Hi do you do your own painting as well
The art below is painted by hand in watercolor with touches of ink on Strathmore 500 Multimedia board. The gold areas were painted on the board using 18K gold ink. The lettering is also by hand directly on the board.
The lettering on our names below is by hand, but this was done on a separate board and dropped in via Photoshop. I did it that way in case the editor changed his mind later.
When I work on some comics, sometimes I work with a colorist, but more often than not these days, I do all the art myself as well, including the color.
This is a page from Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology. I drew the original art in ink by hand on Bristol board. P. Craig Russell did the adaptation.
The final color was done by me on computer in Photoshop.
A lot of people think if you work in mainstream comics, your job is easier because you have a team of people working on each comic. But that's not necessarily so. I rarely work with other artists now, have not worked with an inker in nearly 20 years, and do my own color as often as possible. It's more efficient to color your own work than it is to do a lot of tight drawing and rendering in pencil, then pass the art on to an inker, then pass it on to a colorist.
When I color my own work, I know what I can leave to the coloring process and skip in the ink rendering process. As you can see, my inked line art in the above image is very simple. And, of course, for speed's sake, in a deadline pinch I can use the paint bucket tool to quickly fill in large areas of black, which is a tedious process to do by hand on original art.
However, when working in black and white ink alone, I do a lot of rendering in the ink stage. The below image is by hand using a paste on tone sheet for the effect.
This is from my space opera graphic novel series A Distant Soil. Drawing like this, with all those little lines, is actually more time intensive than doing the same page in full color, because there are a lot of things I can do in Photoshop more quickly than I can do in ink. I would not have done all those little lines to define the form of the horses had I gone straight to color.
Also, doing tones by hand is incredibly tedious work. When I complete A Distant Soil, I will never use them again.
I would rather do fewer books where I have more control over the final art than do many books where I work with a team of people. I like having final say in how my finished art looks.
Thank you for your question.
anonymous asked 💬 how did you make the coloring of the gif on your announcement post? ive read how you used clipping mask, but if you could go into more details on how adding the purple in on the spiderman gif? like how did you make it purple but peter’s suit’s still red?
COLOR MANIPULATION TUTORIAL BY USERGIF
idk if anyone else calls it color “manipulation” but me.. it makes it sounds really intense, but it’s not! it’s just what i’ve always called coloring that deviates from the “natural” colors of a scene. surprisingly, i got away with coloring this gif using just 8 layers. so, in this tutorial, i’m going to walk you through each layer and my (pretty detailed) reasons for each adjustment. fair warning, very gif- and ramble-heavy tutorial under the cut:
OVERVIEW: LAYERS PANEL
LAYER 1: CURVES
i almost always start my coloring with a curves layer. rgb is for overall brightness but i like to go into each channel (red, green, and blue) to lift some of the existing colors before i get started with more targeted coloring. no S curves here, just some tiny slopes
LAYER 2: LEVELS
levels, my most beloved adjustment layer <3 in this layer, i also like to tinker with each individual channel. in rgb, i’m just increasing the highlights & darkening the shadows. in red, i’ve pulled the reds forward quite a lot by moving the right slider closer to the center. in green, i moved the left slider to the right by 6 to increase the magentas in the shadows. in blue, i bumped up... the blue lol.
in each step before the most “drastic” color manipulation, my #1 goal is to make photoshop recognize the reds in all spideys’ suits as a distinctly different color than the purple tone i want to make the sky. so when i make the sky purple, it doesn’t change the suit. my second goal, is for ps to recognize the blues in all spideys’ suits as a dif color than the purple sky (but i can cut this goal some slack bc it’s an easy fix at the end).
at this point in the coloring, the sky still has a bit of red tones in it and the suit has a bit of magenta in it. so, trying to use something like hue/saturation at this point would only muddle all the colors together.
LAYER 3: SELECTIVE COLOR
between layer 2 and layer 3, you can see the sky is looking a lot more blue-indigo now. the most important step was boosting the coolness of the blues by pulling down the yellow sliders in the cyans, blues, and magentas channels. i’m also making the reds lean more on the warm, yellow-red side. so it doesn’t get mixed with the magentas.
a personal preference: i also like to boost the whites of the highlights using selective color. sometimes A LOT, like here. and i like to add a bit of the blacks back too
LAYER 4: LEVELS (PT. 2)
did i mention i love levels? here, i’m really bringing back the brightness and contrast by bumping up those highlights A TON and sliding down the shadows a bit. i’m also repeating some of the same steps i did with my first levels layer in the red and blue channels. the only major difference here is i didn’t touch the green channel. i usually only use green to help brighten really dark scenes a bit (adding some green can help give me a little more to play with when doing color manipulation). since this coloring doesn’t have green and my reds and blues are pretty close to where i need them, i didn’t need any green levels at this step. and i didn’t want to use the green channel for adding more magenta bc i find i have better control of manipulating that in the next layer...
