Basically a comic colorist takes their own or another person's drawings that have been inked over, scans them into the computer and paints away. It's a lot more than that, believe me, but that's basically what it boils down to. So I've been interested in the process for awhile and I finally began to read through a few books and watched some videos, when a former boss of mine, who knew I was interested in coloring comics, asked for help with a comic project he was working on (a teeny-bopper, slasher-killer in the woods graphic novel). So not really finishing or for that matter really starting said books and videos I agreed knowing that this would force me to actually do an art project.
Well, I finally had some free time this Thanksgiving Day weekend and finished up the videos and gave the comic cover a shot. Here are my postings from my first attempt at coloring comics. Over all I'm pleased with the results, I do see some problems in my coloring and in the original artwork, which I have no control over, but the coloring problems will help me overcome them next time. It was a fun experience, where I know if I stick with it I can improve my skills, I already noticed improvements from when I first layed down color to my final save. Enjoy.
This is the black & white lineart that was drawn, inked, scanned and emailed to me for the coloring. As you can see the blacks are very heavy, this is a nighttime scene and the artist decided to use blacks for deep shadows. So you don't have a lot to color but what you do color tends to look darker and dingier than it is.
So my first step is "Flatting" which is to separate out all the objects and lay down a base color which can change but I use the blocks of color to quickly make selection of object to render. Laying down Flats is almost like coloring in a coloring book, and yes, you need to stay in the lines!
The Flats are behind the lineart, gives impression on how the piece will look.
Here is the render step where I actually go in and add basic shading, highlights, texture effects, etc. This is the meat of the coloring process.
Here is the final piece with the rendered coloring behind the original inked artwork.
Detail of the render coloring behind the lineart.
The funny thing about the comic coloring process is that it seems very similar to the multi-block print process. With comics you have lineart, in block printing it's the keyline, which becomes the upper most image, usually dark line work and the blocks of color aka flats lay underneath. No wonder I seem draw to the comic coloring process.