11 Finalizing and coloring a concept drawing



So using Storyboard Pro, I inked my drawing.  It is now a piece of vector art. I separated the character’s into their own layers.  The Sorcerer’s in one layer, the Apes on another, the Viper on it’s own, Rob and the raven on their own layer and finally the background on it’s own.  This meant that a I had to “finish” some of the characters. Like the viper. Also, I had to draw the full background as well.

If you compare this drawing with other finished versions, you will see two differences: 1. is that the background is actually smaller and lower in the frame than in the other version. The reason for this was because a friend of mine looked at the other drawing and suggested I clear the background more in order to give the characters a better silhouette. It was good advice. If fact, if you look at the original thumbnails of the drawing, I had it lower.  The reason it was up higher was because I was originally going to make it black, remember? That way Rob would be left white and he would stand out. Since I didn’t end up doing that, there really was no need to keep the background high, but the change would be easier at this stage than it was with the finished pencil.

The 2nd difference is that the aspect ratio of the drawing changed.  There is now more room on the top and bottom of the frame.  This meant I had to draw the rest of some of the monsters.

Now that I have the drawing digitized, I can start experimenting with camera moves, colors and different types of looks. That way, I can test out what I want the final cartoon to look like.


Now that I have the drawing up on the computer, vectorized and inked, I started trying out style tests.

My first test was an attempt at a thick outline around the art.  I only got as far as the Sorcerers before I made up my mind that it was too much work and it didn’t look the way I wanted it too:


My next test was to add a black shadow to the drawing.  To be honest, I think I did a lousy job inking the drawing.  I put all the blacks in all the wrong spots. I should have blacked out the background instead of the characters.  Still. As lousy as it turned out, I found it very difficult to get the same effects I usually get with an actual brush.  I didn’t like the process much, so I decided I didn’t want to go in that direction anyway:


The test after that, was just to keep the lines I had and color the drawing.

At first, I was thinking I would use a self ink line, but then I didn’t want to re-ink the drawing all over again. I also realized that it would have been far more work than I really wanted to do.

I have very little experience with color and I had no idea where to begin.  I started coloring the drawing like I would have normally done it, namely, color everything the color it is.  The more I though about that though, the more I thought I needed to really think more holistic about it.  I thought, instead of using all the colors I could, I should limit my pallet and think about how the drawing should feel rather than the what color the sky is normally and what color apes are normally.

I decided to make the dominant color green.  Green was going to be the color of the Sorcerers. Why? Well it worked on Disney’s SLEEPING BEAUTY.


I thought green would work for a “strange magick” feel.

I’m planning to make red  Rob’s “I’m angry. It’s time for payback” color and blues and yellow where going to be the calm normal colors.  Since this particular drawing was dominated by the Sorcerers, I thought it should be green.

I started laying down the colors but I’m not done yet.  This is what I have so far:



Started to “model out” the drawings this week.  I only got to work on the drawing on Sunday so I didn’t get much done. I only got two out the three Sorcerers started.  I still have  a bit more to do on them but it’s a start:


I think this is actually what I want. I like the way it look and I’m enjoying myself.  I’ll see how much time it takes. If it isn’t too bad, I’ll color the whole cartoon this way.  It’s not like I’m going to animate it so I can get away with a more rendered out look.

I’m using my tonal study as a guide and I’m very glad I have it. It’s taking away the guess work so I can concentrate on  getting the look and the brushes right.  Hopefully next week I’ll have more to write and show.


I’ve been really trying to get the coloring of the drawing done.  It’s pretty much there. I’ll need to add and clean up a few things but this is pretty much the way it will look:


Once I do the slight adjustments, I’m going to begin experimenting on the movement.  I painted it all using Storyboard Pro.  I’m not sure how much all the line work is going to slow down the program. I hope it’s not much, otherwise, this was all for nothing, or at the very least, will take me longer to do if I need to use another program.  I hope I can do what I need to do.

What I did above was, take my old value study:


and used it as a guide for my colors.  It helped a TON and I’m going to do it again with just about everything I do with color from now on.  It took a lot of the guess work out of what I needed to do next and how I need to approach coloring it.

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