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Coloring Tutorial: If I Could

Welcome to the second tutorial de Bre, as requested by Kailia! This tutorial will be a coloring tutorial for this wallpaper:

Now, because this is going to just be a coloring tutorial, you won't be getting the full step-by-step process of how this wallpaper was created. I'll give you the canvas as it was before I started the coloring and links to the textures. If you are interested in more, just let me know and I'll see about changing it to compensate. Now, I get long-winded and crazy with my explanations, but since this is relatively short, it won't be horrible. If I could do footnotes without being obnoxious, I would, and I won't repeat techniques from previous steps, if I can avoid it. This was created using Paint Shop Pro X and it should translate easily enough. This tutorial was created for people with a basic knowledge of their art program.

Please keep in mind that this is merely a tutorial. The idea behind all fanart is experimentation to find your own style and ideas. Please use this as a guide and credit Primordial Souls.

Special Note: These images are all hosted on my site because hotlinking is of the bad. Please don't do it to me. Thank you!

Step One: The Canvas!

Okay, as mentioned above, this is the canvas that I started out with before the coloring. This wallpaper originally began as a perspective piece between Edward and Bella and the emphasis of Bella in comparison with the text from Edward, as well as Edward in the physical manifestation of that text. A good rule of thumb with any and all wallpapers is to make sure that the images you've chosen are either of the same quality, or you spend a little bit of time making them match up a bit better, because if the images are from a different shoot, then they will turn out differently with the coloring, and that will mess with the final product. That being said, always put every single thing you do on a different layer. This will make it that much easier to go back to that specific layer you see a problem with and fix it, instead of having to hit the Undo button thirty times and ruin all of the work that you did.

For this, I was going to go with something a bit darker, just because it was from Edward's perspective and the actual depressing quality of the words he chose, so I made the images darker, with the contrast and because the Kristen Stewart image wasn't so pretty compared to the Robert Pattinson one, I softened them both, just to maintain the same kind of quality. At least, attempt to. *g* The images that I did use are: X and X from Belladonna, X from Radiance, X, X and X from Everglow (credit always equals huge amounts of love!).

Step Two: Colour!

Alrighty then! The fun part! Coloring can be used in so many aspects, it can tell the story of the piece as well as just look pretty, pretty, pretty, depending on your mood (which yes, usually completely owns me depending on the type of day I've had). You have to remember that experimentation is the name of the game here, people! Even a shade darker on any color can change the entire piece, as can the blend mode. Also, please note that you must have of the colors on different layers in order to get the coloring I did on this wall. So for each new color I add in, it's going to be on a new layer.

And, just like in most of my walls, I tend to use solid colors. Even if it's just using a gradient and seeing that part of the wall that looks better than the rest and just using that color through and just not making sense grammatically... yeah. Alas, here we go...

Color #9b8958 set to Soft Light blend mode. I usually always set out with a neutral color as the base, set to Soft Light or Overlay, because it brightens it, depending on the colors of the original images you have in the piece. One thing I like to keep in mind is that texture usually reacts differently than the images that you've used, and I say this because I only want to concentrate on those images, so remember that you can fix it later... as we will do in this wallpaper. So if that didn't make sense, wait for a moment.

This purple gradient set to Soft Light blend mode. Now, as you can see, the lighting has shifted, thanks to the gradient (this is really, for some reason, the only gradient I really enjoy using, because it's super pretty in the Saturation blend mode...), and that's a good thing to keep in mind while doing your piece, about the shift of lighting and how it plays a part in your piece.

Color #27383f set to Overlay blend mode. Now, remembering my earlier note about wanting this piece to look a bit darker, this is where my idea for this piece shifted. Because it just looked cool. Hence, the pretty, pretty, pretty part of the colorizing part. *g* I felt like I emphasized Bella nicely, with the texture in the background creating a kind of glow, but not losing the Edward image in the background. And this blue is just ten shades of epic awesome.

