A while back, Gene Fama put together some essays online that explore the process of effective comics production. I found this courtesy of Ed Piskor’s blog. The process section that I found particularly interesting was on coloring. I would certainly argue that unless making art comix or anything avant garde as a commercial illustrator, your best bet is to respect the principles that Fama puts forward.
Here are some morsels to pique your interest.
Computers are wonderful. They’re especially good at reducing the costs that prevent entry into fields of endeavor. People who can’t afford rent on a comic shop can now open an online store with very little overhead. People who can’t handle Dr. Martin dyes can color and “undo” their mistakes with a click of the mouse. The only problem is that the people with the discipline to master Dr. Martin dyes are more likely to be those with the discipline to use good taste.
If you look at Herge´s coloring in Tintin it’ll look strong and primary, but if you actually try to match his colors you’ll find they’re quite pastel. Similarly, good painters almost never use colors directly from the tube with no mixing. Good coloring is often about finding a shade just outside the primary shade.