Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Colouring with pencils
Pineapple at 11:41PM, June 15, 2009
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My comic is a basic pencil on paper. I have very little artistic skill, so I just have block colours and no textures. I want to know if there any tutorials out there that will help with colouring using pencils. I had a look at the tutorial page here but it didn’t come up with anything.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
Custard Trout at 7:19AM, June 16, 2009
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Ask Hark to ask his wife to write one.
Hey buddy, you should be a Russian Cosmonaut, and here's why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM
Hyena H_ll at 11:37AM, June 16, 2009
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There was a thread a whiles back in the Art forum about colored pencils…

Hyena Hell's “How to color the Hyena Hell way” tips:
1. High quality pencils; they have more pigment than wax, so the color's truer and blends much better. I use mostly German ones. Right now Lyra's Rembrant line is my favorite. I also like Bruynzeel. Prismacolor's a pretty good middle-of-the-road pencil, and is more readily available than the others.

2. Always keep your pencils factory sharp! Like, sharpen them every few minutes. You can use a razor or sandpaper to shape the tip if you're worried about “wasting” the pencil. But if you're looking for a flatter color (as opposed to the spotty white bits you get when using a duller crayon on textured paper), then sharp is key.

3. Mark-making: I color by make circles, little scribbles, or kind of contouring lines- lightly, then build up the color. Yeah, it takes forever. You can put a quick, light, “primer” layer down with the side of the pencil to denote which colors you want where; then do finer panciling on top of that.

As for textures- here's where the sharp pencils help. Varying the way you're laying down your marks can help give the illusion of different surfaces- crosshatching, straight lines. You can also imagine a light source, figure out approximately where it would hit, and make those parts lighter. I usually divide an object into “highlight”, “midtone”, and “shade” blocks, then blend it together.

4. Work from light to dark; especially if you're heavy-handed, you'll smear the darker colors into the lighter ones. With pencils with a higher pigment content, they don't have the aforementioned wax that kind of binds the color. While it doesn't smear as badly as charcoals or pastels, you still have to watch out. I always put a small piece of paper under my hand as I color, to avoid oil/sweat/whatever from smudging and smearing the page.

5. Blending: the lighter you work, the easier this will be. It's about building up the colors- it's not like paint, where you can mix ‘em. You have to give the illusion of a third color or a transition by laying down your darker color very lightly, then the lighter color, then the dark… you get the idea.

For flatter colors- mixed or not- I’d recommend using a colorless blending pencil. The harder you press down with these, the flatter the color gets (although it does tend to darken it). The blending pencil is waxy, and works by smearing and binding that loose pigment I was talking about. This is particularly useful to fill in those white spots, or erased pencil lines that indented the paper.

6. Paper: some stuff doesn't work well- I don't have much trouble with heavy Bristol, but I've found that in most cased a medium-tooth drawing paper is best. The smoother stuff doesn't seem to take the pencils as well; they're harder (for me at least) to blend.

That's about alls I gots.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
Pineapple at 5:17AM, June 17, 2009
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Honestly, a lot of that went over my head. Especially the brands of pencils and paper. I use the kids pencils that you get from the shops, cant afford anything that's high end for just a hobby. The pigment is pretty good though, I do find that I get a nice deep colour from them.
I was just using A4 computer paper, but I've gone out and bought some better stuff, it's thicker and feels a bit rougher. It seems to be working better.
Shadow is something that I feel I'll never be able to do, I'm just not good enough. But I do like those texture ideas.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
confusedsoul at 7:42AM, June 20, 2009
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Pineapple
Honestly, a lot of that went over my head. Especially the brands of pencils and paper. I use the kids pencils that you get from the shops, cant afford anything that's high end for just a hobby. The pigment is pretty good though, I do find that I get a nice deep colour from them.
I was just using A4 computer paper, but I've gone out and bought some better stuff, it's thicker and feels a bit rougher. It seems to be working better.
Shadow is something that I feel I'll never be able to do, I'm just not good enough. But I do like those texture ideas.


Cheap pencils can work just as well. I use Crayola and WH Smiths own brand, I'm a cheap skate ^^.

Hyena's put down a lot of the technical stuff *makes notes*, but be wary when scanning any pencil material into the computer, the reflectiveness of the lead (particularly with cheaper brands) means that any “grain” (you know, when the paper shows through a little) will be that much more obvious. I've found the work I do has a tendancy to be a slightly lighter shade than intended purely from the scanner light reflecting on the colours, so keep that in mind.

Someone mentioned Harkovast, whose wife does the entire comic in pencil with a whole variety of effects. The comic has a forum for artwork, so you could try to glean some tips from there.

