screenshot showing my working color layer and my frame layer turned on
i’ll try to explain this. it looks messy, but it isn’t. there are three color groups on the top row for skin tone—LIGHT, MEDIUM, and DARK. there’s also black and white (because you need those). then, center left, i have some pink colors for lips. then, on the bottom row, i have three more groups—two groups for eye color (the dull colors and the vibrant colors), and a final group for his jacket.
you can make as many color groups as you need based on what there is. some colors i use, some colors i don’t. but the more you build up, the easier it is to get the colors when you need them. depends on what version of PS you have, too. i’m using my laptop, so things are a bit old school.
the big mess in the middle is what i work with.
i pick colors by first looking at the source image and picking out the base color, which you can see as the color at the very top left. it sounds silly, but to pick the base color, i usually think in terms of makeup—if the person were wearing liquid foundation, what color would they wear?
after i have my base color, i use my palette and build—light to dark, green to red—all around the base color. often, i will blend right on the drawing, or i’ll “find” a color while i’m drawing and then want to keep it, so i’ll add it to the palette.
you could also use gradients if you want, but i find this way to be more natural.
things to remember:
- people have either “gold” or “silver” complexions. if they’re gold, they look better in gold jewelry, and same with silver. gold complexions veer toward the orange. silver complexions veer toward the purple. EXAMPLES OF GOLD PEOPLE: jensen ackles, michael fassbender, nathan fillion, neil patrick harris, tom felton, rupert grint, emma watson, alexander skarsgard. EXAMPLES OF SILVER PEOPLE: misha collins, kristen stewart, johnny depp, daniel radcliffe, david tennant, hugh laurie, john barrowman.
- the colors in a person’s skin are always darker than what i think they are.