Sharks, most often seen in water, will look more natural when you use color. Cartoonist Scoot McMahon says that even a little bit of color and shading can help give great dimension to any scene. “Adding shadows, such as a thicker line on the dorsal fin, helps give the illusion of movement so the viewer gets the feeling that things are moving in front and behind.”
Everyone has a favorite medium and different ways of using color. Some people like to use watercolors or markers, while others like to do it digitally by breaking out the digital brushes in Adobe Fresco. In the app, you can use the Eyedropper tool to select multiple colors at once and expand your color swatches beyond the basics. “With the Eyedropper tool, I can easily fill the screen and play with adding gradients,” says McMahon. “I’ll pick the same color, then darken it up, and create a new layer in case I don't like how the gradient looks later.”
You can also extract colors and gradients from your reference photo to create your own custom color palette. Then save your under-the-sea color themes to use anytime in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe Fresco. Nature has no perfectly smooth colors, so feel free to explore different color textures and schemes. Just let the paint do what it will and see where it takes you.