How to colour comics
As far as I’m concerned, coloring comics is the best job in the art world. Color can help expand the scope of a comic, turning each panel from a two-dimensional drawing into a window into a rich, nuanced world, with the color in those panels flowing together to set the pace, much like a song.
Why use colour in comic art?
Color is a better visual shorthand than black and white for conveying mood, time of day, change of scene, and depth of field, and it can also be a great visual shorthand to help a reader understand what’s going on.
What software should I use?
Clip Studio Paint, with its advanced Paint Bucket tolerance settings that auto-trap and detect line gaps when filling inked shapes, has become the new go-to app for comic book colouring. Not sure which app is right for you? Check out our guide to the best software for digital artists.
01. Start with flat colours
Flatting, or the process of laying in flat, contiguous, aliased shapes on a separate layer from the line art, is a standard step for colorists in the US comic industry. I’ve seen colourists use dozens of Photoshop layers on a page.
03. Decide on your painting style
I can render in a flat, ‘anime’ color style that’s easy to edit with the Paint Bucket by using an aliased Lasso or the Pencil tool; using an Airbrush or painterly brushes can be more artistically expressive, but changes take longer.
05. Add some personality
I hope that my work is recognizable regardless of the rendering style I use, based on the colors I use and the shapes I use in my rendering. Collaborative art is similar to being in a band; everyone needs to play to their strengths and show their personal style.
06. Use colour and shape to tell a story
In this page from LOW, I’ve used a triad of red shapes to subtly direct the reader’s eye to the main characters and action, despite the chaos of the rest of the image.
07. Build mood with your colour choices
I try to use color to support the story; there are plenty of standard color cues, such as blue or desaturated tones, but if I’m working on a longer project, creating custom color cues can be a great way to set that project’s world-building apart from the crowd.
08. Use value to create planes and silhouettes
I usually use desaturated, dark values for one plane and saturated, light values for another, and then pop things off those planes in a third value range with as much contrast as possible to draw the eye to the panel’s subject. These values don’t have to be different hues.
09. Check your page in greyscale
If I’m working on a page with a lot of overlapping planes, I’ll open a new window for it and set the proof setup to Grey, allowing me to work on the color file while getting real-time feedback on my values in the second tab.
10. Limit your colour palette
I try to stick to value choices and limit my color palette to what’s needed to tell the story; color should have a purpose, and if something isn’t important, using values in some neutral colors can often help the story.
11. Expand the canvas through colour
Color can imply a whole world off-panel, which is one of my favorite parts of being a colorist. It’s not just about coloring what you can see on the page; it can imply a whole world off-panel, which is one of my favorite parts of being a colourist.
How do you color comic books?
Take a look at our list of the best digital artist software.
- Start with flat colors and don’t use too many layers.
- Decide on your painting style.
- Consider how much detail to include.
- Incorporate some personality.
- Use color and shape to tell a story.
- Use value to create planes and silhouettes.
What paint is used in comics?
Clip Studio Paint is the industry-standard comic, manga, and webtoon tool, with specialized comic features and a paper-like drawing experience. Sketch, ink, color, and publish your next story in the industry-standard comic, manga, and webtoon tool.
How long does it take to color a comic?
The cover is another part of the artists’ job, and it’s one of the most important. Sketching, coloring and inking, and lettering your comic book should take six to eight months, but if you’re outsourcing the artwork, you’ll have to stick to the artists’ schedules.
What software is used to draw comics?
MediBang Paint or Clip Studio Paint, the de-facto industry standard, are both good options if you want to draw black-and-white comics.
How can I make a comic book online for free?
4 sites where you can make your own comics for free
How do you make comics?
9 Steps to Getting Started
- Choose an idea that you believe in.
- First, write the story.
- Research the art of making comics.
- Plan the layout.
- Create a set of drawing rules.
- Draw the illustrations.
- Select a format.
- Select a book-making tool.
Why did comic books have dots?
To create secondary colors such as green, purple, orange, and flesh tones, pulp comic books used Ben-Day dots in the four process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). They cut the overlay material into shapes that fit the areas needing color or background and rubbed the shapes onto the drawing with a burnisher.
What paper is used for comic books?
Single-issue comic books and square bound graphic novels use 60# paper by default, but graphic novels and comic books can choose to print in black and white on 70# paper or full color on 80# glossy paper.
Do people still hand draw comics?
Pen tools for digital drawing are getting closer to hand-drawing in terms of pressure, but they still vary by software; use trial versions to test them out. Most comic artists use G pens and Mapping pens to draw comics; turnip pens draw softer lines than G pens.
What does Jim Lee use to draw?
Jim Lee is a well-known artist who uses F lead in his pencil work.