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How To Color and Finalize More Quickly

Aulendra

Member
Anyone have recommendations for churning art out more quickly, especially coloring?

Here's my problem: I do a sketch, begin to color it, then... Get bored and stop. The only time I complete it is gift art or commissions, and I never delay in that aspect with stuff done in a week or less. But when its just for me... Eh. It seems like there's no motivation. It's not that I dislike drawing or shading, far from it. It's just the coloring part that I find tedious.

The annoying part is I don't want my gallery to end up a mass of black and white, and want to make some fully illustrated pieces to advertise my potential as a commissionable artist. I'm also very busy RL with friends, family and work so even when the urge to draw is there it inevitably has to be done in bits and pieces.

Does anyone have the same problem? If you do, how do you get around it? Maybe speed painting?

I have Photoshop, Flash, Sai and a drawing tablet so it can't be a materials thing.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
I stop worrying about speed and worry about quality. Speed comes with repetition the more I do it, the faster I get.

I also do thumbnails of what colors I want to do and/or setup color palettes so I can problem solve that way. I color in a background color first so that I can work on top of it instead of staring at a big blank white canvas.

There are many ways to limit your palette, several of which I'm repeating from the sticky threads here.

http://moviesincolor.com/

http://www.livepaintinglessons.com/gamutmask.php

http://aquasixio.deviantart.com/art/Tutorial-17-A-turtle-walkthrough-345468329

http://www.thepiratecat.com/featured/stick-to-the-plan-dont-trap-yourself-in-licking.html - You probably want to read this one because a lot of artists "lick" than produce.
 

Taralack

Hit 'em right between the eyes
It's really a matter of streamlining your process so you can get past the tedious bits of it faster. And the only way you can do that is just by biting the bullet and doing the stuff you don't like.
 

sixfoot

Member
I had this exact problem, never finishing anything to full illustration, poor concentration even though I actually really love art.

A couple things helped me, the biggest one was realising that often my brain was converting frustration over something difficult into boredom. I wouldn't even be consciously doing it, but it's like my stupid mind was trying to escape all difficult tasks.

If your boredom is genuine boredom then try another method of rendering. Maybe you genuinely don't find your own style fun to paint - it can happen. Try textures or try painting glassy smooth gradients, make the process an interesting experiment for yourself rather than just doing your default method.

This is like a YMMV thing but I also use white noise when I find I just cant concentrate. Ambient-mixer.com is pretty good and lets you pick whatever dorky nature sounds you like. Rain works for most people.

Good luck.
 

Aulendra

Member
Thanks for the advice and links, everyone.

It could be a mixture of a few things: I'm rarely disappointed in painting or find much issue with lighting, and it happens even with simple flat color pieces, so guessing it's pure boredom over masked frustration. As for why, I think the biggest culprit is the massive amount of art retraining I had to do during college to learn animation - everything was about draw fast, gesture drawings, line of actions, get it simple but right. Now it almost feels like a chore to sit down and color every fleck of hair when drawing movement is so much more fun. On the other side, I can't be a diva and make nothing but animations or my illustration skill will stagnate...and a collection of animations isn't a portfolio, it's a film reel.

I will try alternate rendering styles. Tried several so far such as underpainting a layer but seeing the full, flat colors there just triggers the short attention span part of my brain to say "Done, oh look a penny!" I'll just have to find a balance.
 

sixfoot

Member
Thanks for the advice and links, everyone.

It could be a mixture of a few things: I'm rarely disappointed in painting or find much issue with lighting, and it happens even with simple flat color pieces, so guessing it's pure boredom over masked frustration. As for why, I think the biggest culprit is the massive amount of art retraining I had to do during college to learn animation - everything was about draw fast, gesture drawings, line of actions, get it simple but right. Now it almost feels like a chore to sit down and color every fleck of hair when drawing movement is so much more fun. On the other side, I can't be a diva and make nothing but animations or my illustration skill will stagnate...and a collection of animations isn't a portfolio, it's a film reel.

I will try alternate rendering styles. Tried several so far such as underpainting a layer but seeing the full, flat colors there just triggers the short attention span part of my brain to say "Done, oh look a penny!" I'll just have to find a balance.


