Knockout Line Art Actions
- for Photoshop 7. Skip the tutorial and just download the actions! Includes actions to remove blue and red Col-Erase and to seperate line art from the background. For help installing, refer to Photoshop Help.

[Download] - 1 KB .ZIP

Craig Mullins - Excellent concept art and matte paintings, and a fascinating process section.

Doug Chiang - Look for the "Studio Tips" section.

Shane Glines' Drawing Board Forum - Some helpful tips to be had in the "Instruction" and "Tutorials" sections.

Digital Comic Colouring by John Rauch - A good-looking Photoshop tutorial, plus some good fundamental tips.

ConceptArt.org - Their message board Tutorials section has a wealth of good links and tips.

Ron Lemen - An excellent colour-theory tutorial, and a great exercise to build colour skills!

TeamGT Studios - Well-designed tutorials, with great technical pages on perspective and shadow-casting.

Spoono.com - Good Photoshop filter tricks and other techniques.


Welcome to the tutorial section! Hopefully below you'll find some useful pointers, techniques, and tricks that can be experimented with in your own work. The first volume deals with Photoshop techniques for producing character designs with a very flexible colour scheme. Soon there will be more volumes, covering other topics, both traditional and digital.

The screenshots and keyboard shortcuts are Windows ones. For Photoshop, I don’t think there’s any difference between the Windows and Macintosh versions, and the CTRL key generally equates to the Cmd (Apple) key, and the ALT key to the Option key.

Enjoy, and if you have any additional helpful tips, want to point out mistakes, pass on some success stories, or make requests don’t hesitate to get in touch.


This first series of tutorials is based on Photoshop techniques I developed working as a concept artist. My director would constantly ask for different colour combinations on the characters, and I quickly discovered how time-consuming it was to hand-paint the different combinations.

The solution has, over the course of a number of character designs, evolved into the technique outlined below. It lets you whip off different colour combinations very quickly. It is limited to creating images that have a sort of “cel shaded” look but it’s not particularly effective for other, more fully rendered or paint-y styles. That’s the tradeoff for +10 to Speed and +15 to Agility.

That flexibility is afforded entirely by Photoshop’s glorious adjustment layers and layer-masking abilities. However, even if you’re not using Photoshop, read through anyway, as there are some good general art pointers and the techniques might be portable to other programs.

Knock-Out Line Art
  1. The Drawing
  2. Scanning and Resolution
  3. Cleaning Up
  4. Seperating the Linework

Flexible Colour Treatments
  5. Colouring with Solid Colour
  6. Shadow Layers
  7. Line Colouring
  8. Finishing Touches


Hey hey! All contents © Copyright 2003 Tony Cliff!