The Relative Color and the Absolute Color


Since the colors are never what they look like, It’s useful to understand the color in two ways : the RELATIVE color and the ABSOLUTE color.

The Relative color is the color as it is seen, according to the perception of the eye and the translation from the brain to the mind.
The Absolute color is the color as it is, in reality.

This is part of the colors relationship, and the contrast of the colors.

To be able to get the right relative color (meaning without any false notes), it’s crucial to know what its absolute color really is.

For example, the absolute color of grey is very often the relative complementary color of its surrounding color.


Depending of the kind of picture and depending of your color’s intentions (that is off special effect or narrative effect),
using an absolute complementary (that is, for the previous e.g, a true blue) in direct contact to its surrounding colors may easily create
a so much strong contrast that the mind will perceive it as a false note, then causing a global unbalance on all other colors in the image.

E.g, here is the page 05 from “Detectives” vol.02 (Hanna/Sure/Lou, ©Delcourt editions)

The “grey” panels 05 and 09 have a cold vibration, almost blue, because they are in a direct relationship within a yellow hot tan.
This two panels, in minority, are also secondary in the narration of the page.

Using a true absolute blue would reverse this narrative order because the color contrast would became so much strong that they would became the primary focal point of the page.

Let us look a little closer at the 3rd strip.
The mind read the left panel as cold, in a subtle blue. The shirts are read as white, and the bottles of champagne as greenish…

…but by isolating the absolute colors, in comparison with a Titanium white, none of this previously mentioned relatives colors exist in this picture.

…And if they were, the balance of the colors would be broken, and the falses notes would be made.
Notice how the eye now read differently the picture, it can’t stop looking at those white shirts and then those bottles.
It almost forget to look at the balloons and the characters. ( i’ll talk about the narration through the contrast of colors later, in another post)

It is the same for the values.
A relative value defines itself compared with its surrounding values.



Let’s look back at our 3rd strip.
Watch the contrast between the shirts, and the light jacket in the front, how they seem to be so much lighter in comparison with the other clothes.

When in reality, if we compare them to each other, the difference became a lot more subtle than it seemed to be.

This is a side effect of the relative color.
The mind analyzes et translates a color based on its database stocked in its memory, trying to identify the color in the most simple and efficient way possible.

The shirt itself is light indeed, and white. But it’s simply its “name”. Its “classification”, its “identity” (see the flat step of my quick step by step).
What we’ll ask in a store.

In reality, this shirt is not white, and not much lighter than the light face of the grey jacket or the blue shirt.
But for our mind, white means light. Lighter than everything.
However, a white shirt in shadow is often darker than a back shirt in the light, whatever the mind is saying.

So, compare, isolate, compare, isolate, compare, always.

You can change your “mind database” with some practice.
By using a paper sheet with holes to isolate outside colors. ( grey paper is best)
Or by opening some pictures in a software and use the color-picker to learn what is going on with the color relationship.
Testing yourself to find out the absolute color of your surrounding whenever you can.

Then, colorisation will become much easier, and like a musician able to reproduce a song he heard a the first try,
you’ll develop the Golden eye.

4,163 notes | Reblog | 1 month ago


Cumulus Clouds Reference by Tim Von Rueden

Check out our tips, tricks, and techniques on creating the “puffy” clouds for your environment or illustrations pieces HERE.

6,832 notes | Reblog | 1 month ago

Anonymous said: I love your tutorials! Thank you so much for creating them :) I was wondering if it would be ok to ask you about sketching advice? Often I've found that my sketches are rigid or use too many strokes and I'm not sure how to fix them. I admire your sketches for being simple and flowing and I would love if you could share some advice on how to achieve that sort of feel. Thank you so much and have a good day!!


!! Thanks a bunch, i’m flattered anyone would come to me for advice >_<. I was going to just link to some resources i remembered from back in the day but apparently searching for “furry lines” these days just yields tutorials on drawing furries ah aha ha >_> So lemme just try to do a quick write up with examples!

"Furry lines" as I call them are a VERY common technique beginner-intermediate artists use. It’s something every artist will naturally break through on their own with more and more practice sketching and drawing, but I think you can expedite the process by identifying why you do it and purposefully working away from it!


Here i’m using gardevoir as a “mental image” of what you want. You want those pretty flowing lines of the figure in your minds eye, but you want to get it just right. You lay down one stroke, and see it’s already wrong, so you go ahead and lay down another to correct it. It’s kinda right, but also kinda wrong, so you try again. Over and over till the end. Over all it looks kinda right.. but the brokeness of the lines destroy the fluidity and well, unintentional “furry” look haha. 

