1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Welcome to Lake Valor!
    Catch, train, and evolve Pokémon while you explore our community. Make friends, and grow your collection.

    Login or Sign Up

Colouring lineart in SAI

Discussion in 'Creative Zone' started by guest, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. guest

    Dec 18, 2014
    As requested by @[member="WainGuy"], a tutorial on how to colour lineart in SAI and keep it clean >vO Alternatively : Magpae yelling about clipping group for a while
    Ignore the terrible lineart I used during the tut, it's unfinished and is in dire need of cleaning lmAO

    L-L-L-L-Lets go!! The images are in spoilers because they're pretty darn big;;

    Start by opening up the lineart that you want to colour, and preferably name the layer so things stay orderly and you don't get lost or anything later on! uvu Big pictures with a bunch of colours and layers can be a pain if you don't keep the layers organised.
    Layer 3 isn't relevant don't worry 'bout it

    Make a layer below your lineart layer, and name it something along the lines of 'colour base', since that's what the layer will be. Fill in the areas you want coloured later with any colour of choice. Picking a colour that contrasts with the colours you're gonna be using later is usually a good way to go, but I'm a fan of using grey. Contrasts well with the white of the canvas!
    I've coloured this one by hand because I use weighted lines to the point of having no line in some areas, so the magic wand tool doesn't work very well for the most part. If you keep your lineart at a consistent width, you can save time by using the magic wand tool. When it comes to selecting and colouring I prefer to select the areas I don't want to colour, rather than the areas I do want to colour. I then increment the selection [which you'll see me do further down if you don't know how] once or twice and invert the selection. This way you can avoid the annoying white border between your lines and colour.


    Create a layer between the lineart and colour base layer and name it as is relevant to you. Colour over the areas that you want filled with your colour of choice, and don't worry about being neat about it! If you can, start with the 'lowest' colour of your image, or the part that is overlapped by everything else. For example, I start with the skin since the hair and jewellery of the character both lie above the skin. That way I don't have to worry about overlapping into areas with a different colour yet. P;

    And the clipping begins! I've circled where you can find the clipping group button as well as the line beside the layer that indicates the layer is clipped, so you know what to look for. Clipping a layer makes it so that the contents of the layer will be hidden if it goes outside of the contents of the last unclipped layer. As such, the colours of the layer will only show where you placed the colour base, saving you a bunch of time with cleaning up!

    Clipped layers will all adhere to the last unclipped layer, so you can make several of them above the colour base layer. The order of the clipped layers is important though, since any overlapping colours will be effected by how you order them. Keep the lowest lying colour on the bottom of the list and work up from there.

    That's all you need to do if you're sticking to flat colours, but you can use clipping layers further if you plan on shading as well, which I'll also show!

    A quicker way of shading would be to make use of 'preserve opacity', the button above clipping group. It locks the layer in a similar way to clipping, only allowing you to alter what has already been added to the layer. You can't make new lines outside of what you drew before preserving the opacity. You can toggle it if you want to add an extra line though, it doesn't permanently stop you from adding to the layer content. Have a mess around with it and see how you like it!

    Unclip everything!! As said above, clipped layers adhere to the last unclipped layer only, so you can't clip a layer to another clipped layer. You're gonna have to clean up the layers you clipped before you can shade, but that's easy enough to do. I've added an arrow to the magic wand tool, which will be the tool we're using next! Make sure you're back on your colour base layer.

    Select all of the white space on the colour base layer, not the coloured areas! This way if the colouring on your layer isn't completely even, you don't have to worry about the magic wand not picking it all up. I've indicated increment selection here because I prefer to increment once or twice pretty much whenever I select things. Can't trust these here funny pixels >_>
    Go through the colour layers you unclipped, and run the eraser tool right across the canvas. This will remove anything within the selected areas, cleaning your lines. Increasing the size of your eraser and covering where you think there might not be colour or lines will get rid of any sneaky pixels you didn't notice before.
    Pixels, man.

    Mooooreeeee clipped layersssss~
    Create a clipped layer above the coloured layer you want to shade and go wild! The colour will stay confined to where you need it so you don't have to worry about even more cleanup or your brush picking up colour from other areas.

    Aaaand, that's that! Thanks for reading and I hope I managed to help one or two of you out! uvu Happy colouring~

Share This Page