How to make this hand-colored drawing even more fancier?


I wanted my son to color some brain template. I will put this into front of my thesis (on visualization of diffusion MRI tractrography data of the human brain), as book cover. How can I put this in even fancier context? Employing some shadows? Where? I just want to look this a bit more professional embedded, without altering it too much. Thanks for your suggestions and ideas.

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I have the outline as separate image: enter image description here


  • The coloring is not science related and totally fun
  • I want to preserve sketchyness

Edit 2:

  • Message: The reasons why I want to put this on top of my thesis are twofold. On the first side: Everyone can do science. Science is fun, creative and unexpected. On the other side: I want to devote this work to my son, which missed me a lot during these days of writing it.

Edit 3:

Thanks to all suggestions. What do you think about this?

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Edit 3: Originally I scanned it like this. The neon colors were due to How I tried to remove paper background...

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I think I need to rescan it with proper coloring, as this example is cut off on top...

8/6/2014 5:58:00 PM

Accepted Answer

My thoughts:

  • Don't scrap the coloring outside the lines, I think that's important otherwise it looks chopped out of context. But I'd lose some of the random marks that exist only outside the brain.

  • Color is important; think about splitting it into color groups and using Hue/Saturation/Value adjustments. A lot of our perception of an image comes from color. I'd cut anything neon or garish and go for something more muted. Also tint the yellows orangier to establish more contrast from the white.

  • Don't frame it; I think the frame should be the size and balance of the cover or PDF or whatever. Let's assume 8.5 x 11.

  • Avoid cheezy shadowing or cutout effects. They might look good if you don't have experience in looking at lots of graphics, but if you have seen lots of them, they detract more than they add.

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UPDATE: After your revised update, I see Math Jr. was actually on the right track about the color. :-) As it came on wrinkled paper I thought it might be useful to consider if going along that kind of thinking could look a bit less flat. There's lots of options, my point is more about working in the spirit of the material/motif instead of fighting it...

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4/21/2014 12:15:00 AM

You will have to forgive my immensely crude mockup, but just trying demonstrate some ideas:

Edit: since you added that this will be a hommage to your son, remember the old saying: everything looks good in a frame. This is true; and you could stylize it: enter image description here

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