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1.3 Setting Up Our Reference and Color Palette

In this lesson, we will be setting up our reference and creating both a black and white sample and a color sample, while also creating a color palette that can be used throughout the entire project. We will also revisit how light affects how skin is lit and properly shown.

1.3 Setting Up Our Reference and Color Palette

Okay, so on this portion of the lesson we're gonna cover setting up our palette and creating our worker environment. We're also gonna cover, quickly, how to bring in reference to help support the painting techniques that we're about to try to use throughout the illustration. So let's go ahead and get started. All right, so I just adjusted my palate pretty quickly, just moved in a space that I think will be good for recording. This look's about right. All right so now I'm gonna go ahead and import some of the things I wanna use which will be my sample pictures. So we're gonna place this here. And I have it, it comes in automatically as a symbol, as a smart object. So I'm just gonna scale it and I'm gonna move this over here in the corner, top right corner. Now I'm gonna make a copy of this, so let's go ahead and just copy and drag by hitting Ctrl, and let's go to make this black and white. So now here, if you wanna bring colors in, we can just simply adjust and do whatever it is we'd like to do in order to get maybe a black and white with a hint of color or some type of photo. If you wanted to bring in sepia, you could do it there, but we just need a black and white so that we can focus on the difference between the color, there we go. So I wanna make sure that the background isn't noticed and that the areas on my actual picture will have highlights where the light is reflecting off the skin, and low lights, and we want to get rid of as much of the background as possible. So it's easier this way to tell our darks and our lights. So let's zoom in. Let's take a look here. And so essentially what I've done is created hot spots on my picture, right? So let's make a new layer here. And, just take a brush. I'm going to show you what I'm referring to, all right? So this area here, that area here, right here underneath the lip, the chin. A little bit in the neck area outside where we get balance lighting, and right here. All right, so we can clearly tell that the light source is coming from directly in front of her in this picture, and we're gonna try to implement that while we paint. So those are the things that we wanna notice. So as we move in we'll be able to implement that and it'll show in our painting, and it helps us to have a more accurate design, more accurate illustration. So I'm gonna pick the flesh tone. So I wanna go somewhere in the middle. I don't wanna go too dark, I don't wanna go too light. So I look for a block of area that has a generic color, that would work well with the painting. So we have that. Let me go ahead and just select a nice solid brush. And all right. So I can see right now that I don't have my opacity turned up enough, or my flow. There we go. So this will give me a nice solid color. Let's go all the way up to 100%, that's even better. And so, I think that's pretty close to what we're using now but let me go ahead and sample it again. And just taking my time to balance and make sure that I have what it is I'm looking for. Now let's see what the highlight looks like. So we can essentially go through this entire picture. And select our painting colors or our palette colors that we're gonna use throughout the painting. So I look for those areas. And I don't want to go for the obvious right away. You know, oh, jump right to the highlights. Go to the creases where the darkest colors would be. I wanna find those in-between colors. That's what's important to me at this point. And I just wanna lay them down. Think of this as, if you have ever painted with oils, you know that often times you lay the colors down first. You go ahead and you do your mixing, you pick the primary colors that you're gonna use and you combine them to make the in-between colors that you wanna use for your painting. Think about this type of digital painting in that way. So we're gonna go ahead and just keep filling out our color palettes here. And somewhere here, I like this color. Now I can see the difference just by holding Alt down between the two colors. So if we look at these spheres, these are examples of colors being painted. You can see the highlights. And you see the darks. So, you can tell by the way the light is hitting the object, which is which. We want to set our colors up so that we can do the exact same thing while we're working. So, even out the lips. Let's go ahead and put the lip color down here, or in this area. Name it first because I'm gonna throw so many colors now that I may forget. So, above the eye here, there we go. And this one here is moved into place. That is the edge of the skin. So I'll just name it skin. So if I was also setting up to do the clothes option, the colors for the clothes also, I would create a section and do the clothes there too. And it also depends on how I'm painting. I may say, I wanna do the clothes completely separate. Or I may say, the environment that this picture was taken in, that everything is affected, which is nine out of ten times, that's primarily what we would do. And I would set it up accordingly. But in this, right now what we're doing, I think we're okay. And I'll go back, in the next lesson you'll see that. I'll probably break down my color palette and have it a little more organized. So now I'm picking the colors for the lips. It's going to get the darker color, and my favorite thing about this new color picker is that you can see that the color that I have prior shows as I pick the next color. Which is good because you get to see visually the contrast between the two. And you can make note of it in your head and go, okay, wow this is a lot different than what I originally imagined. And what happens is you train your brain to understand the difference in colors, even on the skin. One of the things that while I was in school, we joked about this. So me and the other guys in class we would joke about it, and talk about how you haven't really mastered anything until you dream about it. Well that was in 3-D. In 2-D it's kind of the same idea the same premise is you haven't mastered this idea or this subject, until you walk up to a person and you catch your brain dissecting how their color would look digitally on paper. If you were painting it, how would you achieve it. So, that's just something to think about. It's really one of those things you commit to. You commit to the thought process and the behavior and eventually it transfers over. Okay, so let's go ahead and throw the base painting down. I want to duplicate this layer, give us a nice dark line to work from. We'll name this Builder, and overlay. Multiply and take it down a little bit more. Let's go to the skin layer. I want to lock the builder layer and unlock the skin layer. We'll put it in a folder first, there we go. Let's name it Solid. And then we'll make a new layer underneath. And we'll make this the base color for the skin. So I want to quickly just fill this in. So switch, make my brush a little bigger. And let's go ahead and just fill this in. And so we we make the layer with the actual cocoa pencil or ink, and we make that above our actual color. This way we don't get lost in the details, we can still use this in terms of a trace. It gives us the directions of where we want to go. There we go so it's nice and full here. So, in the next lesson, what we'll do is we'll come back and we'll continue to paint. We'll start to do the low lights and then we'll work our ways up to the highlights.

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