Learn Comic Book Coloring

Learn how to digitally color comic, anime, or manga art with Photoshop from a professional colorist--includes brushes!
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  • Lectures 16
  • Video 3.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion

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About This Course

Published 5/2014 English

Course Description

Course Description

If you're interested in learning how to color comic, manga, or anime art with Photoshop, this is a great place to start! You can learn the secrets, tips, and tricks that can make coloring comics a fun hobby, a part-time job, or maybe even a career!

This course, taught by Image, Top Cow, & IDW colorist K. Michael Russell, includes all the basics to get started as well as some advanced techniques.

Whether you are a beginner needing “Coloring 101" or you just want to learn some new techniques to improve your speed or quality, there's something here for everybody.

Course materials will include:

  • Black and white line art from professional comic book penciller Max Dunbar to color along with the lecture videos.
  • Color profiles to ensure proper color reproduction for web and print use.
  • Photoshop Actions to automate certain aspects of the coloring process.
  • Color swatches: A palette of preset colors--exactly as the instructor uses them for his published work.
  • 4 hours of instructional videos featuring real-time coloring by professional comic book colorist K Michael Russell
  • Pre-flatted art for coloring practice

Learn the entire process

Each lecture covers a different step in the coloring process. Once the basics have been outlined in the first section, the second section moves onto some more advanced techniques. The last section includes the best way to build your portfolio, get noticed, and find that first coloring gig!

By the end of this course, you'll have learned the skills required to master Photoshop as a tool to create stunning colored comic book pages or strips. So, if you want to learn how to become a comic book colorist, this is a great place to begin your journey!

This version of the course (1.0) is only available on Udemy. Visit the instructor's website for v2.0 and other educational resources.

What are the requirements?

  • Some familiarity with Photoshop (not much required)
  • Photoshop
  • A digital drawing tablet is highly recommended.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Set up line art for coloring
  • Pick colors that work well
  • Flat pages quickly and easily
  • Render light and shadow with several different techniques.
  • Change the color of line art
  • Add special effects and textures
  • Build a solid portfolio

What is the target audience?

  • This course is designed for anyone interested in learning how to color comic art with Photoshop

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: The Basics

A quick introduction with sample of the type of content you will see later in the course.


Let's get the technical stuff out of the way! In this lecture, we'll optimize Photoshop for coloring and set up your menus. (Feel free to use your own setup if you are comfortable! There's no "right" way.Check the supplemental material for downloadable presets for brushes, tools, color profiles, swatches, etc.


In this lecture, I'll show you how to set up pencilled or inked pages for coloring in Photoshop--an important first step! Make sure any art you decide to import and color is at least 300 dpi if you ever want to print it.


This lecture covers how to pick base colors to avoid "muddy" pages in print, flatting and the tools involved, and a bit of color theory terminology.

Pop Quiz!
3 questions
Section 2: Coloring Like A Pro!

Cel-shading style... for all you anime and cartoon colorists! Check the Supplemental files for the pre-flatted PSD file used in this lecture, some extra line-art from artist Max Dunbar, and a great resource for learning about color theory and lighting.


In this lecture, we'll talk about how to render using the "cut and grad" style--one of the most popular coloring styles. Check the Supplemental Files for a real-time video featuring me coloring a page from Hack/Slash #1 using this style.


"Painterly" style! And some tips on multiple light sources. Check the supplemental section for links to some of my favorite digital painters--lots of education there!


We take a look at a few of my pages from actual projects that feature techniques we've covered, and we also look ahead at some examples of what you'll be learning in the next section: Advanced Coloring Techniques!

Pop Quiz!
3 questions
Section 3: Advanced Coloring Techniques

Here I'll show you how to change the color of the line art for use with SFX or atmospheric perspective. The industry term is "color holds".


Special effects! It's one of the most fun parts of coloring comics... making fires glow, lightning strike, and explosions explode off the page.


In this lecture, we'll be discussing how to add interest and hint at detail with textures.


In this lecture, we'll cover several concepts that help with storytelling as a colorist using several of the techniques we've already discussed plus a few new ones.


In this lecture, we'll discuss a few common errors that I often see from new colorists--some of the same mistakes I made when I first started!

Pop Quiz!
3 questions
Section 4: Putting Your Colors To Work!

In this lecture, I'll cover how to export the hi-res CMYK tiff files required (generally) for print use and how to create web-ready versions as well.


In this lecture, I'll discuss several aspects of the business of being a colorist -- building a portfolio, using social media and Internet forums to find your first gig, and what you can expect from your first coloring job.


if you enjoyed this course, I have a more in-depth course availabe with 10 hours of total content. See this lecture for details and discount information.

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Instructor Biography

K Michael Russell, Professional Colorist (HACK/SLASH, JUDGE DREDD)

K Michael Russell has been working professionally as a comic book colorist since 2011. Recent work includes Judge Dredd for IDW Publishing and the mini-series Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain for Image Comics.

KMR has two new unannounced series launching in 2016 from Image Comics and IDW Publishing.

He launched his first coloring course in May of 2014. He now maintains his original course on Udemy and version 2.0 on his website.

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