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Comparison of Greyscale Coloring Methods by SingleDeadPixel Comparison of Greyscale Coloring Methods by SingleDeadPixel
I experimented a little with layer modes in Painter for coloring greyscale artworks. As seen above, the initial results were not particularly satisfying, but I managed to achieve fairly good results by combining layers. Note that this is not a tutorial, so I will not delve into the process of the actual coloring.

1. Overlay mode
Ugly, right? While the colors used for this method are the closest to the actual result, it seems way too bright and harsh. The shadows are okay, the mids are okay, but the highlights? They are glowing.
The Photoshop equivalent of this layer mode is identical.

2. Soft light mode
My personal favorite! This might be the easiest to pull off as all the colors used are fully saturated. It creates a nice washed out look that's not fatiguing to look at. It all comes with a price though: you'll have to create a complementary layer if you want to display vibrant colors.
The Photoshop equivalent of this layer mode uses much more saturation. Use less intense colors.

3. Colorize mode
Hey, this one is ugly too. Despite its name, colorize mode by itself is not sufficient for coloring. It just looks... off. The main disadvantage is the lack of dark colors. As you can see, not even the darkest brown could make that poor hair dark.
The Photoshop equivalent of this layer mode is similar to this. Dark colors turn out grey.

For the best results, at least 2 layer modes need to be used simultaneously depending on the look you want to achieve.
I only showcase 3 of them but there are endless combinations.

For the folks using SAI: Soft light and Colorize modes don't exist within SAI. Use Luminosity mode with dark brown colors to achieve similar results.
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Submitted on
September 22, 2017
Image Size
1.2 MB




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