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Digital Painting Video - Greyscale to Color by ClintCearley Digital Painting Video - Greyscale to Color by ClintCearley
View video Here on my YouTube channel Swatches!

The 26-minute instructional video by illustrator Clint Cearley examines the technique of progressing a greyscale image into a color one with tips to remember and problems to avoid. It's not flashy but it answers some good art questions.
If you find this video useful leave a comment and let me know. If I receive enough interest I would consider making it an ongoing thing. Also, let me know what other topics or questions you would like see covered.

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Fine Print: Program used is Photoshop CS5. Image used in video is Lady Paradoxia, created by the author for the game Legend of the Cryptids. Image © Applibot, used with permission.
Add a Comment:
 
:icongytersol:
Gytersol Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  New Deviant
very helpful video tutorial ,thank you very much for sharing this. I have downloaded this video using total video downloader for mac from vimeo, hope to keep this for learning.. 
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:iconisolationwhite:
IsolationWhite Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2015
Very informative, you really know your way around an easily understandable tutorial type deal :)
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:iconjpmneg:
JPMNeg Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015

Thank you so much for your time and effort doing this.

As a hobbiest it is very hard to find detailed answers to technique questions like the ones in this video.

Everyone looking for ways to improve should see this.

You have my sincere gratitude.

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:icondok-alexa:
Dok-aLeXa Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Excellent video and tutorial. Really appreciate your taking the time to share your process. 
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:iconkhancopperfox:
khancopperfox Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very useful.  I found the explanation of using white as a cherry on top very useful.  As well as black as a cold color.  I never realized it.  Very very helpful.  How would you use contrasting tones white vs black to balance a composition?   Or do you never reach these extremes?
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:iconhypersergio:
hypersergio Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
cheking the vid thanks for the help!! reallly nice work!!!
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:icontiancum:
Tiancum Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for the video! the explanation of midtones and greys vs white and black really helped me a lot! i still have a lot to learn, but i feel like these principles will be a huge leap in the overall quality of my art from now on. please make more like this when you can. :nod:
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:iconclintcearley:
ClintCearley Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Professional General Artist
You're welcome, I'm glad you found the video helpful. Is there any topic any particular you'd be interested in having covered next?
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:icontiancum:
Tiancum Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, I can't speak for everyone, but I think it would be awesome just to watch your full process for one of your next paintings. Or at least most of the process, even if it's a smaller one. I know that would probably be a hassle with having the tool windows covering part of your screen capture like in this one, but that would honestly be amazing. Like even showing the way you handle preliminary sketches and mess with composition and color schemes to get it just right. 
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:iconclintcearley:
ClintCearley Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank for the suggestion, it's one that I've been considering but it's tricky as the process generally spans several days. Perhaps I can make one that's just a cut of the highlights and major decision points.
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:iconp0rkytso:
p0rkytso Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome tut! ty
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:iconcal-mckendry:
Cal-McKendry Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Profound video...  I've taken 4 years of specialised art highschool, and 4 more for college, and neither one of them described so well what you did concerning your mid-tones and whites. This video has certainly hit home to me and will effect the way I paint from now on. I'm definitely going to be more mindful of the mid-tones I seem to be ignoring, and explore more the colour theory I thought I had already learned long ago. My pieces are cold, and my highlights too similar despite being different materials, and I think it's because I rush too quickly from dark brown to light brown to lighter brown -then white. You've inspired me to take the time and try and simulate light and dark in more ways then just adding white or black. Also I'm one of those who lacked a reason for using Overlay, but used it because I thought that was how all digi-painters did it. Thank you for elaborating on the differences between that and Color. Thank you for this, it means a lot to every one of us.
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:iconclintcearley:
ClintCearley Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Professional General Artist
