Colored Harper Comic

Happy Monday to all y’all. Here’re the finished colors on the Charley Harper comic.
This is the second time (Malphas was the first time) that I color something in Photoshop that isn’t just a spot illustration for a newspaper. I love color and am pretty particular when it comes to palette decisions, but I’m pretty damn inexperienced when it comes to digital coloring. Despite my lack of experience I’m pretty pleased. This is pretty much how I wanted the image to turn out, so hooray. Thanks to Jon Chad for the great tutorial on how to trap colors and how to develop a good coloring workflow.

I learned a lot doing this. For starters, when working on the original art CONNECT ALL THE FUCKING LINES. Jesus Christ,  I’m no tablet ninja, so I was laboring over connecting minute sections forever. Additionally, in the spirit of Charley Harper’s illustrations, I would have wished to not have any outlines. I drew the line art and designed the birds in such a way that I could transform them into blocks of color.

Ideally, I would have plotted out the areas that blocks of color would form and would have simply inked those/cut them out of paper/ done this entirely in Illustrator. Composing in color requires a completely different mindset and workflow.

Anyway, that’s for next time. The assignment asked for us to do line-art, so line-art it was.

For those of you If you’re interested in trying out coloring this way, I can direct you to Dustin Harbin’s spectacular tutorial. He learned from Alec Longstreth, who’s best buds with my teacher, Jon Chad.

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4 Comments on “Colored Harper Comic”

  1. Sharon Rubin says:

    hi juan! i’m not an expert on comics/illustrations, but i love how you rendered the trees! It feels very de stijl to me 😛 keep up the good work!

  2. I a san says:

    Hey juan its Izzy. I love the mood of this piece withthe zoom out at the end. Whether it was intentional or not, the colors follow e mood in that there is a lot of activity at first (bright, warm colors) that mutes out to more neutral tones as the landscapes becomes silent. Doyou read books on comic theory?

    • Glad ya like it, Izzy! I really enjoyed working on this. I basically learned how to use Photoshop in a brand new, more effective way with this project.

      I think about comics formally a lot, but I don’t happen to read much on comics theory per se. I mean I’ve read what Will Eisner and Scott McCloud have to say on comics as communication and then there’s the work of Frank Santoro that I’ve learned a lot from. here’s a video of him doing his layout shtick: http://vimeo.com/36321670

      It’s pretty amazing.

      What I do more often than reading comics theory is that I check out a lot of graphic design reference books, book arts books, typography catalogues and colour theory.

      I read and worked through Josef Albers’ Interaction of Colour earlier this year and it has helped immensely in terms of systematically thinking and feeling out color scenarios. I can’t recommend it enough.

      All in all I like to approach my comics as the marriage of graphic design and poetry. Sometimes I get there, othertimes, I fall short and the two barely rub shoulders on the page.


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