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Uploaded: July 22, 2014
Artist: Dawn
Difficulty: Novice  Novice Skill Level
Steps: 15
Updated: July 23, 2014
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Here is another helpful lesson on coloring. Instead of coloring hair we will learn how to digitlly color anime eyes. I've included detailed steps on how you can become successful with coloring your own anime style eyes using any digital program. I use Paint Tool Sai, but you can use any program you have like Gimp, Photoshop or what have you. This lesson is detailed, so be sure to pay attention to what I say and do. I will be back with more helpful lessons in a bit so stay tuned in.

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how to color anime eyes digitally

How to Color Anime Eyes Digitally

how to color anime eyes digitally step 1

STEP 1.

Ok folks, this is my first tutorial ever that will show you step by step on how to color anime eyes using Paint Tool Sai, a great program for digital painting. I will be guiding you through my every day process on a quick painting of a simple anime eye. You will first need to download the program 'Paint Tool Sai', which is available for 53$ at their website, but they also offer a 30 day trial. Once you've got your program installed and ready, time to open up an already inked project in Sai.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 2

STEP 2.

To start, I have opened a document which is an already inked anime eye that I've prepared for the sake of this tutorial. You'll want to have inked something like this in Sai. Whatever line art you have to spare, whip it out in Sai and we'll get ready for the walk through.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 3

STEP 3.

If you've already made two separate layers for your background and line art, make a new one between the two. When you put a layer underneath your line art one, the colors will be underneath the lines instead of being painted on top of it.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 4

STEP 4.

Rename your layer to 'Colors' as we're going to be laying down the flats. Grab the Magic Wand tool and adjust to the settings you see. The 'Color Difference' setting will make the wand select a wider range of pixels on the canvas that is similar to the chosen color. We're going to be using this tool to pick the area of the eye in order to fill the inside.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 5

STEP 5.

I always start off with a very dark flat color so that I can etch in highlights more accurately.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 6

STEP 6.

Now, let's start adding a pupil to the eye so later on, we can add a cool effect to it to add depth. First, make a new layer above the 'Colors' layer, and clip it. The layer will now be clipped so you will not paint outside the lines and only within the pixels on the parent layer.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 7

STEP 7.

Now, we're going to adjust our brush settings so we can wash some shadows at the upper level of the eye. This will give the highlights we'll add later, more intensity and shine.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 8

STEP 8.

Lock your 'Colors' layer and brush over the top of the eye. Don't make it too dark! You don't want to wash out that lovely pupil.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 9

STEP 9.

Next is the fun part! Let's start filling in some highlights. Make sure your brush is set to the settings I have. This is just my standard brush settings I use in every piece. Feel free to experiment with your brush settings though!
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 10

STEP 10.

Now, brush in the highlights. There's many ways you can highlight the eye in various styles. I went with the two layer highlight approve, which is the most common, but also complex as well. Notice how I have a new layer made beneath the pupil layer so my highlights won't get flattened with my 'Colors' layer.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 11

STEP 11.

Now lock or 'Preserve Opacity' your 'Highlights' layer. We're going to go in and add another tone of highlight to intensify the brightness and sheen.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 12

STEP 12.

Whip out the 'Water' brush, and adjust to the settings shown. This is the part when we'll smudge the highlights into a smooth transition and to lessen the harshness of the highlighting lines.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 13

STEP 13.

I usually add an even brighter tone of highlight to the very middle of the primary lights, this will really bring out the colors of the eye. Make sure you aim for a complimentary color of the base color (yellow is a complimentary color of red). It will contrast the eye and make it so much more vivid. Smudge away those harsh lines, and then take a slightly brighter highlights to add 'sparkles'.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 14

STEP 14.

I love this part! Locking your 'Pupil' layer, take a big soft brush and lightly fill in a brightness to the pupil. It will look so cool once you add the eye white shines.
 
how to color anime eyes digitally step 15

STEP 15.

Make a new layer above all your layers, and color in some blotches of white over the entire pupil and highlights for that extra depth and kick! I hope you guys enjoyed this lesson that shows you how to color anime eyes. Thanks so much for viewing and don't forget to let me know what other tuts like these you would prefer!