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  • Gotham Girls



    pencils by Joe Benitez
    inks by 'k-omer' over on deviantart
    colours by me...
    I colour stuff...

  • #2
    Catwoman is incredibly flat.

    I'd suggest looking at some leather, vinyl, or rubber body suits to see how to add some form and volume to the figure with lighting in the coloring. In particular, her right hand is completely lost against her body.
    New and improved for 1996!
    Instagram: Pencilero

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pencilero View Post
      Catwoman is incredibly flat.

      I'd suggest looking at some leather, vinyl, or rubber body suits to see how to add some form and volume to the figure with lighting in the coloring. In particular, her right hand is completely lost against her body.
      I just did the colours. Catwoman is solid inks with some highlight edges.
      I colour stuff...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SeanE View Post

        I just did the colours. Catwoman is solid inks with some highlight edges.
        Hey Sean. I usually don't comment on your stuff cause it seems like you're satisfied with what you put out and so are your clients, so there's not much room for critique.

        But on this one, I've gotta side with Pencilero's comment. I think there's a point worth making here about collaboration.

        I looked around and found Joe's original pencils, k-omer's inks, and the published cover. The published cover was colored by Peter Steigerwald over Joe's pencils. No inks.
        Here are the 3 side by side.


        This looks to me like an example of both good and bad collaboration.
        Good collaboration:
        Steigerwald chose to disagree with Joe's indications in the lineart that would have Catwoman's body be completely black with negative contour lines. I can't read his mind, but I bet he decided that having such a big part of the image be so stylized would clash with the rest of the image, which is much more rendered.

        Bad collaboration:
        k-omer inked the image and chose to follow Joe's indications, but matched the pencil lineweight so closely that the contour lines are almost invisible against the black figure. Catwoman's unreadable.

        It's not that Steigerwald was categorically right and k-omer was absolutely wrong. It's that one of these collaborators was THINKING. One artist chose to work on the piece in a way that made it stronger and the other didn't.

        Good collaboration means bringing your strengths to the work, and being deliberate to balance out your collaborators' weaknesses. It's not just blindly following the lead of what's been put down there before you. Don't hesitate to tweak things that make for a bad piece.

        And this isn't just me talking. Any editor worth their paycheck would make the exact same point, and probably have things to say about print quality and how it'd look on the shelf to a reader, etcetera. If this was actually going to see print, you'd be asked to fix the other artist's bad choices, or you would have been given corrected lineart.

        As the colorist, you're responsible for making the whole thing clear and readable and attractive, as much as you can. You could have used a much brighter fill color for Catwoman's figure so the lines don't disappear, and you could have strengthened those contour lines so they're readable and Catwoman doesn't look like an indecipherable pool of ink.
        You're the last person to have handled this image, Sean. Didn't you notice how hard it was to read at any point while you were working? Surely you didn't think "well, that's the inker's choice and I'm just the colorist, so I can't do anything about that". You can fix it. You should.



        Last edited by sdowner; 01-15-2018, 01:49 PM.
        Downer IllustrationTumblrTwitterDeviantArtDracula The Unconquered

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        • #5
          Wow, thanks for posting that sdowner. I didn't even bother to go digging for the original images, and didn't realize this was a cover / or pinup.

          If you think you're just slapping down colors as a colorist, you may want to just work as a flatter, or some other back end capacity. Digital coloring has enabled colorists today to have a massive impact on a finished book.

          In the past, it was primarily the penciller and inker who had the lead on a comic. Now, brilliant colorists can make a comic absolutely sing.

          Strive toward that. Look at the work of Paul Mounts, Chris Sotomayor, Peter Steigerwald, Dave Stewart, and Patricia Mulvihille for starters. They all elevate the books and covers they work on.
          New and improved for 1996!
          Instagram: Pencilero

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sdowner View Post

            Hey Sean. I usually don't comment on your stuff cause it seems like you're satisfied with what you put out and so are your clients, so there's not much room for critique.

            But on this one, I've gotta side with Pencilero's comment. I think there's a point worth making here about collaboration.

            I looked around and found Joe's original pencils, k-omer's inks, and the published cover. The published cover was colored by Peter Steigerwald over Joe's pencils. No inks.
            Here are the 3 side by side.


