A Very Different Coloring Method (than mine anyway)

Colorist Tamra Bonvillain is a friend of mine, and she has a VERY different method of coloring than I do. I thought it was pretty interesting, so I thought I'd do a video to explain the basic concepts anyway. 

Tamra paints on masked "Solid Color" adjustment layers with a different layer for each color. She also does some things grouping layers and combining them with Levels adjustments layers that I do get into yet. I'm still figuring it out too. 

This method does have some advantages, and I learned a lot trying to figure it out! I won't be changing to this method or or anything, but I do think I'll be using parts of this method for certain things. It's always good to learn new tricks.

Anyway, enjoy the video!

New tutorial series starting: How NOT to Color Comics!

I'm starting a new tutorial series on YouTube called How NOT to Color Comics! 

I'll be talking about a lot of common mistakes--most things I used to do at some point.... haha... 

Check out this week's video here on AIRBRUSH EVERYTHING MODE! :) 

A list of educational resources, Photoshop tutorials, and color theory stuff

After posting about Xia's YouTube channel, I thought it would be a good idea to provide some other useful resources for people interested in coloring or painting in general. Of course, I'm partial to my coloring course, but there's so many great resources out there. So here's a few that I've enjoyed over the years (and in most cases, still enjoy!)--things that have helped me on my journey or things I believe would help you.

In no particular order...

Lummage's YouTube Channel - Nathan Lumm is a fellow colorist with a ton of great videos. He'll provide a slightly different angle on coloring techniques than you'll see in my channel, since there's about a million ways to do everything in Photoshop! His Comic Book Coloring Tips & Tricks series is a  great resource. He hasn't posted in a while, but he's probably busy coloring! :) 

Sycra's Foundations of Light and Shadow - I love this series! It's a fantastic set of lessons for those of you that might have trouble with rendering. If you need help figuring out where the light and shadow should go, this is for you! I still go back and watch some of these videos every few months. This won't be the only appearance of Sycra on this list. 

Also from Sycra... How To Choose Colors That Work  This video was very eye openings for me, and I can't recommend it enough for those of you that might wonder why your colors "don't seem to fit" or clash or that sort of thing. Check it out!

For those of you that still remember what books are, James Gurney's book Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter is incredibly good. Even though the book is focused on painting, all of the color theory stuff applies regardless. I keep this book very close to my desk all the time! 

His gamut masking tool was recreated as a PSD file here, by the way:  (You may don't know what that is yet, so read the book!)

There are also some resources in that link that explain more. I used this tool when generating palette ideas for a new Image project coming later this year. It's a great way to come up with interesting palettes. 

This is a book you'll probably have to soak up for a while. There's a ton of content, and I still don't understand the majority of it well enough, but I'm working at it! 

Comics Experience's Introduction to Comic Book Coloring. Coloring veteran Chris Sotomayor (AVENGERS, BATMAN, X-MEN, about a billion other books) teaches this course. Soto's been coloring since 1996. This is a paid option, and it's not cheap, but the difference here is that each class is live with the instructor online. I took this course is 2014--even after I was getting pro work, and I found it to be extremely helpful. Soto is pretty active on Twitter too, and he's good about answering questions about his course there.

This YouTube video is another excellent lesson in storytelling with color: 

I recently discovered ArtStation. It's primarily digital painters and concept artists, but lots of great time-lapse process videos. This link sorts the trending posts that are 2D with video. Tons of good artists on there.  

Hi-Fi Color for Comics
$24.99
By Brian Miller, Kristy Miller

One more for you! Hi-Fi Color for Comics. 

The original version was one of the first books I picked up on coloring, and I found out that figuring things out on my own had me doing some weird stuff before I read this.

They recently updated it, so be sure to check it out. It's a great book for beginners. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that's it! I hope you enjoyed this list. Let me know what you guys think! I'm sure I'll add to this to keep it updated in the future. Send me your ideas as well!

Best,
K. Michael Russell
 

 

New video and new (vague) project news!

Hey people! I uploaded a new video tonight. This is a time-lapse recording of a page from TRANSFERENCE #4 for Black Mask Studios. I'm filling in for my friend and fellow colorist, Tamra Bonvillain

The artist in this issue is Toni Fejzula (VEIL). The writer is my former HACK/SLASH collaborator, Michael Moreci (HOAX HUNTERS, CURSE, ROCHE LIMIT). 

If you are wondering what I'm doing with Photoshop in the video around 1:15, I'm using a gradient map. I made a video about them once here. I use them to shift the colors around in interesting ways on an adjustment layer, then set the layer mode to COLOR, then adjust the opacity. I then use that as a base to start adjusting my base colors. 

Anyway, this project sort of fell in my lap suddenly, but I do have three new projects coming in 2016 that I can't say anything about yet, but one will be at Image, and the other two, IDW. All are creator-owned projects, and I'm very excited about them! I expect they'll start getting announced sometime in January 2016. UGH. :) 

Talk soon!

 

A flatting tutorial!

By popular request, a flatting tutorial video!  Flatters, sometimes called coloring assistants, break up all of the elements on the page into separate colors. It's sometimes called color separations. The colors themselves are irrelevant, but they make the colorist's job easier by allowing them to just select the areas with a magic wand, as opposed to re-lassoing everything when coloring.

There are many, many wrong ways for a flatter to flat pages. I'm constantly hearing from fellow colorists that have a hard time finding new flatters that know how to do it properly.

So I made this video to try to rectify that! I'm sure there's more than one correct way to do it, but this is my way, and I know it works! 

I'll be doing a new intro video for it soon, but I figured I'd go ahead and share. The all-new & improved version of my Photoshop comic coloring course is online! 

Line art by Edwin Huang. Colors by K Michael Russell. Copyright 2015.

Line art by Edwin Huang. Colors by K Michael Russell. Copyright 2015.

I took in all the feedback from my original course over the last year, and I've completely overhauled everything to create (what I think) is the ultimate guide to coloring comics in Photoshop.

Now, it's 50+ comic book coloring video tutorials, all brand-new--over 9 hours of tips, tricks, and shortcuts! By popular demand, there's also a version that you can download and take offline if you like. All the videos are also in full-HD 1080p with professionally recorded audio.

Check it out here! http://learn.comiccolor.com/collections