Color quickly grabs your attention. Although there are many successful black and white comics, color comics take graphic storytelling to new heights. Although some artists still color their strips by hand, many are switching to computers for greater control. Digital coloring is especially popular with web comics.
1. Sketch your comic strip, using drawing paper that is proportionally larger than the final strip. Use a blue pencil for any instructions or comments. Blue pencil will not show up when you copy the strip. Comic Making 101 has instructions on comic book creation on the Gurl website. (See link in Resources below.)
2. Ink the comic strip with India ink. There are two options for protecting your original artwork. Place the original on a light box, and trace and color new artwork on vellum paper. Making a photocopy of your original is the second option.
3. Reduce the original artwork to final print size. Store the original and work on the reduced copy.
4. Color the copy. Artists use a wide medium range with their comics including acrylics, watercolor or markers. If you’re sending the comic to a commercial printer, use the Pantone Guide to find exact print colors. (See link in Resources.)
5. Mark Pantone Colors outside the comic’s print border in blue pencil. Beginning artists should practice digital coloring as well. The DrawingBoard website has an excellent tutorial on coloring comics on a computer (see Resources below). Artists who master both methods are more attractive to the leading comic book companies.