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Uploaded: September 3, 2008
Artist: Dawn
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 18
Updated: September 4, 2008
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In this quick and easy tutorial you will learn all the tricks of the trade when it comes to coloring Edward Elric. This is a tutorial coloring lesson that will help you learn you basic shading, coloring, highlighting, and lining of your finished character drawing. I made the steps easy to read and follow to insure that you get a fluent understanding on how to color in Photoshop. This tutorial is for those that are new to Photoshop, are existing users of Photoshop but have not yet learned how to color, or for those of you that are beginning to explore the coloring concept of this art lovers program. I hope you will come out of this coloring tutorial with some basic coloring skills. Remember, once you learned how to color Edward Elric you should be able to color any other character that you desire because all the principles stay the same. Well let me let you start this online coloring lesson so you can use your technique with something new.

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how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop

How to Color Edward Elric From Full Metal Alchemist In Photoshop

how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 1

STEP 1.

Okay so now we will first start off with a basic rough sketch. The rough sketch should always pin point where the body is positioned in. When you draw your final lines on a separate layer, be sure that you are absolutely positive that you want your character this way. Sometimes when I draw my characters, I end up drawing them more detailed for my final line art layer.
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 2

STEP 2.

Okay now that you have your rough sketch all settled, we will make a new layer to begin our final lining. This is a finalizing process to make your image clean and clear. I am using a Wacom tablet to draw all my lines and coloring. If you don't have one you can use the pen tool to make your lines. That however is a different tutorial to show to do use the pen tool. You can also check out my line-art tutorial listed in the anime manga > characters category.
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 3

STEP 3.

This is the color scheme that I used to color Edward Elric. I picked my colors by getting an image of Edward online and then picking the base colors of his clothing, skin, hair etc. I then made a palette out of it. What is a palette? It is an area of carefully chosen colors that will be focused as base colors for an image. I always use a palette. A cool option in Adobe Photoshop is that you can make swatches or palettes. Well anyways, the colors shown above are harmonious colors. Well I guess that's all I have to say about this step, ready for the next??? Edward awaits! ^_^
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 4

STEP 4.

OK now that I finished lining out the image, we will begin to color! The coloring process we will be using is suitable for a mouse and a tablet. All you need to do is make a new layer and call it 'color'. After that make sure you lock your line art layer. When you lock layers, it prevents you from coloring or drawing on it. Anyways, click your color layer and get out your magic wand tool. Select an area on your image that you want colored. On the screen hit Select > Modify > Expand. A small screen will pop up and it will show pixels. Make sure it is set to 1. Click okay and then get out your Fill tool. This will color the whole selection without going out of the lines! Continue this process to color other parts of Edward's body. Yay that was easy wasn't it!?
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 5

STEP 5.

Now, as you can see I finished coloring Edward. Here's when the coloring starts to pay off. We are going to shade!! Make a new layer and call it shades. Set its effect to multiply. This will make a chosen color darker then it is. In almost all of my images I use this technique of shading. I find it the best way to lay down your shadows. Ok I know your probably wondering, "I'll go out of the lines when I shade!" Don't worry about that, we will mask this layer on the Color layer. This will stop you from going out of the lines. If you have Photoshop lower then CS2, click on your keyboard Ctrl-G. This will automatically mask your layer. If you have Photoshop higher then CS, then right click on your layer and hit 'Create Clipping Mask.' Well that's pretty much all for this step. Let's get our Full Metal Alchemist character into superior action!
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 6

STEP 6.

Nom nom...OK now before we even start to shade, we are going to alter our brush settings to make shading control easier. This technique however is suitable only for a Wacom Tablet. Now if you have one, set your brush to the settings shown. Watch out for the chibi slob! He will munch on your fingers!
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 7

STEP 7.

Everyone must know about the light source in images...right? Well if you don't know about it then I will tell you! The light source is simply the direction light is coming from. In this case, the light source is coming from the top left corner. When you shade and highlight your image, you must always keep in mind your light source. Everyone makes the common mistake of bad lighting. If you acknowledge the light source then you should be perfectly fine. Your off to a good start! Edward seems to be happy to learn about it XDD
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 8

STEP 8.

Ok now we will begin to shade. When shading make sure you get in those creases and corners. This will make your image seem to 'pop out' from its place. The settings of our brush is making shading control very easy. If you feel satisfied about your results, get a soft round and low opacity brush and lightly shade in some spots. This technique will give a soft and hard look to your Full Metal Alchemist character. You don't have to use that technique though. Your image will still look good anyways ^_^
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 9

STEP 9.

