Hi! It's been awhile since I did a PicMonkey art tutorial, so this seemed like the perfect time to share my favorite tips on how to color in your drawings and designs with this easy photo editor.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly, simple way to color in some of your art or lettering, then this tutorial is for you. I've included step-by-step screenshots and instructions.
*This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy or sign up via my links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost you, which helps keep this blog runnin' and the tutorials comin'. Full disclosure here.*
Step-by-Step Instructions for Coloring a Doodle Using PicMonkey
First, you will need to go to PicMonkey. Once you see the page above, click that edit button on the top, and choose an image from your computer to color in.
If you read my tutorial on how to draw a cute whale, I said that I saved an un-colored scan to color digitally. That's what I will be using for this tutorial. (You can check out that tutorial and draw your own whale, or use another black and white image from your computer.
NOTE: this tutorial works best with black and white images, with clearly defined lines. Pencil sketches will not work as well.
2. Take Care of Any Adjustments Before Coloring
The main menu when you first open your image will offer you the chance to crop your image or adjust the exposure (lighten or darken the image).
If you don't want or need to tweak your image, head to step 3.
On the left hand panel, find the wand icon (highlighted with the pink arrow above). Click that, then scroll down until you find "Warhol".
As soon as you click Warhol, the image will turn blue with brown lines.
We will fix that in the next step.
Unless you want a blue and brown image (if you do, then your done!) hit the reverse effect option on the paint box.
Seem weird? It is. But trust me, this is a LOT easier than using the draw option. I will explain more about that later. Right now, it's time to secure your lines.
Go to the first color option, and choose black. This is where the effect is better than the draw tool! When you use the "drawing" option, you have to be very careful not to touch your outline.
Otherwise you will paint right over it.
With the Warhol effect, the outline will stay black (or any color you choose) so you can paint faster.
Decide which area you are going to paint first, then choose your color. I really wanted to see how this little cartoon whale would look in a pale green.
You can choose the size of your "brush" from the paint box. You can also zoom in and out to work on small areas. (This also makes the outline "fatter" so it's easier to stay in the lines.
Did you accidentally go outside your lines? That's okay. Just change your brush to "original" and carefully paint over the boo-boo.
Again, you don't have to worry about your outline. It won't erase when you are cleaning up.
Once your whole area is colored in, do NOT click "APPLY" just yet...
You don't want to click that "APPLY" button until you are sure that everything is just as you want it. Once you do, you won't be able to change the color or erase any errors.
The next steps cover some of the things you can do before you start with your next color.
I wanted the green to be a bit paler than the one from the palette. If you want to lighten your color, use the fade option. You can also adjust the brightness and contrast if you like.
Again, before you click "APPLY", you can add some highlights to your work. I wanted some "shiny" spots on the whale. To do that, switch your brush back to original, and take the hardness/strength levels down. You may have to experiment until you get them the right softness for what you are doing.
You can use the undo arrow at the bottom of the page if you don't like the look of your highlight. It won't erase your previous work, just the last brushstroke you made.
Once you are happy with how it looks, you can hit "APPLY" and move to the next step.
If you want to add shading to your image, open the Warhol effect again. Choose a color that is slightly darker than your original. Use the fade function and adjust the brush hardness/strength until you get the shade you want.
You can't fade/unfade the color from one section to the next. You have to adjust that with the brush strength, or save after you've shaded each area and reopen the effect again.
To continue, just reopen Warhol effect for each item you want to color, and add highlights/shading as needed.
For the bubbles here, I used a few different blues and faded them to different levels to get the colors I wanted.
NOTE: You can't halfway color an item, then come back to it. For example, if you color half of one of those bubbles, then close the effect, when you reopen it and start coloring there will be a visible line where the color overlaps itself.
So if you want to take a break from coloring, you would color all of that bubble, then close the effect.
Before coloring the background, I wanted to enclose the whale in a circle. You don't have to do this, but I will show you how.
First, go to the butterfly icon on the left panel. Then click "geometric". Choose the circle overlay. It will show up as a big black spot. Go to the overlay table, click the second color option (see the pink arrow above), and tick the box that says (transparent).
This will automatically change the outer color to black. You can change that by clicking the first color option, but I left it black here.
Once that is done, you simply grab your circle and center it around your drawing. This is really cool for creating logos or product designs.
If you decide you want a background color, head back to the Warhol effect. Open it up and don't forget to make your first color option black.
Then choose your second color and fill in your background. Remember, if you paint over something accidentally, you can erase it by changing the brush back to "original".
Now you can crop the image more if needed. Or you can add some effects, textures or even text to your art.
When you are 100% done, click "EXPORT" at the top of the page and save your work!
NOTE: Before you start, please be aware that you can do this entire tutorial using the free version of PicMonkey. You can see in the image that I haven't gotten around to renewing my membership.
I recommend the premium PicMonkey account because not only do you get access to tons of features (and they add more all the time!), you also won't have the ads slowing down your coloring.
I had actually forgotten just how much slower it is until I did this, but I wanted to show you that you can create some pretty awesome designs with the free version.
So if you are an artist on a budget, then you still have options! Hope this helps you, and if you have any questions, please ask in the comments. :)