I appreciate your comment and glad to hear that the video was helpful. It is somewhat sad however that in the course of 8 years of art education the issue was never properly addressed. More and more I see the need for some art instruction to cover issues that just aren't taught in most schools. Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts.
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:iconcal-mckendry:
Cal-McKendry Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I'm surprised and honored that you'd respond to my comment, and so quickly too. Thank you. The schools more just told us to try it, and didn't allow for many questions, and some people got it right away (and were more the naturally-gifted artists in the room) ...and others like me just couldn't quite grasp beyond using colour wheel complimentary colours for light and shadow. It left for a lot of guessing, and a lot of disappointing grades. Thanks again for the video, and if I were to recommend a future topic or two, they'd be going more in detail on how you made your "selections" (like with a lasso tool? -what'd you do?) ...and how to place believable vanishing points when setting up your perspective.
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:iconclintcearley:
ClintCearley Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Professional General Artist
From your description those schools weren't really worth going to. Rule of thumb: if the teacher can't explain WHY you should do something and DEMONSTRATE how to do then it is your responsibility as the student to find a new teacher. Of course many schools would probably close if everyone followed that edict and all the degree-carrying artists out there without the skill to survive on their art would have to start flipping burgers or something and that wouldn't be any good.
Thanks for the topic suggestions, I'll add them to the list!
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:iconcal-mckendry:
Cal-McKendry Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Surreal, I'm looking at your gallery, and saw Gheist Honored Monk there, looked back to my desk piled with magic cards to see it sitting face up on top of a deck I was building. Certainly resonates with how great an opportunity it is to get tips from a professional in the field. Much appreciated.
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:iconcrioarts:
CrioArts Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very very much for sharing the knowledge and experience with others.
Your videos are very helpful.
Best of luck.
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:iconbnolin:
bnolin Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Video is very helpful. Thanks for taking time to do this!!
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:icondepressedheartling:
DepressedHeartling Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
This helped me so much thank you for making this video. 
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:iconmanishachan:
ManishaChan Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
ohhh you're the guy who's video i watched! awesome! :XD:
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:iconalwaheibi:
Alwaheibi Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
than you very much iam in a journey to develop my digital painting .. 
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:icontybertimus:
Tybertimus Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Favoriting to watch later, when I'm not at work. Judging by your work, I'm going to enjoy this very much :)
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:iconbullcazzo:
Bullcazzo Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Damascus, is photoshop cs6 used to create the magical effects in art like the legend of the cryptids? Thanks for responding:)
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:iconclintcearley:
ClintCearley Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Professional General Artist
Most of the art created for LotC was made in Photoshop, whether it is CS6 specifically I don't know. Personally, I'm still on CS5 though CS4 is pretty much the same as far as what I need it for. Corel Painter is also excellent program and some of the art is probably made using it. As far as the "magical effects", I am unsure if you're referring to a particular visual effect of glowing arcane magic or just the general magical-ness of the images. If you can elaborate then I can give a more precise answer.
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:iconbullcazzo:
Bullcazzo Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Student Traditional Artist

First of all, I cant express how grateful I am that you not only took the time to read my post but also answer it. Im actually referring to the arcane effects. I do a lot of traditional work and most of it has a hint of magic and such. I am currently exploring what digital art has to offer as far as various programs that will suit my needs when it comes to rendering magical (arcane) effects. I love the brilliance of the lighting and the color morphing and swirling sort of thing. I just recently downloaded photoshop cs6. Is this sufficient in what im trying to accomplish (magical/arcane effects) or should I be looking for additional programs?

 

I actually thought about buying corel but I didn't want to do that if photoshop is more than enough to accomplish this. As you and I both know....these programs aren't cheap and I don't want to go spending additional cash where I need not.

 

Now that being said....I confess, I no nothing of photoshop but I'm learning some pretty cool things that can be done with it when it comes to using certain brushes like fire, smoke, lightning, and the list seems to be endless. Should I look for additional programs or should keep what I have and look no further? Thanks again, D.