Ahem...now we will get out a smaller brush hard edged brush and make some of the shadows more bold. Make sure the brush setting is the same as the one you used previously! Now this shading will make your image more crisp and realistic. When you start adding these shades make sure you add them only to places that need to 'pop' off the page. For example, his hair is over his face. If you don't add bold shades beneath the hair then it will seem its mended with the skin. I hope I made that clear XDD. Details details details, right Edward Elric!?!
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 10

STEP 10.

Yay! We are now going to proceed to the highlighting step! This step should be easy for you to accomplish. Shading and highlighting takes a lot of practice. I remember when I first got Photoshop and I started to color and shade unaware of the shading and highlighting rules. So now, make a new layer and set it's settings to 'Screen' This will make the color you have selected appear lighter. Don't forget to mask this layer so you don't go out of the lines!
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 11

STEP 11.

Now start highlighting! Highlight only the spots that you think light would be hitting. Remember your light source! Once you realize your light source, you are pretty much perfectly ready to highlight areas that need some brightness. Use the same brush settings as the shading one. The brush I am using is a hard edged one. I don't use soft brushes. I like my highlighting to come out like I've just painted in an old fashion way ^_^
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 12

STEP 12.

Now my favorite part about this step is that we're gonna use an almost white color to give Edward's face some volume. In a lot of the anime and manga I see characters that have these 'white spots' beneath their eyes, lips and nose. When you add these white areas to the skin, make sure you carefully put them on the darkest part of the face. If you put it on light areas, it will not be clearly visible. I must warn you though. Do not overdo this technique. You don't want your character's skin to look like plastic or doll like. A lot of people make this mistake. Now that you have finished adding those sweet highlight spots its time to move onto the next adventurous step!
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 13

STEP 13.

Hmmmmm...now we will start to do the hair shading and highlighting. A lot of people request tutorials on how to color the hair and how to make that 'shine' effect on the hair. In these steps I will show you how to achieve this task. First thing is first though. Go on your 'shades' layer and lay down some soft streaks of toned color. Later on these streaks will look like strands of hair.
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 14

STEP 14.

Ok...now get out your smudge tool! This is where the magic begins for the hair! We want Edward's hairs to look really pretty don't we??? Set your smudge tool to the settings shown in the image. After you have done that we are ready to prepare for the next step. I can't wait to get Edward to look even handsomer!! Ha I so own him XDDD...ahem just kidding =P
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 15

STEP 15.

Now this is where all that hair shading starts to pay off. This is the favorite part that everyone has been waiting for! We are now going to do the hair highlighting! This is personally my favorite part about coloring. First things first, go on your highlights layer. REMEMBER, use the same brush settings as the ones you used to shade and highlight. Never change the settings you put them on. OK, pick a color that is lighter then the hair. NEVER USE WHITE TO HIGHLIGHT!!! It will make the hair lose its quality and seem 'garish'. Now that you have laid out your highlights, its time to move onto the next step!
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 16

STEP 16.

Once again, get out your smudge tool and smudge all of that highlight in. You never want your highlights to look bold! If you do then it will look like as if Edward's hair was rinsed in grease. Smudge carefully and don't overdo it. If you do then you will have to highlight it again which will lead you to end up coloring the whole head again!
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 17

STEP 17.

Well folks, this is pretty much the last step to the finish point. This is pretty much the best part of highlighting hair. Pick a color that is is lighter then the previous one you used. In this case I used an almost white yellow. Get out a very small hard edged brush and lightly stroke small areas in the hair. You can zig-zag the strokes or just make a squiggly line. NEVER make a straight line! Repeat this in other parts of the hair. REMEMBER NEVER TO OVERDO THIS TECHNIQUE!!! Otherwise the hair will look very greasy and gross.
 
how to color edward elric from full metal alchemist in photoshop step 18

STEP 18.

And guess what!! We're done!! Total Edward pwnage! I made a new layer and got out a very low opacity soft brush added some blue to his skin and clothes. This will make him look like he's actually in the atmosphere he's in. This will make more realism to your character. Well everyone, I guess that's pretty much it. I hope you all enjoyed this step by step tutorial on how to color Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist. I looooove that anime with a total passion. Edward is extremely funny and adorable!! I is drooling over the finished image...lawl just kidding X333 Well guys, its time for me to go to sleep. I spent hours upon hours on this. Peace out for now!