            This looks to me like an example of both good and bad collaboration.
            Good collaboration:
            Steigerwald chose to disagree with Joe's indications in the lineart that would have Catwoman's body be completely black with negative contour lines. I can't read his mind, but I bet he decided that having such a big part of the image be so stylized would clash with the rest of the image, which is much more rendered.

            Bad collaboration:
            k-omer inked the image and chose to follow Joe's indications, but matched the pencil lineweight so closely that the contour lines are almost invisible against the black figure. Catwoman's unreadable.

            It's not that Steigerwald was categorically right and k-omer was absolutely wrong. It's that one of these collaborators was THINKING. One artist chose to work on the piece in a way that made it stronger and the other didn't.

            Good collaboration means bringing your strengths to the work, and being deliberate to balance out your collaborators' weaknesses. It's not just blindly following the lead of what's been put down there before you. Don't hesitate to tweak things that make for a bad piece.

            And this isn't just me talking. Any editor worth their paycheck would make the exact same point, and probably have things to say about print quality and how it'd look on the shelf to a reader, etcetera. If this was actually going to see print, you'd be asked to fix the other artist's bad choices, or you would have been given corrected lineart.

            As the colorist, you're responsible for making the whole thing clear and readable and attractive, as much as you can. You could have used a much brighter fill color for Catwoman's figure so the lines don't disappear, and you could have strengthened those contour lines so they're readable and Catwoman doesn't look like an indecipherable pool of ink.
            You're the last person to have handled this image, Sean. Didn't you notice how hard it was to read at any point while you were working? Surely you didn't think "well, that's the inker's choice and I'm just the colorist, so I can't do anything about that". You can fix it. You should.


            yep.. I might get back and revise it later when I have some time
            I colour stuff...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Pencilero View Post
              Wow, thanks for posting that sdowner. I didn't even bother to go digging for the original images, and didn't realize this was a cover / or pinup.

              If you think you're just slapping down colors as a colorist, you may want to just work as a flatter, or some other back end capacity. Digital coloring has enabled colorists today to have a massive impact on a finished book.

              In the past, it was primarily the penciller and inker who had the lead on a comic. Now, brilliant colorists can make a comic absolutely sing.

              Strive toward that. Look at the work of Paul Mounts, Chris Sotomayor, Peter Steigerwald, Dave Stewart, and Patricia Mulvihille for starters. They all elevate the books and covers they work on.
              I've been doing this for a while now...

              https://seane.deviantart.com/gallery...ope-Cover-Work

              https://seane.deviantart.com/gallery...ommission-Work
              I colour stuff...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SeanE View Post

                I've been doing this for a while now...
                That's good, and it doesn't change a damned thing about the feedback I've given you.

                There are plenty of folks out there doing "I just did the colours" work, and then there are the examples I provided who consistently do exceptional work.
                New and improved for 1996!
                Instagram: Pencilero

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pencilero View Post

                  That's good, and it doesn't change a damned thing about the feedback I've given you.

                  There are plenty of folks out there doing "I just did the colours" work, and then there are the examples I provided who consistently do exceptional work.
                  You told me to go back to being a flatter... that’s pretty insulting.

                  everyone slips up now and then. Yeah catwoman’s not the greatest but it’s my colours and the only person I have to keep happy in this instance is me since I’m doing this one for fun. When you start paying me I’ll do whatever you want with the colours.

                  Im fine with what sdowner said. He’s got valid points.

                  Right now you’re just sucking all the fun out of doing comics.
                  I colour stuff...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SeanE
                    You told me to go back to being a flatter... that’s pretty insulting.
                    Sheathe the claws, kitty cat. I believe you misread his comment:

                    Originally posted by Pencilero
                    If you think you're just slapping down colors as a colorist, you may want to just work as a flatter.
                    I may be assuming, but I'm fairly certain you don't think you're just "slapping down colors" with no forethought in execution.

                    Either way, I think we all can maintain some civility, don't you?
                    Last edited by amadarwin; 01-22-2018, 07:42 AM.
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                    Amadarwin's unauthorized, unscathing, unfinished biography.

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