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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Coloring Artwork In CorelDraw


This article is an overview of one of my CorelDraw video tutorials- Coloring Artwork in CorelDraw. You can view the relevant tutorial here:


This article will give a quick summary, but be sure to watch the tutorial for more specifics. I hope this article/video tutorial can help both beginner & veteran CorelDraw users learn new techniques on how to recolor vector artwork.

Here’s the image we will be coloring. This is one of my own illustrations, but feel free to use any vector artwork you want.


The first thing you need to do (which a lot of beginners aren’t aware of) is to ungroup the artwork. You won’t be able to color individual vector pieces until you do.


The next thing to keep in mind, when coloring an image for spot color seps, is to use Pantone color swatches. You’ll notice my Pantone Matching System palette across the bottom of the screen. The way you can tell if a palette is PMS/spot colors or not is whether or not the swatches have little white squares on them. You’ll see the palette on the right side doesn’t have them, but my Pantone palette along the bottom does. White squares on swatches = a spot color that will print as a separation.

The simple way of coloring vector art is to click on one (or more) of the vector pieces that you want to color, then click on the color you want it to be from the swatches palette. This technique works just fine, but there’s a quicker way to color multiple pieces.


The faster way to color multiple pieces is to first color 1 vector piece. Then hold down Shift on your keyboard and Right-Click and drag from the colored piece to an area you want to be that color and release the right mouse button (when you are hovering over that un-colored vector piece). In my example, I held down Shift and then right-clicked and dragged from the red sleeve to the white sleeve and let go to “drop” the red color there. Note: 1. the video explains this better, and 2. also don’t release the Shift button until you release the mouse button.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to start applying a bunch of colors all “willy nilly.” In my example, the hypothetical customer requested 6 ink colors in the design. So, when you add a color, like this brown for example, make note of the PMS color #, and then apply that same Pantone brown to all brown areas of the design. Otherwise you will end up with a different separation print out for each one of the browns you applied in your design.

So here’s the original design, no longer black and white, now colored with 6 PMS colors.

At this point, you might be asking, “That’s all fine and dandy, but I’m not in the business of coloring pretty pictures, I need to print seps!” Here’s why we used Pantone Matching System colors in our design: when you are ready to print your image, go to File>Print. Click on the separations tab and check the box that says “print separations.” (newer versions of CorelDraw have the print seps checkbox in a different tab on the print window). Now you will see all the PMS colors that are in your design in the bottom area of this window. If you don’t notice any weird or unwanted colors in this area, then you can click print and it will print a black printout for each one of your seps. *Great side note here: In CorelDraw, if you only use solid PMS colors on everything, CorelDraw will allow you to print the seps without a Postscript printer or Rip software. (unlike Illustrator).

We are going to take a step back for a sec. The hypothetical customer has come back to us and decided they no longer want to pay for 6 colors, but only 4, and the shirt has to be green. (big surprise, right?) Instead of going into the design again, piece by piece to recolor it, we can use the Color Styles feature. You can open up the Color Styles Dockerrr by clicking on Tools>Color Styles. Once the docker is open, at first it will just be white with no swatches showing. Simply select your entire design and drag and drop it into the blank white area of the docker. This will load all the used PMS swatches into the color styles docker. Now you can right click on each one and “Edit Color”. This is a quick way to eliminate colors and/or swap out colors.


Here I’ve recolored the design and opened up the separations in the Print Window again Now you can see we only have 4 colors in the design, as requested by the customer. We are ready to print the seps.

And here’s the final 4 color design. Again,
video tutorial[/URL] does a much better job explaining these techniques. I hope this helps you save time and effort when coloring vector artwork in CorelDraw!

Best of luck and feel free to ask questions and I will try my best to answer them.

Thanks for reading!

James Koenig is a freelance graphic designer that specializes in illustrations, screenprint art, t-shirt designs, logos and more.

If you would like to learn more, visit his CorelDraw tutorials on Youtube: ‪FreelanceFridge's Channel‬‏ - YouTube or have any other questions, feel free to him through his website: Welcome to James Koenig's Freelance Fridge: Artwork, Design, and Illustration
 

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Good basics here. Another way to get a lot of objects colored the same is to color one of them, then you click one by one on each object you want to be that same color hitting CTRL+R (shortcut for Repeat, under Edit - repeats the last thing you did) for each object. That's a really quick way to get a lot of things colored the same. (Also, just a little side note - you can select individual objects within a group, for coloring or whatever, without ungrouping by holding CTRL while clicking them.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good article. I have gotten artwork were I couldn't couldn't color inside, only the lines would color. Sometimes create boundary works sometimes not.
Hi Mark, that is a common problem with some not-so-professional clipart that is out there. Create boundary will only work if the shape area is a completely closed off area. I will actually be writing an article on this issue, as well as many other common clipart problems, in the next t-shirtforums.com newsletter. So keep your eye out for that. If you do have a particular piece of art that you are having trouble with right now, feel free to PM or email me through my site and I'd be happy to take a look at it.
 
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