Using Photoshop as an Art Tool
"Colour Underneath Art"
I have already mentioned about using layers and knowing how their blending attributes work, now I will offer a simple pointer on how to add colours underneath your ink/line art.
Since the early beginnings of traditional animation, artists learned that by painting their detailed line drawings onto the upper side of a transparent cell they could paint the colours on the back of the cell and keep the two separate from one another. Of course the background paintings would be completely separate on their own sheet/board/canvas. This animation principle allowed great control and flexibility and offers the principle by which digital art layers work.
Numerous suggestions have already been offered on how to scan and/or get your dark ink lines into your art application. Once you have used one of these methods and have your lineart cleaned and appearing the way you want it, all you have to do is go into the layer’s attributes and change it from the default ‘normal’ setting into ‘multiply’ setting. Now create a new layer and instead of leaving it above the layer with your crisp line art, simply drag it down so it resides below the art layer. This will be your painting/colour layer and you can leave it’s attribute on normal or play around with other attributes if you want to experiment. What you will find is that by applying colours onto the lower layer, the lineart layer above it is acting as if it’s transparent! The multiply setting makes all of those opaque white pixels instantly act as if they are not even there. No need to waste time with the selection tool or try to figure how to get rid of the white pixel background on your art layer, multiply instantly does the hard work for you. Use it.
Now any painting you do on the layer(s) below will not affect the upper art layer. You are safe to paint and blend to your heart’s content.
Disbelieve, but Don’t Lie
The Swiss theologian, Karl Barth, said,
“Do you want to believe in the living Christ? We may believe in Him only if we believe in His corporeal resurrection. This is the content of the New Testament. We are always free to reject it, but not to modify it, nor to pretend that the New Testament tells something else. We may accept or refuse the message, but we may not change it.”