Color Studies are a necessary step in the illustration process. This allows the artist to test out different color schemes quickly.

Ideally, these should be done AFTER Value Studies.


  • Refine and finalize your drawing based on feedback and suggestions you have received.
    • Do not shade your drawing. Focus on drawing clean line art only.
    • Do tape off the edges of your composition.
  • Edit your drawing by using photo editing software.
    • Scan or Carefully Photograph final art.
    • Adjust Brightness and Contrast
    • Carefully Crop Art
    • Save your Artwork as a HighRez file (to continue working on)
    • Save a Copy as a LoRez file (to post to Openlab)
  • Create fill in sheets for Color Studies using one of the following methods:
    • Using a Adobe PS, copy/paste your design to create a fill in sheet.
    • Reduce the size of your artwork, using Adobe PS or Photocopier.
      • There’s no hard and fast rule, but studies should be small enough to fill in quickly.
      • About 25% of the FINAL ILLUSTRATION SIZE usually works
    • Copy and Paste the artwork so that you have 3 or more to Fill in .
    • PRINT this sheet, so you can and fill in traditionally with colored pencils or markers, OR create DIGITAL COLOR STUDIES by using Adobe PS/ or Procreate etc. to color.
  • Color each Color Study.
    • Create one Lo-Key, one Middle-Key and one High-Key Design.
    • Consider Focal Points, Image Hierarchy, and Contrast.


*Try coloring digitally in Adobe PS on a transparent layer on top of your Value Study. Try setting your layer to “COLOR”.


Dana Moreno Final Pencil Drawing

Color Study (1 of 3)

Color Study (2 of 3)
Color Study 3 of 3