Coloring anime drawings in Photoshop only differs from coloring other drawings due to the shape of anime eyes. This tutorial will focus on said eyes, though other tutorials in this site focus on skin, hair, and clothing. This tutorial is designed to work with any version of Photoshop you use.
If you have already completed the skin layer, you may want to create a Set and move all the skin layers into this Set. This will allow you to minimize the skin layers so that they do not get in your way.
To create a Set, click on the small folder icon in your Layers window, then click and drag all skin layers into the new folder. Clicking the downward arrow beside the Set will close it.
You can then lock the set by clicking the Lock button. This will keep all layers inside the set locked and unable to be painted on or erased without unlocking the set.
Coloring Anime Drawings in Photoshop – Step 2:
Once your skin layers are combined into a Set, create a new Photoshop layer and use a 1-3 point brush to outline your eyes and eyebrows. Anime drawings typically have black eyebrows, no matter what color hair the character has.
Coloring Anime Drawings in Photoshop – Step 3:
With a small brush, paint the white of the eye. Use a hard edged brush to then create both the pupil (in black) and a white reflection in the upper corner of the iris. Your reflection size will depend on the amount of light in your drawing. Lock the pixels.
With the pixels locked, your brush can only paint within the already-painted area. This means that you can not accidentally create a mark outside the white of the eye.
With the pixels locked, add a light grey shadow to the top of the eye. This will create the shadow from the eyelashes and give the eye a more natural, rounded look.
Coloring Anime Drawings in Photoshop – Step 4:
Step 4 involves creating a new Photoshop layer and adding the base eye coloring. This base color should be one shade darker than the overall eye color you want.
When the color is in place, lock the pixels.
Coloring Anime Drawings in Photoshop – Step 5:
Duplicate the layer. The new layer should still have the pixels locked. Add a dark grey (almost black) shadow around the edge of the iris and pupil.
With the smudge tool, smudge the shadow until it looks natural.
Coloring Anime Drawings in Photoshop – Step 6:
Add a new layer and set this layer to Color Dodge.
In this layer, add a highlight around the entire iris.
The eyes are now complete. At this point, you may want to create a new set and move all eye layers into it. Once the set is closed, lock it to keep the eye layers protected.
Coloring Anime Drawings in Photoshop - Final
In the case of this example character, the character is designed as an assistant. We have therefore created a series of new layers and given the character a headset. The headset instructions have been left out of this Coloring Anime Drawings in Photoshop tutorial. However, if you would like instructions for the headset, feel free to contact CraftyArtWorld through our Contact Page.