Photoshop Colouring advice?

Hey guys, I've probably been around here too long to be asking this really, but any advice on colouring techniques in photoshop?
I just think that I can draw/sketch on paper fairly good but when it comes to colouring the design in photoshop, I sorta mess it up.
Take my current sub for example, the physical line art I did, I was pretty satisfied with. Nevermind the instagram filter...

But my actual sub...

I do think it's a bit better than some of my previous subs where I drew on paper and then scanned and worked in photoshop.
I don't know,man. It just seems to straddle that line between simplistic design and slightly more intricate. But it's not doing a good job.

Watch this

The highlights and shadows on Smokey look good, but the body/tail of the dragon looks flat with just the same green color and no highlights or shadows. I'm more of an illustrator user but a popular way to color is to do each one in a different layer. Black outlines on the topmost layer, then highlights, shadows, and base colors on the layers beneath.

mike bautista
mike bautista profile pic Alumni

color choice is super important.

I don't think I have any actual, solid advice on color theory. I kinda just picked things up as I went along. there are some basic color schemes that work well together and figuring out what goes well with what will help you out a bunch. the way we perceive a color changes depending on how much or how little it's used and if it clashes or compliments the other colors. there's stuff like kuler that can help you pick out palettes. I played with that a little bit when I started getting serious about color, but mostly I studied all the work that I liked and tried to figure out how they did things.

I'd say, from the example you gave. what might feel off is that the colors don't mesh well together the way they're applied. the blue stands out too much and the choices overall feel like very basic choices in the color wheel. the gray tee just makes things stand out more to the point where the background you put in doesn't do much for the graphic.


Not about the color, but the dragon scales looked much better un-uniformed i reckon.


Hey guys, thanks for the input. I guess I really did mess up with the dragon. I'm definitely gonna work on my highlights and shadows.

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