how to color an illustration

5 techniques for colouring illustrations

The methods for colouring illustrations determine the quality of services rendered. The finished piece can be made to reflect apex level of professionalism if optimal colouring techniques are used. Let us have a peek on different methods that professional service providers follow.


Here the illustration done using pen and ink is simply scanned and then colouring is done digitally using any of the image editing programs. In case if you want, white background can be removed and contrast can be adjusted on the drawing to get crisp and strong lines.  This easily avails the facility of trial and error methods.

Colour pencil

Drawing using coloured pencils is almost the same as colouring a picture in a book. But in case of illustrations, you must be more careful. Techniques like mottling, cross hatching or multiple layering are used by expert service providers for making the dimensional tones. It is advisable to choose lightly textured or smooth paper for this purpose.

Liquid ink

You may use liquid ink with varying stresses on the strokes. After the work is done, assure that the paper is dry before proceeding to the scanning process. These should be made more vivid as the scanner may not always pick the delicate ones used. Using this method helps in adding painterly excellence to the pieces. Also mixing can be done with more ease.


Colouring can be done simply in between lines. Adding varieties and dimensions is facilitated. Smooth paper should be used with thickness enough to prevent any chances of bleeding. Before starting, test the markers on a rough papers so as to make sure that the ink stay within your markings. Using markers provide popping, bright and bold shades. Also, it reproduces perfectly and easily.

Pen and ink

You can create a wide variety of pen strokes to shade your illustrations with different tones. For this, white, black or coloured pencils can be used. In this case, minimal supplies are needed. Also, the finished work will look great.

Other common method is using acrylic paints. Else you may also use mixed media. When you use different media together, various aspects can be combined for attaining unique outputs that reflect exactly what you need.

A lot of professional graphic design companies are there offering illustration services. You may seek their help in case if you are not that confident. However, take proper care to make sure that you select the best people to offer you the concerned service.

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