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Title: How to color a Manga/Anime in Paint
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How to color a Manga/Anime in Paint.NET
This tutorial assumes a basic knowledge of using Paint.NET – i.e. the use of the
‘selection tools’, Gradients and the Magic Wand.
Random Shape Fill
I will use this abbreviation T-A to denote the Transparency-Alpha in this tutorial. It can
be found in the color window after you click on ‘more’.
Be aware at all times which layer you are painting on.
You can draw your own Manga/Anime, or use the one provided for this tutorial here. Just
save it and paste into a new, transparent layer in Paint.NET – above the Background
If you make your own sketch, remember to have clear, solid lines – not too thick – and
make sure all the lines meet. This is important for using the magic wand to select areas,
so that you can fill with color easily and without going outside of the lines.
In the tutorial you will be returning to the Manga Outline Layer repeatedly, to ‘select
areas’ and then you will ‘switch’ to another layer to add colors, shading, highlighting, etc.
Make sure to centre the Manga after uploading: Effects – Align Object - Center
Make your Background Layer – with a Linear Gradient with the colors: E1D0C9 and
New Layer – this is for the solid colors of the Manga. Choose your own, or you can use
the color swatches I’ve used for the tutorial. Name this layer Base Color.
With the magic wand tool ‘select’ the skin on the Manga Layer and then switch to the
Base Color Layer and with the paint bucket tool add the color FDE8D5 to the face and
neck area. Don’t forget the ear!
Working back and forth between the Manga Layer and Base Color Layer, select each
area to color and go back to the Base Color Layer to add the color, whilst the Manga is
still selected (ants around the selected area).
Tips: To zoom: Ctrl + for in and Ctrl – for out.
Or: Ctrl and scroll with mouse wheel
To select more than one area at a time with the magic wand
, press Ctrl whilst
New Layer for the shading – named …………. Shading!
Again, working back and forth using the main Manga to select the area, begin with
shading the face and neck with a color – I’ve used F5BABA.
Set the Transparency-Alpha at #4 and shade the skin with a brush size of 30 – 40.
Slow movement = better color coverage.
To BLEND the color switch to the eraser and gently erase where the color is too
strong. As the T-A is still low from you painting the shading, it will be gentle and you
can get a great smudging effect using the eraser this way.
Practice, practice, practice ………. paint brush
and then the eraser
New Layer – Highlights.
With the color White at a T-A of between 4 – 20, again using the selection method to
‘select’ the skin then switch to your New Layer and gently paint-in some highlights.
Use the eraser to smudge - with the T-A at a low of about #4.
Tip: The larger the brush, the smoother the smudging. Practice will make perfect
Let’s do the eyes.
New Layer. With the color of your choice, or mine 392944 and A1C7CA, use the Ellipse
Tool to draw a circle for the iris’s on both eyes. Fill with Linear Gradient
Gaussian Blur at default.
Next you can upload eye lashes from here and, place them on the top of the eyes. Merge
the eyelashes down together to one layer. Then move the lash layer below the
Manga Layer and merge with the Eye Layer.
New Layer for the Hair shading.
Magic wand the Manga Hair (use ‘Ctrl + to select every single hair strand) then switch
to the New Layer and with the paintbrush at T-A 20 or more, fill in darker strands.
After this, smudge with the eraser with T-A at #3.
Whilst the hair is still selected (alive with ants), make a new layer for highlights.
(If you lose the hair selection, go back and magic wand the Manga again)
With color FFFFC7 add highlights to get a nice shine. Use the eraser to smudge at #3.
Check often to make sure you are on the right layer.
Tip: To make a perfect Halo highlight, make a new layer and use the Ellipse and Ellipse
Subtract to get a Halo and fill this with the highlight color at a higher T-A.
De-select and Gaussian Blur at +8.
Tip: Don’t forget to put back your Ellipse Selection back to ‘Replace’ when finished,
otherwise the magic wand will not work on the Manga.