reduced in size to make the page load quicker for you. It will be quite a deal larger when finished,
A while back, I had the idea to do a drawing inspired by the TV show, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I wondered what it might be like if Anakin's teenaged padawan met him later in life, after he had become Vader.
So I drew an adult version of Ahsoka Tano. Figured she would have had a rough life trying to escape the Jedi purge, so I gave her a cyborg arm prosthesis...a lightsaber duel gone horribly awry for the girl.
Figured I'd show the process of how i draw and ink and color.
Initially, after scanning the pencils into photoshop, I mess with the levels to turn the pencils light blue. I've found that it's helpful this way, because the black inks stand out against the blue pencils, but the blue pencils do not entirely fade into the background. This provides me a decent guide for laying down the inks. Some folks shift the levels so the pencils turn red, but blue works better for me.
I use two methods to lay down the inks. Paths, and the smudge tool, depending on what i want to do with the line. Paths are simple and relatively quick; you just shape a path along the line, close it up and fill it with black. This can give you decent contours over large areas.
For smaller areas or finely detailed areas, I'll just use the smudge tool to gradually build up the line/contour. It can be a tedious process, but it works better for me than using the paintbrush. I don't find that either technique is particularly useful for laying out cross-hatching for shading purposes, but since I'm not really an inker in the first place, I usually leave the shading for when i lay down the colors.
Ahsoka's inks are largely finished I just started on Vader's inks tonight, but didn't get farther than his helmet.
I did a pic of a young anakin which is being shown through a holographic projector in Ahsoka's hand. The idea of the pic is that she's trying to remind Vader of his innocence. I did those inks like normal, but then, locked the pixels and filled the inks with light blue. I'm not sure it'll work out, but the idea is to replicate the blue tint of holographic images seen in the Star Wars movies.
Anyway, after i finish vader's inks, I lay out some background inks, which I tend to construct completely in photoshop.
Then, I'll lay out the colors. I do this by building a pallette of the colors I'm gonna use in the pic. Like swatches. This lets me see how the colors will balance with each other; compliment and contrast, shit like that.
I lay out the flat colors first, which is just a matter of coloring within the lines. Easiest way to do this is to wrap a selection marquee around the area I want to color, then use the paint bucket tool to fill that area. I tend to keep colors segregated (heh) on separate layers. Separate from the other colors, and from the the ink layer(s).
Once all the flats are laid out I lock the pixels and then generate shading and highlight colors for each of the flat colors. Some folks rely solely upon the burn and dodge tools to do shading and highlighting, but I dislike that method.
Instead, I use the gradient tool, and the selection tool. To add shading to a flat color, I'll flip the gradient tool on multiply. This makes the color progressively darker with each pass. I use the selection tool to define the area I want shaded. You can mess with the settings to create stark or soft borders on the selection.
Same basic process is used for highlighting, but instead of flipping it to multiply, you flip it to screen. This makes the color progressively lighter.
This gives you total control over your shading and highlighting instead of relying on the Burn and Dodge tools, which can get out of hand very easily. However, those tools are useful if i want to make the lighting look really harsh or stark, or if i want to give the illusion of certain materials, like shiny latex or metal. But even then, I still shade and highlight in the method listed above, with the dodge or burn used solely for a finisher.
Doing the lightsabers requires a simple technique, but I think it comes out pretty good. I'll talk about that when the time comes to put the lightsaber blades into the pic.
Most of the coloring philosophy I use was laid out by Laura Depuy and tutorials from various other comic book colorists I scrounged up on the Interwebs. See, I'm not really a colorist either, but I don't exactly have the resources or opportunity to have separate inkers and colorists hooking me up. So i had to learn how to do all that myself.