I use Paint tool Krita (IT’S FREE) but you can use what ever program you wish~
First you start with a basic sketch, I prefer to use a pencil that works just how a normal pencil does. You can recolor it to blue or red if you prefer to help you pay attention to details or make sure that there are not any random blotches lying around that will mess with your final piece.
Next go in and do some coloring. Generally I go with my gut on what I like but you can always feel free to use a specified color pallet. Just color in drawing and do light amounts of shading. (There is a reason for this but if you want too go right ahead). After blend in colors so that they are not so “blocky” unless if that is what you are going for.
Next is highlights (my favorite step) when using highlights pay attention to your light source, and pay attention to areas that would cast a shadow, such as bangs. Make sure you use the airbrush FIRST then go in with a sketch pencil, you want them both set to add (not on the layer though) the reason why you want to use the pencil second is because it will make the brights brighter while still leaving in some areas that will not be as bright (kinda like how your normal strands of hair glow). After take the air brush that you use and set it multiply and LIGHTLY add black to areas that you want to (I just used it on the hair a little) Take note that for this particular piece black would work but in other cases it can make your pallet all mucky so if it works, lucky you! If it does not, simply test out other colors, they can even be kinda weird if that’s what you want!
Lastly I just did a few touch ups and I copied the layer and lightly use an airbrush on the top layer and made the entire drawing a medium gray (you want details to show through though) after that I set the layer to linear light (if you use paint tool SAI this would be Lumi and Shade) and changed the opacity to about 48% (play around with it until you get the result that you want, and that’s about it!
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