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Episode 5: COMIC COLORING, Part 1!

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Let me first start off by saying that I have remorseful feelings about starting this "episode" business in the title. It seems silly. Like, perhaps "week 5" would be more appropriate. But, at this point, I've already done three this way and it feels as though I'm committed now. Also note, I've moved away from Roman numerals because they seemed, looking up the next one every week seemed a little too labor intensive and ain't nobody got time for that.

I digress, this week we jumped into coloring with both feet!

I found loads of tutorial videos on the interwebs, however many of them just frustrated me because I'm not coloring my work digitally. I am depending on my tried and true watercolor set to get me through (like the dinosaur I am.)

(I'm tired and having too much fun finding GIFs. Apologies.)

I started with some basic tutorials on color theory and comic coloring methods. The two that I found the most valuable were the following.

I have a pretty good understanding of color and how it affects the tone and mood of a piece. However, I haven't revisited color theory in depth in quite a while and this video provided an excellent crash course as it discussed different effective color combinations that artists often use to create appealing pieces that utilize color to help emphasize composition, guiding the viewers' eye through the piece effortlessly.

It also raised a few additional questions for me. Comic colorists need to be masters (disclaimer, I am not) at this as they need to guide readers through a whole page visually and in a way that doesn't pull readers out of the story. Composition also has a lot to do with this, however when pages get so complex that when just inked, they turn into a jumble of beautiful lines, the colorist needs to make sense out of the chaos.

Both of these videos worked to answer my questions in a succinct and clear manner.

The artists discuss how colorists use color to emphasize the most important part of the frame, the piece most critical to the story line.

Next, I searched specifically for artists who are still using watercolors to color their pieces and came across this:

This Wren Nowan guy, though. His work is gorgeous. Elegant and timeless with the softness I love so much and that I personally think can only be achieved through watercolor. I found one of his works available for purchase on Amazon here, but couldn't find a website. Kind of a bummer. But all of his videos are mesmerizing and I need to order all of his work on Amazon right now.

Lastly, because I've spent the last two months drawing, I wanted to get familiar with my paints again. I pulled out my sketches of one of my main characters and just did a couple quick, 15 minute watercolor sketches over top of the pencil work.

Kael's complexion is on the golden side and her hair is fire red, so a complementary color scheme of yellows for highlights and violets for shadows worked well.

This coming week, I'm working on laying in some initial washes and (hopefully) completing my first two pages!

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