Part 3 of Ishiwatari Daisuke’s “Method of Illustration”
Work 09 Copics
I’ve moved on from the colored pencil contours in Work 08 (>Pg. 157), and using a Light Copic Marker to follow the same color contour paths with some shading now.
Shadows naturally develop from deeper color hues, so I stopped when I reached this degree of coating.
For this section, again, I chose a carefully considered Highlighter.*
*(Using a light copic marker with multiple coats/cross-hatches will deepen the color, giving it that ideal darker hue for shadows. When working with soft brush colors in Photoshop, using Multiply/Additive/Overlay brush effects with a low Opacity and Flow produces a similar effect.)
Work 10 Copics
COLOR FOUNDATION FOR THE SKIN
Once I’m sure there are no more sections from Work 09 left to for the Highlighter, I begin to coat the rest of this section with a full skin color.
To be more specific about what sections I highlighted: the under-arm and shoulder, the frame (of the skin), the back of the hands, the pisa*, and the tip of the nose and lips.
We make an exception hereafter to not highlight the deeper shaded sections, the best Copic of choice being the thin, flesh-colored E-0000 marker to work on the top sections (of skin).
*(Pisa is probably an art anatomical term for parts of the body or skin that are bent, pressed, or being leaned on to cause it to wrinkle, curve, or flex outwards, affecting light contours on the surface. So in this case, the kneecap, legs, or parts of May’s right arm near her elbow.)
Work 11 Copics
COLOR FOUNDATION FOR EVERYTHING ELSE
Once I have chosen a good sense of color for everything from my Overlap*, I begin laying a key foundation of flat, balanced colors across the hair, clothing, and background.
*(Atari: Color Palette Layer.)
This time, I spread the colors together in a grouping of various brown colors for the image.
Using a system of brown colors alongside May’s original Orange clothing color scheme gave it a rather depressing impression with the last result, so this time, I chose a stronger yellow (amber) outfit to make it stand out more.
Work 12 Copics
TEXTURING THE HAIR
After laying Work 11’s groundwork, I begin coloring the upper portions of the head of hair with various brown colors I chose to give it a sense of texture.
In my case, giving the hair a beveled (dimensional, pointed, or sticking-out) texture is not limited to just this character.*
*(Beveling the hair shading to give it volume is a personal style preference of his.)
For coloring this foundation (though a natural blonde hair color is just fine for some highlights), I couldn’t go with blonde because various other white colors conflicted with the result in spite of what I wanted to take advantage of, so this time the hair colors were these (various shades of brown/tea/auburn/beige).
These four steps involve an intricate understanding and use of blending light values (highlights and shading with a chosen light source), color choice (complimentary colors for a color palette), and familiarity with copic markers or overlayed brushwork.
I suggest practicing shading with objects like a ball or a cube or observing how shadows fall across the human body when looking at a live subject.
Of course, understanding how light and shadow interact is just one part of it. The other part is knowing how colors blend and mix to give it a natural hue and color depth.
The way Daisuke bevels his characters’ hair isn’t the natural way to paint hair, but more an illustration style choice. Hair doesn’t naturally look like a piece of chiseled out wood-work, but if you want to achieve that effect…take a look at some wooden sculptures or glazed furniture or plastic sculpts and see how the material’s surface is treated and how light affects and interacts with it.
Hair is, of course, naturally much softer, so treating the shadows and highlights with a softer brush or soft edged copic marker might be a good idea.
For skin tones, natural skin is also much much softer and subtle in texture. Though if I were to make a comparison between this anime-like style of illustrating skin tones… It would be similar to coloring the contours of a cooked hot-dog or something with a shiny plastic-like (but soft) skin surface.
For shading this kind of skin, you need to understand how skin stretches and takes shape across the body and where the light will hit it during certain poses.
As said before, shadows are just a deeper version of the same skin color you use, while highlights might be a complimentary lighter tone.
In general it’s not that hard to find a decent skin tutorial, but I do recommend checking these two out, just to get a better idea of how tones work.
Overall though, having a good grasp of how light interacts with shadow and how colors blend and impose on one another on different surfaces would serve you well. You might want to work in black and white first and then choose which skin tone colors you want to work with, so that you have a stronger idea of what you want to choose for tones and colors from other light sources.