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Threadless Teetorials: Coloring In Layers

by jesshanebury / None /

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Teetorials are tips and tricks for adding those special touches to your designs. They're brought to you by our very own Threadless staff designers, Alex, Jillian & Speedy Joe. Check out Threadless designer Alex Solis' tutorial for coloring in layers.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how I color in layers. This is helpful for a few different reasons:

  • It makes it easier for printers to print your artwork

  • It makes it easier to modify the colors individually and keep all your colors in a consistent palette

  • It keeps everything clean and organized.


I'll explain this video from start to finish so you guys get an idea of what's going on:

  1. I start with my linework in one layer.

  2. Once that's done I create a new layer directly underneath and use the color overlay option, I pick my color of choice, but still color everything in black.

  3. I continue doing this until I have 8 layers or less to keep that color limit to 8. (You can do a ton more colors if you decided to have it printed using 4 color process but we'll go over that in a different tutorial)

  4. The Shadow layers: I usually put the layer above the color I want to add the shadows, and with the color overlay I pick a color slightly darker from the color palette.<

  5. Now, you can go back to the color overlay layers and adjust your colors until you're satisfied with your palette.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in this blog, and I'll try my best to answer. Hope this helps! - Alex

Leave a Comment

kzjl

nice tuts. =D

Underdawg

Legit. Thanks.

alexmdc
alexmdc profile pic Staff
1 design submitted - Score now!
Christina.A.art said:

DON'T BLINK LOL INTENSE FAST

haha I figure the speed of the video didnt matter as much for this one, just to show the color overlay in action.

Evancooleo
5 designs submitted - Score now!

awesome! Thanks, Threadless crew

TheInfamousBaka
2 designs submitted - Score now!

Sub that dog head and print it so I can wear it please.

Thanks, Alex! :-D

melmike

There's often many ways in PS of doing essentially the same thing. This is helpful as it shows the preferred method of the printers.

alexmdc
alexmdc profile pic Staff
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melmike said:

There's often many ways in PS of doing essentially the same thing. This is helpful as it shows the preferred method of the printers.

Yeah def there is lots of diff ways of doing stuff on Photoshop, I'm not saying this is the only way to do it.

Gums.

Thanks Alex !

misstissie

are you guys going to make videos with audio in the future so they're self contained and easier to follow?

ogie1023
1 design submitted - Score now!

bravo! from the great artist. i admire every piece of your work man

misstissie

bump for answer

alexmdc
alexmdc profile pic Staff
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misstissie said:

bump for answer

Yeah we can try, they just take a bit longer, and like for this one it didnt really make sense.

misstissie

cool! i think it's awesome that you guys are doing this. i definitely think certain tutorials would benefit from having an audio guide, especially for beginners. thanks!

TremulantDesign

Please can you explain step 2 in more detail? How did you paint only within the desired section without going outside the lines? Is there an option, or were you just very careful going around the edges?

alexmdc
alexmdc profile pic Staff
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TremulantDesign said:

Please can you explain step 2 in more detail? How did you paint only within the desired section without going outside the lines? Is there an option, or were you just very careful going around the edges?

I just paint carefully, the color goes slightly on the line, but since it's the layer underneath it, it's usually ok to go over it a bit, often I do go over the line and I just erase that :)

TremulantDesign
alexmdc said:
TremulantDesign said:

Please can you explain step 2 in more detail? How did you paint only within the desired section without going outside the lines? Is there an option, or were you just very careful going around the edges?

I just paint carefully, the color goes slightly on the line, but since it's the layer underneath it, it's usually ok to go over it a bit, often I do go over the line and I just erase that :)

Thanks! I thought it might be that simple :)

Morkki
1 design submitted - Score now!

If you want, you can also select the area to be colored with the magic wand tool on the linework layer, expand the selection a couple of pixels to make sure you don't get a thin border between the fill and the linework and with that selection active go to the fill layer and paint away!

Goldendust

For a tutorial like this, I feel like a sample file would be kind of helpful. Not that giving away print ready artwork files is a good idea, but when I was learning all those years ago I just couldn't get my head around layers until I messed around with them in Photoshop. I guess everyone learns differently.

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