KvL. SX258 BO1,204,203,200  by DamaiMikaz
Light for the visual artist - Richard Yot (ISBN: 185669660X)
This book takes a more technical and theoretical approach to how colors work, but it might work very well on for people that are more apt to that kind of mindset. It goes through various types of lighting circumstances and explains all of them with plenty of pictures. 

Good tutorials

purplekecleon's how I see color
How I See Color - A Tutorial by purplekecleon

sacha's color tutorials
The Color Tutorial - Part 1 by sashasThe Color Tutorial - Part 2 by sashas

AquaSixio's tutorials on color
Tutorial #18 : A possible path on the color map by AquaSixio

Sycra's video on choosing colors that work

Blender Guru video on understanding color

CubeBrush's (Bluefley's) tutorials for value painting and basic coloring

(Ps: don't forget to check out Cubebrush' youtube channel. There's a lot more on colors, but I couldn't link all of them here)

And there are many more...
And there are many more tutorials on color, both on DeviantArt and YouTube... and many other sites.
Don't forget to list your favorites in the comments.

Helpful links

About color palettes
Bullet; Red Working with a limited color palette (by projecteducate)
Bullet; Red Color scheme designer
Bullet; Red Gamut mask tool (More information on this is in Gurney's book, that I listed above)
Bullet; Red Generate a color palette from a photo

About colors and emotion
Bullet; Red The basics of color psychology 
Bullet; Red Color psychology and marketing
Bullet; Red Why color matters

Colors in photoshop
Bullet; Red 
Adding a colorwheel to photoshop CS4, CS5 & CS6
Bullet; Red Coloorus colorpicker for photoshop (plugin)
Bullet; Red Mixing colors in Photoshop

Important to keep in mind

Bullet; Black There's a whole lot more to color than mentioned in this article, but there's only so much stuff I can post here ^^
Bullet; Black Color is a hard subject. It'll take you quite some time to master it. This goes for every artist. Even those that are masters now once started as beginners.
Bullet; Black Using color correctly comes down to understanding it. So yes, that's science. But don't worry... science is awesome!
Bullet; Black Trust your eyes when it comes to color. Your brain is lying. 
Bullet; Black Using the work of another artist for a personal study is fine, as long as you ask the artists for permission before publishing it, and credit that artist properly.
Bullet; Black Don't rely too much on model pictures in magazines. They're often photoshopped to have more pleasing (and less realistic) colors.
Bullet; Black Studying color can be a harsh and tedious process. Studying it together with friends/fellow artists might help you to keep motivated.
Bullet; Black Don't throw away your paintings. Use them to learn from your mistakes and keep track of your progress.

And most importantly:
Bullet; Black Have fun! I am a dummy! 

Star! Star! Star!  Read my other how to's as well Star! Star! Star! 
How to: AnatomyHuman anatomy is, for sure, one of the hardest things to draw. But at the same time it's one of the most interesting things to draw, because... hey... we love making characters, and it's nice if they at least look a bit like a human being. I'm still far from perfect at drawing the human body, yet I've accumulated some very useful tips, tricks and websites.
Good exercises
Drawing from life

Drawing from life is awesome!
Look for life drawing classes in your environment, or if they're not available; ask your friends to pose for you. Go have a drink in the city when the weather is nice, and sketch people passing by. There's nowhere you learn more about human anatomy than by observing and sketching real people. There's only one downside to this; dynamic poses are tricky, as it's hard for any model to hold a difficult pose for a long time. 
And no... drawing (nearly) naked people in a drawing class isn't awkward. I


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Looking back at old sketches from my characters. Such emo. So much fail T__T
New DA avatar. Now nobody knows me anymore. Hellooooo anonymity :dummy:
Is it bad that I want a huge mirror in my room, just so I can use myself as anatomy reference for drawing? :ohnoes:
Having fun playing around with watercolors Love 


Damai Mikaz
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art

~Just keep drawing until it gets awesome

Yep, that's me.
I'm not a professional artist, and I'm not aiming to become one either for now. I usually work on art in my free time, especially on my main project; Emion, a novel I've been working on ever since 2006. So yeah... I'm more of a writer than a visual artist. I enjoy both digital and traditional art, and practice both. I'm a huge nerd --the kind that pulls apart computers and does programming-- and I love everything technology related.


Deviousness Award

Deviousness Award
DamaiMikaz is one of the most inspiring artists you'll find on DeviantArt. A long-time dedicated member of the community, her journals regularly provide insight into creating art, inspiration for art and life, and thought-provoking ideas that spark magnetic conversations. Her approach to digital art has kept her creating, growing, and improving throughout the years, and one glance into her gallery is enough to see the progress that she has made and continues to make. It is with great pride that we name DamaiMikaz the recipient of the Deviousness Award for August 2015.
-awarded August 2015



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Endorell-Taelos Featured By Owner 9 minutes ago   General Artist
Congratulations dear :D 
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thank you for the llama! your everything is really cool omg
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