The things you will want to remember is that, you will never get it right in one stroke, especially not in a sketch (which by definition ins’t supposed to be perfect!). You will probably never match exactly whats in your minds eye so there’s no point in trying to get it so precise with so many strokes. Instead focus on LONGER strokes that can still be wrongimage

And when you realize you can’t really be “perfect” you have less urgency to do those short furry lines to get it JUST RIGHT. You become more comfortable getting it all wrong, and going over it again in longer strokes. The end result with a lot of retraining is you still don’t get things perfect, but they are they actually wrong? or just not the same as what you wanted in your mind?

You still need to do lots of personal practice, just practice making long strokes with your ELBOWS and SHOULDERS NOT your fingers! Lots of pages of just lines, random doodles and stuff to understand the feeling of fluidity. Doesn’t have to be something in specific, just teaching your body what feels right and what feels wrong. But coupled with understanding WHY the furry lines are wrong and WHY you want to do it i think will help you move faster. 

I hope this helps you, Anon! Good luck master the non furry lines XD

1,146 notes | Reblog | 1 month ago

yellowfur said: h-hello ! I really adore your smooth lines ! do you have some brush lineart brushsettings ? I understand if you dont want to share ! ^^


Hello hello! Really sorry for the late reply!

These are the brushes I use mostly for lineart:

Your art is super cute!! <33

1,981 notes | Reblog | 1 month ago

joe-future said: What do you use for your animation???


Hi! I use old Photoshop CS3, and I’m pretty sure every version after it has the animation option (In the top menu Window>Animation and it’s the little bar you with the squares you can see in the low part.

Then you just use a different window in each frame and that’s about it!

Well… you just asked what did I used, but just in case you were interested in the specific tools!image

231 notes | Reblog | 1 month ago

people have been asking, so here it is! this brushset contains the 5 brushes I actually use, which you can download here (click the download button on the right column). they are shockingly basic and three of them are standard photoshop brushes. enjoy! :)


people have been asking, so here it is! this brushset contains the 5 brushes I actually use, which you can download here (click the download button on the right column). they are shockingly basic and three of them are standard photoshop brushes. enjoy! :)

11,157 notes | Reblog | 1 month ago

Manga Studio 5 Tip


Hello! Here is a little tip for Manga Studio 5 regarding one of my favorite features which isn’t immediately apparent. It has to do with vector layers and erasers.

First, create a vector layer by clicking the “New Vector Layer” at the bottom of the Layers palette: 


Now, the secret of this technique lies in your eraser. Select the eraser tool and choose the pen you’d like to use, then check out the settings. Under “Erase,” select the option “Erase up to Intersection.” 


Now, whenever you erase part of a line on the vector layer, it will erase the entire line up to the point where it intersects another line. 



This makes it much easier to clean up stray lines, so you can be looser in your inking and still end up with a fairly tidy end drawing. Have fun!

2,333 notes | Reblog | 1 month ago

Mirre explores Manga Studio 5: Converting lineart to vector! :O


did you guys know about manga studios vector settings?

Because it does :D

I am still kinda new to it but it’s surprisingly easy to use (or at least if you have some previous experience with vectors).

This is what I’ve played around with so far:

you take your lineart like this:


(it doesn’t have to be red btw)

and then convert it to a vector layer with these settings:



And BAM! We got a vectorized lineart!

Here’s some stuff you can do with the vectors:


Select the Option tool and click on lines that turned out a bit uneven to fix them. just right click on any of the little anchor points to edit them.


Here’s a nice thing. If a corner or a point is too curved for your taste, just right click the anchor point and select “switch angle”.


And BOOP! the anchor point is now pointy!


Just hold shift to select several anchors at once! :D


You can change the thickness of the lines for the whole layer. I set the lines at 2px and disabled the pen pressure. Which in turn ended up like this:


There’s still more of this that I need to experiment with, especially the various results you get when changing the settings. And some settings works better for some areas. Detailed stuff such as hair can be tricky and probably best to keep on a separate layer.


595 notes | Reblog | 1 month ago


Mess, sketch, and line-art for Recipes for the Dead: Steam Minted Meringue!

I feel like I’m drawing a lot of piles of roses lately, this is the third time I’ve invoked that particular space filler. I can’t help it though. They’re all curly and fun. And technically thematic to the issue! 

670 notes | Reblog | 2 months ago



WA’s BOOT Anatomy Tutorial Pt2 by RadenWA frm DeviantArt

i’ve needed this in my life since forever

37,800 notes | Reblog | 2 months ago
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