Comics Creators

Colourful Garvey...

Those of you know me, know I write my own comics…
Gawd, no!
I can’t even draw a bath…so, I pay my artist collaborators to do that…
I taught myself how to letter to one, keep my costs down and two, to give me one final chance to do a re-write of my dialogue…
I’ve had a go at colouring…again to keep my costs down.
I’m a armature at best and I mainly have been dealing in flat colours and not getting too complicated…
It’s simple stuff…kinda works…but I wanna get better…
About a year and a half ago I backed a Kickstarter for a comic colouring course called HI-fi colour for comics…I read most of it, learning a few tricks…but I wanted to give it a proper go to see if I can do it, so I wanted to start this thread to chart my progress and get some feed back…
So, here goes…
I started my first Major piece of homework from the book…
Colouring and rendering (which I have never even attempted before) a group pin is by J Scott Campbell…

Started with flatting…

After a few few interruptions…phone calls, lunch…needing a poo and such…four hours later it was flatted…

Seriously, armour is a pain in the bum to flat…there was so much detail in this!!!
so, respect artists and their work!!!

I was a bit knackered after this…but I had a go at renderingva small part…the ogre’s head

I’m not overly impressed with my first ever attempt at rendering…especially the cuts about the eye…but I’m on the road to ‪Carnegie Hall…


Ooh, good job on that first go! Nice selection of colours and having the patience to tackle all that armour is, I imagine, the main tool of a colourists trade!

I don’t know if it’s how they showed you on the course, but I’d suggest you’ve started with your colours too dark. I can see you’re adding highlights after, but the best way to do it in my opinion is to go with a bright, mid-range set of colours, then go to layer >adjustment layer >hue/saturation and tint it darker (and cooler with a slight bluish tone). Fill the layer with black, then whatever you paint in white will be the darker shadow. Do another adjustment layer this time pushing up the lightness and saturation, and that’ll be your highlights.

This explains it far better than me:

Lastly, your highlights are coming from a light source top left - they’d cast a shadow from the nose onto the left side (his left) of the face, so no highlight there!

Hope is ok being all picky, and that it’s helpful rather than demoralising!

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decided to have a go at the body!


its currently tell me to start with the dark base colour, then use “their” bursh in screen mode to lighten it segment, by segment…
I’m trying to use it sparingly, because the strokes the lighter it gets! :wink:

Cheers for the video and their pointers! it is all greatly appreciated, mate!
Thank you!

I mean this is what it is supposed to look like!
I am waaaaaay off, but i;m just playing around…trying to get used to burshes, looking where the like comes from and building up light areas! :fearful:

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did the leather too! :grimacing:
That’s enough for tonight! :wink:


had a go at rendering a face at 6am! :grimacing:
Actually think i’m getting worse! :joy:

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Women’s faces are soft … just not that soft! :smiley:

I like it. The skin tone is the right amount of tan, the eyes aren’t pure white, lots to like there!

I’ve just discovered the app, which is ideal for this kind of reference. Your light is currently shining from the top, slightly to the right … so the lock of hair hanging down would have the shadow below rather than above. The inking shadow under her chin confirms the shadows should go in that direction…


i only did the skin…haven’t even touched the eyes or hair yet! but i’ll take the compliment! :wink:

This was me just messing around for five ten mins before is started work…so, not finished.
I wannatry again and ass more detail, perhaps some highlights etc.

i was trying for an hour last night to get it right, but just couldn’t get it right.
The books was telling me to use the brush…but i hated it.
Could get the skin to look blend right, like i did with the green, fella.
So, tried this morning with the gradient tool rather than the brush…i do like it more

This is what the finished article is meant to look like in the book!

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The right to render arms!


Oh yeah, much better. I’d say you could throw out the example bit of colouring, personally. It’s all sorts of flawed, the nose especially! Your shading itself is great, very smooth and gradual. And I love the warmth of the skin tones, where’d you get the CMYK values from? If they’re just randomly picked, fantastic job!

I threw this together with that ‘Handy’ app:

Going from the inks casting that light on the neck, I think your light source is about there, so the nose is going to have a lot of light on her left side … and that strand of hair is going to have that dark bit of shade on the other side of it. Oh, and the shoulder pad thing would probably cast more of a sharper, less gradual bit of shade.

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I wish i had, because this sadly scares me when i eventually got and try and colour something without the guide! :frowning:

The Hi-Fi coloring course gives you the line work, which you flat, but also the colour schemes…both base colours and shadings ones too.
So you just pipette the colours and go from there…

That app is great…i had a quick play at lunch…thanks again so much for your advice and help…seriously, it is greatly appreciated.


That’s handy about the colour scheme. I’d save those skin tones, definitely.

Using the adjustment layers idea in the video I posted, you only need the ‘base colour’ - i.e if it’s a red cloak, the bright red of it … the first adjustment layer is the same colour but darkened, the second adj. layer is the same but brightened … then you just paint in the bits so it’s automatically tinting the colour for you.

I think I coloured this one with that process (a very long time ago, it’s not the best example, but…):
If you make sure the highlights are a nice warm tint, and the shadows are blue-y, it works well … and you’re only using one colour so it’s easier. I haven’t highlighted and shaded with separate colours in years, that’d be a long process!

No probs for the assistance, I’m just aware of how many shortcuts there are and it’s wrong to let someone slog away without them!


Literally 5 mins with the hue/saturation adjustment layer. It’s comes out very dark, which is why I’d normally go with ‘normal’ skin colour rather than start on a darker tone.

With more time spent, it’ll be much less hamfisted, but it’s a good way to approach all colouring jobs rather than get bogged down trying to find the right swatch.


Armour and cloth…:grimacing:
Rendered a boob today…now there is something i never thought i’d type!

Can we all agree that no one tells J Scott Campbell that i’m screwing up his art, please?!



really struggled with the reds on the boots and gloves.

“oh, @MichaelRea where art thou?!” :wink:

…dreading starting the cape tonight…

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In terms of working out the lighting for him, you might want to try Pose Tool:
It’s not a cheap app at £7 or so, but a bit of time spent creating a figure in this pose, shine a light at the right angle, and your colouring would be leaps and bounds ahead of someone without it.

Good art is all about studying the real world where possible, but computer physics is a good second best! Reference is the first port of call before anything else though. Slows you down and isn’t always fun, but those without reference are doomed to draw like Liefeld, those with reference draw like Hitch and Bolland. I think the same probably applies to colourists…

You’re on your own with the cape though. F*ck that. :skull_crossbones:


as always you are a star!

plus, App just bought!



This one done…but I hate it! :tired_face:

Might do it again tonight…


You know I think it’s pretty tight!

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