LAYER 5: HUE/SATURATION
here she is, my other beloved: hue/saturation. you can do SO much with hue/saturation (i especially love this adjustment for color-correcting skin tones).
before i jump into the blue → purple, something i do that may not have much consequence is fully take down the saturation (sometimes even the lightness) of any color i don’t need. some part of my brain tells me this will help keep my file small by telling photoshop it doesn’t need to account for those colors
anyway, the key players in this layer are: blues and magentas (i didn’t even touch red because it was the right tone and saturated enough already)
you can see on the hue slider for both blue and magenta, i pulled it to the right to get closer to the purple color i wanted. i’m not touching any saturation or lightness here bc i don’t want it too intense. you can also see how this adjustment didn’t affect my reds! but... it did mess with some of the blues in the suits 🤡
tbh sometimes this is just unavoidable at this step in the coloring, but no worries! we’ll fix it. plus, look at Peter 3. his legs are a bit closer to blue than the rest. thanks, Peter 3 🤗
LAYER 6: LEVELS (PT. 3)
levels have returned <3 this time just the rgb channel because i really love super black shadows and bright whites
LAYER 7: HUE/SATURATION (PT. 2) + LAYER MASK
again, i’m only playing with blues and magentas here but the real heroes (aside from the spideys) are layer masks. if you look back at my layers panel overview, you’ll see my last two hue/saturation layers are both masked (i put an overlay on the demo image above so you could see how it was masked). the white section is the only part that’ll be affected by this layer
heads up, this won’t always work. it really depends on the movement happening in the scene you selected (that’s why most color sets use relatively still scenes). but since i upped the shadows quite a bit in this gif, i’m able to get away with a static layer mask despite the movement of all the spideys jumping down (bc my adjustment won’t affect the blacks)
anyway, in the previous hue/saturation, i pulled the blues and magentas to the right in order to make them both more purple. but now, i want the suits to go back to the color they’re supposed to be, so i pulled the hue sliders to the left so the royal blue is restored
LAYER 8: HUE/SATURATION (PT. 3) + LAYER MASK
this layer is so Type A of me a;lskjdfls
literally the only part that’s affected is that tiny circle lmao. but yeah, it bothered me that the outline of his eyes was skewing purple. so here, I did the same thing i did in layer 7 to make that bluer
why didn’t i just also mask this part in layer 7? because you can only really see the outline of Peter 1′s mask after he’s fully posed and facing forward, about halfway into the gif. so i applied this layer only to the second half of the gif (hue/saturation 19):
if I had masked this off in layer 7, I would have had a random blue circle in the middle of the sky in the first part of the gif lol
anyway, that’s it!! this was one of the easier times i’ve had manipulating colors. so i hope that was coherent 😅 as always, if you have any questions, feel free to send us another message or ask me on my main: @sith-maul! — nik <3
Ted the Animator: “What’s up?”
Carl the Animator: “I've got the rhino-sneeze linework done, just all needs to be painted in. Prolly could be done ‘round 6.”
Ted the Animator: “Oh?”
Carl the Animator: “That bubble tea place ‘cross the street closes at 6.”
Ted the Animator: “...oh.”
Carl the Animator: “Like, having gotten this far painting one...”
Carl the Animator: “...strictly speaking, does he reeeaaally need more color than that?”
Ted the Animator: “...frankly, that does kinda feel–”
Carl the Animator: “Lemme re-phrase. Does he need more paint more than we need bubble tea?"
Ted the Animator: “...”
Carl the Animator: “...”
*20 minutes later*
Carl the Animator: “Let’s goooooo!”
Ted the Animator: “It’s... it’s something, at least.”
Carl the Animator: “It’s a camera-shake scene, it’s fiiiine. Kinda works as a smear frame effect.”
Ted the Animator: “I guess... plus small TVs, a live broadcast....”
Carl the Animator: “Yeah, who’s to know?”
Ted the Animator: “It's more the principle of the thing.”
Carl the Animator: “My principal is ‘if you ain’t gonna give us rhino-painting budget, bubble tea comes first.”
Ted the Animator: “The perfectionism in me is unhappy... but the stomach in me is vetoing it.”