Oh. Have you tried skipping flats and going straight to render? lay down big blocks of light and shade, then you'll be forced to render before it's done.

e: and dont render every hair, if you're not the kind of person who finds it relaxing its a good way to make yourself suicidal. Learn what details you can get away with not rendering and you'll be a happier faster painter.
 

Aulendra

Member
Oh. Have you tried skipping flats and going straight to render? lay down big blocks of light and shade, then you'll be forced to render before it's done.

e: and dont render every hair, if you're not the kind of person who finds it relaxing its a good way to make yourself suicidal. Learn what details you can get away with not rendering and you'll be a happier faster painter.

Wow, I haven't tried that since almost a decade ago...coincidentally, that was the last time I was having more fun coloring. Something about seeing the render come to life as you go is so satisfying, and urges you to continue more. However, damn near every tutorial I've seen involves layering an underpainting so I thought it was the wrong way to do it. I guess it doesn't matter as long as you have a rough blob to direct light and shading?

I used to be insane about rendering every microscopic detail but am now veering too far off into the opposite direction, having a tendency to make everything flat and cartoony. Guess that's another area that needs to be balanced accordingly.

The advice in this thread has given me the inspiration to draw the first bit of detailed lineart in over a year. Now to move on and color it. :) Thanks!
 
Few things in no order.

I have this issue a lot too. Sometimes I actually do just experiment and find out if I'm really actually struggling or just not applying myself like I could be. I've been playing with various layers and "utensils" lately.

Marker tool. <3

MY issue, digitally anyway, is that I find myself erasing sooooooooo fucking much. That shit got old.
So If I need to move to another layer, I put the new one on the bottom tier and leave everything on normal, I can be as sloppy as I want since the completed layers on top hide the mess I'm making. :p
I shave HOURS with this method. And I find that trying to minimize layers, just doing certain portions on the same one with the brush and blending is actually faster and more fun!

I tend not to have this problem with colored pencils though. I'm extremely fast on Bristol and sketch paper (that's not saying I'm pro, just in comparison to my digital work I do).

I do think that trying to speed paint every once in a while is a good exercise. I give myself 20 minutes and I don't erase. It's similar to how my teacher tells us to use big fat sharpies for gesture sketches. Obvious reasons.

If I like what I've done, I finalize it later. I've gotten moderately full illustrations completed this way.

Just some things I do. It works for me.
 

TopazThunder

Noir Fetishist
I've had similar problems in the past with that (up until only about a year ago in fact), and I found a lot of it was my approach, namely looking at the whole and thinking "Man, that is going to take forever to color...." and it would often result in an unfinished piece or a coloring job that could have been so much more. I've broken away from that by thinking of working on each part and only looking at the whole in regards to balance and seamless composition. Because of this, I seemed to have gotten an infinite amount of patience with my coloring now (which is good, since I primarily color in pencils, which are all about layers layers layers layers). This may be more me being an entirely traditional artist, but flat coloring for me with no form has always been so infuriating and incredibly backwards-feeling, so I guess that helped me some.

Good to hear this thread seemed to have inspired you to push yourself further. Getting started and trying to kick an art habit is always the more difficult part but I bet if you keep at it you'll get that "groove" back fairly quick.
 

-lola-

Member
I actually don't have a problem spending WAY TO MUCH time on a piece.
But for work it's important to speed things up now isn't it.

I discovered I am either a liner or a painter.
For me making a line art piece and then coloring is really a long way around, if I want to do a color piece I sketch a quick base and color right on top of it.
Maybe that sort of works for you too?

just learn to enjoy making art again <__>
I find myself loving polishing on thick color stripe into a finger or a leg.. arm.. clump of hair.. *w*
and to be honest none of my classmates ever shared this enjoyment with me what so ever.


BTW,
I do not usually use layers at all!
I just paint ontop of everything piling it up..
for one layer art, make your canvas for example the base color for the character your drawing.

I've done it here, you can tell
http://www.furaffinity.net/full/11784337/

Here how ever, it's harder to tell :3
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/11792030/
 
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