Time to get rid of those blue lines. Scan in your image in RGB at 300 dpi (or open it from the cover CD). Double- click the background layer to make it a layer. Make a new layer above this layer. On the original artwork layer, press Ctrl + A to select the canvas and click on the channels tab in the Layers palette.
Click on the blue layer so it is the only visible layer and then hit Ctrl + C to copy it. Click on the Layers tab and go back to the new layer. Hit Ctrl + V to paste.
Now you’ll be left with black lines that you need to make darker. Press Ctrl + L to alter the levels, then drag the black triangle slider to the right, just halfway before the first peak. If your scanner has picked up noise, you may need to drag the white triangle slider to the middle of the right peak.
Run Mack’s Remove White filter (www.photoshop-filters.com/html/macks.htm). With the white pixels transparent, click lock transparent pixels in the layers palette and name the layer ‘Lines’.
Make some new layers called ‘skin’, ‘hair’, ‘clothes’, ‘blends’ and ‘background’. Place them all underneath the ‘Lines’ layer. Normally we’d recommend filling the background layer with a neutral colour to give you the feel of the picture and because you should never colour against a white background, however, considering this image takes place in the sky, drop an appropriate photo of the sky into the layer.
A lot of tutorials suggest filling each section of an image with a flat colour on its own layer at this stage, but this can be very dull, so we’re going to break it up a bit and shade each section as we go.
To block colours in, use a round hard-edge brush with the following settings: Opacity and Flow: 100 per cent, spacing 1 per cent, size jitter set to Pen pressure, angle jitter set to pen tilt, with airbrush and smoothing ticked. Pick a suitable skin colour and fill the area on the ‘skin’ layer.