 

 

 

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:iconclintcearley:
ClintCearley Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
Photoshop is completely capable of doing what you're talking about but PS is a medium just like any other and will take time to learn. Understand that using PS well still relies on the artist having a firm understanding of artistic principles, PS's filters and fancy brushes can't make up for bad fundamentals. Of course, if you don't have a Wacom pad then you absolutely must get one so you can take advantage of PS's pressure sensitive features.
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:iconbullcazzo:
Bullcazzo Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Student Traditional Artist

Damascus. You're simply awesome. Thank you Sir.

 

# I have a 24hd Cintiq.

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:iconstoskri:
Stoskri Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome, very useful. Some of this I've already used, but I love some of the clever ways you do things, especially the selection layers, quick & easy. I wonder if you ever to tut's on composition, form, figures, lighting, or that sort of thing? You have fantastic movement to your work!
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:iconalerafa:
AleRafa Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Exactly what I was looking for, thank you so much!
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:iconclintcearley:
ClintCearley Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Great, glad I could help!
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:icontimareezadel:
TimareeZadel Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Insanely helpful. Thanks for sharing!
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:iconalyssa-rice:
Alyssa-Rice Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
great tutorial! I've really stumbled with this technique because I was confused on how to make the colors vibrant enough, or to know really what range of gray values to stay in.
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:iconclintcearley:
ClintCearley Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks, I'm glad you found it helpful.
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:iconalivanart:
AlivanArt Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013
i use to think having lineart was a crutch that must be done away with.. because of these speed painters.. and i simply can't do it.. im glad to hear its a viable technique still... and its how i work and should embrace it!
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:iconclintcearley:
ClintCearley Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Absolutely, line art is not a crutch, it's just one of many different approaches. Each approach has its own pros and cons and which you use is dependent on your goal.
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:iconalivanart:
AlivanArt Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013
wow! photoshop CS5 allows you to color pick only on that layer??? i been waiting for that for years!!!
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:iconfreemager:
freemager Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
thank you very much for this video, your tips are really helpful and your explanation clear. I found especially useful the use of different blending layers method and the use of the layer mask. Also very interesting the increasing level of details you go through by adding layers one above the other, rather than working on a single one.

Because you asked it... I would really appreciate something about color and composition and know your opinion on which among different color painting ways suit better a specific illustration's goal.
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:iconmdperry:
MDPerry Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for posting this! Your explanations helped a lot. :boogie:
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:iconehillustrations:
eHillustrations Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Interesting video. Definitely helpful. The finished painting looks marvelous :)
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:icontimvithor:
TimVithor Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome! Really nice tip. I'll use it soon.
Reply
:iconnagoshiashumari:
NagoshiAshumari Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Digital Artist
This is by far the most helpful video / tutorial I've seen on this technique. Thank you so much for making this, I might finally be able to try this method.
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:iconclintcearley:
ClintCearley Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
That's great to hear, thanks!
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:iconpikajane:
pikajane Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Wonderful video! I think what was most useful to me in this video is what you said and demonstrated about using white and black, and how they are both cool colors. I also learned a lot about the color layer and its benefits in comparison to using the multiply layer. Thank you very much!
Reply
:icongarrettpack:
GarrettPack Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012   Digital Artist
Great tutorial. Covered a lot in a short time. Thanks for sharing!
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:iconrambocambo:
rambocambo Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Had a couple of Eureka! moments during this. Thanks for putting it together.
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:iconliquidchaos:
LiquidChaos Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
:iconriikozor: actually ended up pointing me this way for an explanation on something she'd been doing and I must say I am feeling inspired enough to try it out!
Reply
:iconmaiden-in-black:
Maiden-In-Black Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I didn't know the trick of the eyedropper (select the color of only one layer, not all the layers), thank you so much!
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:iconzolaida:
Zolaida Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012   Digital Artist
This helps me so much, I've learned some things and I'm just starting a piece in b/w since I had trouble with the values starting in color. So really, thank you!
Reply
:iconveronikarion:
Veronikarion Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student
oh this is one of the topics it's awesome to know about! Thank you very much for sharing!
Reply
:icongravilia:
Gravilia Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That was amazingly good. 26 minutes well spent. Thank you for sharing this!
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