Friday, January 24, 2014

Colourist appreciation Day

Today is Colorist Appreciation Day, and I feel a little weird writing about it as it's my own area of comics.

There is art in everything, and different people find comfort in different areas and in different skill sets.
 Myself, I find lighting and colour significantly easier than any other part of comics production. That's not to say that it's easy. Even within the scope of my so called 'comfort zone' there's a crippling amount of both freedom and restriction. I've a tendency to over-render the vast majority of my work, and I look at the work of my colourists out there at the moment with bold 'simple' choices that elevate a story beyond its pure inks. Done right, colour can save an iffy page but mishandled it can ruin a beautiful work of art. There are technical requirements for print and house styles to bear in mind, and more pressing than all other concerns is the deadline. I have deliberately taken on one book at a time for most of my career because while I CAN churn out pages, I don't want to. I like to take time and re-play with my palette choices, and find my tweaks almost always look better than the first stab. Colour holds and textures take extra time too, and they're something I find quite appealing and like to indulge in whenever appropriate. Which slows me down. I've done fast books before, and I always wish I had more time or a better first impression of how the page should look.
This is why, when I see a great eye mixed with breakneck speed I have nothing but admiration for many of the colourists out there.

If I have one wish for colourist appreciation day, it's for writers to remember to mention the time of day/year in their scenes, for pencillers to think more about lighting and how a page will look coloured rather than just In Black and white, and for inkers to close lines whenever possible because it makes our lives a little bit easier. Colourists often get the short end of the deadline stick and still bear the weight of making beautiful art for a living. It's all a team effort, so if you can make their lives a little easier, they can make your pages pop in all the best ways.

All the best,


and here's some excellent colourists you should really check out if you haven't already:
Jordie Bellaire
Dave Stewart
Dean White
Len O'Grady
Ruth Redmond
Lee Loughridge
Charlie Kirchoff
Laura Martin

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