Another thing to remember is the opacity level you can set on your color layers, on any layer really. That definitely can help, for example when an image is lighter than another, you duplicate it, and then lower the opacity so that one isn't brighter than the other, but matching. Did this gibberish maketh sense?

Color #5e6432 set to Soft Light blend mode. Once again, this carries the idea of the darkness, but it also is creating a little bit of a mystical sort of thing, which the texture is helping with. But the orangeish glow of the texture behind Bella is so pretty mixed in with the green, and you can see the blend modes have changed where the images were originally blended, darkening them, and looking a lot cleaner.

Color #7b0b05 set to Lighten blend mode, opacity 25. I really love the color red set to Lighten. It's so pretty, especially in a lower opacity and when you add more coloring and/or texture on top, because it adds a little bit of depth. It also highlights some of the textures and lighter parts of the images in the background... it's just neat looking.

Color #000000 set to Soft Light blend mode. Alrighty then, while the background does look cool in the above image with the red, I feel like it's kind of distracting from the overall blend of Bella and Edward in the center. Not only that, but it's showing me the parts of the textures that I didn't erase completely. Plus, it just helps with the focus, in my opinion, when you've got brighter colors on your main idea in the piece, and everything blended into a negative space in the background. So, to acheive this, I get my lasso tool, set the feather to 200 and just erase bits and pieces here and there from this layer, until only the surrounding areas around the main images are affected by the Soft Light blend mode. This is jumping back to the earlier note of using a current layer to fix an earlier mistake and/or color difference.

Color #1c3438 set to Exclusion blend mode, opacity 25. This is the same idea for me as the red set to the Lighten blend mode. It creates a little more color in the black background and it emphasizes certain lightened aspects of the piece. It makes it look a little less morbid, as the red did, and it adds, once again, to the somewhat mystical idea behind the piece, what the text will be reflecting.

And that's it for the color!

Step Three: Text Me!

I'm only including this in here because the color of the text that you choose should reflect the color scheme of your piece, at least to a certain degree. Using just plain white, especially in a dark piece is wowza boring and achingly painful to the eyeballs. So what I usually do is take the dropper tool and start choosing random colors from the piece that just jump out at me, colors that could stand against the darker background, and then check out my color palatte and start playing with them from there. Remember, experiment! One color may look good, another will look perfect. It's all in the fun...

Usually, I will get the text on there and take it down a few layers, below some of the color layers that I've added in, because it looks pretty cool. Alas, this time, I did not. I used the words, "If I could dream at all, it would be about you" and I chose the words that I wanted to be larger, to be the emphasis ("It would be about you" - chosen because of the nature of the piece, what Edward's thinking and the love he feels for Bella, etc) and then I added in some smaller text for the rest of the sentence.

The text is color #a39e94 set to Dodge blend mode. Now, obviously this is way too dang light!

But! The coloring in it is so pretty, and I want to keep it in some capacity. So, I duplicated that layer (right click on the layer and select the Duplicate option) and set that layer's blend mode to Hard Light, which emphasized the lightness of the original color, without losing the coloring throughout...

And then you're done!

A few notes in general:
-Always credit your resources!
-If you fancy, leave your signature somewhere on the piece, but try to place it where it can't be erased noticeably, or where it disrupts the overall piece.
-Remember to save a .pspimage or .psd of your wallpaper for at least a while because eight times out of ten, when you look back at your wallpaper, you notice that one little thing that you forgot to fix, or that little edge that needs to go, and this way, you can do that without having to recreate the entire thing.

And that's it! I hope this was helpful to some people, amusing to others, and overall interesting. Please remember that this is a guide, not permission to replicate this and call it your own. Only by experimenting and finding your 'thang' can you really find your groove. If you do use this tutorial, remember to credit Primordial Souls.

I would love to see what you've come up with, if you fancy sending it to me, either on the tagboard or not-so-snail mail. :D

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