Also, another comic called “Tygar” is entirely pencil, and the artist puts some tips down in the comments. I'm sure either of them would be happy to give some pointers.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
Hyena H_ll at 4:07AM, June 21, 2009
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confusedsoul
Pineapple
Honestly, a lot of that went over my head. Especially the brands of pencils and paper. I use the kids pencils that you get from the shops, cant afford anything that's high end for just a hobby. The pigment is pretty good though, I do find that I get a nice deep colour from them.
I was just using A4 computer paper, but I've gone out and bought some better stuff, it's thicker and feels a bit rougher. It seems to be working better.
Shadow is something that I feel I'll never be able to do, I'm just not good enough. But I do like those texture ideas.


Cheap pencils can work just as well. I use Crayola and WH Smiths own brand, I'm a cheap skate ^^.
This is true. I used 'em for years; I just prefer the highend now. :nervous: unfortunately!
but be wary when scanning any pencil material into the computer, the reflectiveness of the lead (particularly with cheaper brands) means that any “grain” (you know, when the paper shows through a little) will be that much more obvious. I've found the work I do has a tendancy to be a slightly lighter shade than intended purely from the scanner light reflecting on the colours, so keep that in mind.
Also true- especially with a non-pro quality scanner, like the copy machine ones they've got at Kinkos (which unfortunately is what I'm using now!). Usually if you have GIMP or photoshop you can take care of it, but I wouldn't scan less than 300dpi.

RE: More colored pencil comics:
THe wonderful “Putrid Meat”! and also “Ruby”, which is a different kind of style, but beautiful, are done quite well with 'em! All my covers are colored pencil. *coughplugcough* ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
harkovast at 5:05AM, June 21, 2009
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Did someone mention me?
Mrs Vast says she will get to work on a tutorial for colouring with pencils on the Harkovast forum as soon as she gets chance.
Dont know exactly when that will be, but it is now on our ever growing to do list.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:43PM
Eddie Jensen at 9:35AM, June 21, 2009
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if you know your light and shadow basics and have a certain sense of color you can basically color with any medium, coloring with pencils isn't much different than coloring with the computer in my oppinion. Same with Markers and paint and so on.
if I was a teapot I think I'd be orange.

http://t-k-.deviantart.com/
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
Pineapple at 11:26PM, June 22, 2009
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Eddie Jensen
if you know your light and shadow basics and have a certain sense of color you can basically color with any medium, coloring with pencils isn't much different than coloring with the computer in my oppinion. Same with Markers and paint and so on.

I don't know my light and shadow basics and I don't have much of a sense of colour. crap
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
Eddie Jensen at 10:13AM, June 25, 2009
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well then get working.
if I was a teapot I think I'd be orange.

http://t-k-.deviantart.com/
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
Hyena H_ll at 8:32AM, June 26, 2009
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Oh, it's super easy. Like, color-by-numbers easy. Any basic drawing book that you can check out at your library or pick up elsewhere is gonna show you that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
Pineapple at 8:14PM, June 28, 2009
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While we're on a pencil topic, I'm going have a bit of a whine. I get annoyed when I have to buy a whole new set of pencils just because I ran out of the one colour.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
Hyena H_ll at 5:02AM, June 29, 2009
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Pineapple
While we're on a pencil topic, I'm going have a bit of a whine. I get annoyed when I have to buy a whole new set of pencils just because I ran out of the one colour.
Haha. I feel the same way when I have to buy a pack of microns because the stupid store runs out of the size I need, and I need it immediately!

That's another plus to the Prismacolors or other higher end ones, though- stores sell singles! Or “looseys” as I call ‘em.

I hate it when packs of colored pencils don’t include light neutrals (like beige or “flesh”); also they tend not to have violet, which I use more than my manly man persona would lead folks to believe. ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
Pineapple at 2:06AM, June 30, 2009
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The skin colours I find are much too pink. Makes everyone look sunburnt.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
Hyena H_ll at 3:12AM, June 30, 2009
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Pineapple
The skin colours I find are much too pink. Makes everyone look sunburnt.
Use a light beige for caucasian skin. You can mix in the “flesh” or “peach” to give it a bit more warmth, but I'd do so conservatively. I use a light tan or sienna for the shadows of the face.

The trick is to apply the pigment extra light, especially for lighter skin. That's when it helps to have the sharper pencils. Just layer it slowly so if it starts getting too dark or too pinkish, you can take an eraser to it and kick the hue down a notch.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 1:17PM, June 30, 2009
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I find that the best mixture for caucasian skin is (gently applied) cadmium red, cadmium yellow/naples yellow if ya got it, and burnt sienna.

I think most non-mixed colors (unless you have really nice colored pencils) look cheap. Especially greens and purples. idk why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:23PM

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