Do you paint over a grayscale layer or not?


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @demotlj I usually do not use multiple to color. I will use color layer, soft light layer, and sometimes overlay. Once in awhile I will use a multiple to get a deeper color. Once I am happy with all my layers and colors. I will merge them all together then do a multiple on top with a cool blue/grey to push my lighting and then an overlay with a warm yellow/orange to pop the highlights.


  • SVS OG

    @Chip-Valecek I never thought about using a different kind of layer. I don't know if Procreate has as many blend options but I think I'll play around and see.


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @demotlj I'm not sure about procreate, I use Photoshop and at first I started to use multiple and it just wasn't working out. I gave up for awhile, and then came across a demo somewhere and saw how someone else did it. I forget who it was, but i started to mess around more with it. I actually like doing it more then just color.



  • @demotlj In general Procreate has the same layer commands as photoshop. They may be called something slightly different, but they're all there 🙂



  • @IgorWoznicki I would really recommend checking out the Marco Bucci video on this. I think he explains it very well and I agree with his conclusion on not adding color to greyscale painting. To each their own though.



  • I struggled with the same issue for a couple months now. I ended up painting the greyscale to fairly detailed level, then use a combination of "Color", "Multiply" layer blending mode and normal layers on top for paint-over to do the color study. It gets super messy, and a lot of times I do not know what I am doing until I see the color on the screen together. Then I picked the color study I like the most, and just continue to adjust the color and paint on it until it is done. I use normal layers for paint-overs a lot.

    I think if you are able to paint directly in color and put a desaturation layer on top to check layer, that is great. The reason to do gray scale painting is to focus on solving one problem at time.

    I am considering just use 2 or 3 value range of value for sketching, and do color studies on my rough sketch, and move to painting the final piece from there. I don't know if the process will work for me. I will explor it on the next piece I paint.



  • @Buddy-Skelton, thank you for mentioning Marco Bucci's class. I started watching his Digital painting 2 class. He talked about his process. It is very fun and interesting. Maybe it will be interesting for @demotlj too.


  • SVS OG

    @xin-li I watched his Digital Painting 1 quite a while ago and then for some reason never watched the second class. I’ll have to go look at it.


  • SVS OG

    This is a really interesting topic and something I've wondered about lots too. I really like the idea of starting with a grey-scale layer, but like a lot of people have said, my coloured piece ends up looking horribly muddy and lifeless in the end...so I'd love to crack the technique!

    I'm going to check out some of the tutorials people have suggested here. Thanks for starting this thread!!



  • I think maybe the process you choose have a lot to do with the style you end up with.It will feel very wrong to start with gray scale and place the color over if your style is very loose, and brush stroke are a big part of the feel of the painting (like March Bucci). But if your painting is very tight and detailed, brush stokes plays less important role, maybe using multiply/color layer blending mode is a way to go to start off with the color.


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