|COLOURS AND RGB VALS|
Once you are happy with your lineart, you need to decide how best to colour it.
Good selection of colours not only takes your art closer to looking like a real object, but can add personality and mood to it.
Conversely inappropriate use of or mixing of colour is instantly noticeable and most distracting.
RGB VALUESComputers use a combination of three different colours to create a single pixel : Red, Green and Blue (RGB)
Inside a computer, each of these three colours is given a value from 0 to 255, where 0 means 'none' and 255 means 'a lot of'
These colours can be mixed in varying amounts to generate different single colours on a pixel, like paint. However some of the colours generated are not what you would expect from mixing paints.
255 , 0 , 0 gives a very bright red.
1 , 1 , 1 gives black.
255 , 255 , 255 gives pure white.
140 , 140 , 140 gives a medium grey.
NOTE - 0 , 0 , 0 is often reserved for a special case - transparency
Preset palettes may come with some nice colours, but an understanding of how to create new colours, and find new shades of existing ones with RGB values is helpful.
Many modern art packages have windows like that shown below on the left, allowing you to pick colours from a vertiable rainbow.
Graphics Gale which I recommended earlier also lets you load your own custom palettes, but creating new ones requires double clicking on a colour before selecting from this range, or manual use of the RGB sliders.
The sliders may initially seem cumbersome and confusing, but you quickly get used to them and as they reside in the same window, they actually end up faster to use. Use of them can give you a good understanding of colour via RGB values.
For art in general, I find it preferrable to use 'softer', pastel colours and avoid strong, neon colours (ones with a very high value in one or two RGB values, and a very low value in the others ) They have their place, but they are very garish and I would advise against using them often.
Here are a few examples of colours that I personally think work well, and colours I don't :
As mentioned at the top, use of colour can be very important in creating mood. Light, pastel tones - close to grey (almost equal RGB values) create a soft, carefree atmosphere. Dark colours, with low RGB values create an oppressive, brooding atmosphere.
Using a restricted palette with variations on a single colour can produce some interesting results. A Grey palette is often used for flashback scenes. Brown palettes look like parchment or old photos. A blue palette can be used to evoke everything from an ocean vibe to deep sadness.
Finding the right colour(s) for your piece isn't always easy. Some experimentation may be required, so don't be afraid to use those RGB sliders.
It took a few false starts to find a suitably vibrant, non-clashing set of colours for this superhero:
The initial colours I chose for this column failed to fit with the mood of the scene they were to be inserted into. The top is too dark and gloomy, the blue on the bottom too obtrusive. Some edits used a lighter yellowy-grey for the top (all RGB values increased), and a cooler glacial blue for the bottom (all RGB values increased. Red value then raised even higher, closer to the Blue value)
Photographs and other people's pixel art can be a great source of colour inspiration if you find yourself stuck for ideas.