oh god your art is so beautiful, all those dynamic and simple shapes, like you got the essence of how we perceive our world (yeah I know it's a bit over the top, but I don't know how I should express it differently XD)
I'm no good with words, but I adore this piece so I'm gonna try and say something here, heh. Man, where to start? The simplicity achieved with your minimal use of detail coupled with the elegance of the flowing, fluid lines just blows me away. The perfect complementary colors are so stirring and... fulfilling? I have no idea what I'm saying; I guess I'm just spouting nonsense. But, dang, it's just so beautiful!
Hey now, a technical question for you if you don't mind! First of all, this looks really lovely - I really enjoy seeing a lot of the ways you're using gradients, among other things. What I'm very curious about is how you isolated the line color. How did you manage to color only on the lines?
Because my lineart is pretty chunky I tend to be able to just do this one:
-make sure you unlock your lineart layer- double click it and rename "layer 0" or something, or the final step won't work. -desaturate it completely. -set the brightness and contrast in Photoshop to 60 and 100 respectively (brightness can actually be whatever gets the lines looking okay, but 100 contrast is essential) -you've now cut out all greys and aliasing so it's exclusively black or white pixels. -(optional) at 300dpi, hit with a dust and scratches filter on 2px radius to clean up any scan artifacts, eraser dust, and smooth things out (might need to tweak effect radius for different dpis, haven't tested) -grab the magic wand, make sure the "anti-alias" and "contiguous" boxes are unchecked -select the white areas, and hit delete.
You should now be looking at crisp black lineart with transparency where the white once was... Now create a few layers under it and color as you see fit! Because it's crisp black with no aliasing, it's a breeze to paintbucket, or mass select (to apply gradients or paint in spot color).
If you want to keep the aliasing (lines are a little soft around the edges):
-again, make sure your lineart isn't on a locked background layer -desaturate. -clean up the lines however you're most used to -open the "channels" window -in my PS version there's a button in the bottom right of the window with a faint, dotted-lined circle. This is the "load channel as selection" command. Click! -hit delete.
You should be looking at lineart over transparency, with all the white gone and the aliased areas transparent. You may want to set brightness to -100 a couple times just to be sure it all reads as black, but afterwards you can pull the brightness up a little and color it by playing with the color balance. Compared to the sharp black+white from the first method, these lines will be much harder to color edit all on one layer (as far as I know, at least) but it's the best way to preserve details if you're doing the wispy, hair-thin thing.
If I explained that crappily, or you're trying that stuff and it's not working, please say so X_X
What I do is select the lineart layer, then go to "lock," and select the icon that looks like a little checkered-box (if you hover over it, it says "lock transparent pixels"). It makes it so that when you draw, the transparent pixels aren't colored.
Ok, man, thank you so much for the detailed technical advice! This is almost exactly what I would do myself, but it always helps to have somebody to talk over the technicalities with!
One extra idea that you might find useful - once you have the lines isolated (off the background layer and with the white spaces deleted), it would be easy to create one or more layer masks for the lines; this might just make reworking or changing the line color easier. Unfortunately, masking is a bit of a mystery for me in PS - I mostly use SAI.
Lovely! I think deer are beautiful animals, but at the same time there's something that scares me about them. The orange coloring and forest of prongs in this picture has a subtly startling effect one me.
The sense of movement in this is lovely. I also love the use of green! That's something I probably would have thought to avoid from in a picture with all this warm, but it adds such a nice contrast and border. I might have to try playing around with it sometime.