Fringe 365 Project – #123


In the previous post (for Day 122), I mentioned that when coloring a black and white image, you can’t just simply paint over it with flat colors. Shadows have colors of their own, and skin tones with shadows particularly have different hues to them.

But there is a quick and dirty shortcut you can sometimes take, and it can often (though not always!) produce credible results. I found myself using this technique two days in a row, where I had spent most of my limited daily time on grayscale values but wanted to spice it up with some color.

I did exactly what you shouldn’t do: I “Ted Turner-ized” the grayscale drawing by painting over it with a light layer of just a few colors…

Photo May 02, 8 54 48 PM Photo May 02, 10 06 32 PM

…and then I ran it through Snapseed.

There are a million and one photo filter apps out there, but they can be used on artwork, not just photographs. Running a black and white drawing through Snapseed (or your favorite filter) won’t produce much of a colorization effect in and of itself – but if you just give the photo filter a little head start, by putting just the barest, most basic color into your grayscale drawing, you can get some surprisingly effective results that look closer to a more careful colorization job. The results will always be subtle – but sometimes, subtle is just enough. Make sure to adjust the filter strength down and saturation levels up – and experiment many times.

You will want to make sure to carefully color your grayscale drawing even before you import it into a filter app, though, since any messy coloring will tend to get magnified in the final result. (Mea culpa)

This isn’t a solution you’ll want to use for every project. But sometimes it is an appropriate way to add a splash of subtle, more interesting color to a flat-colored grayscale image.

(In any case, I hope this looks like Walter smoking his Brown Betty bong, and not Walter doing something else NSFW.)