Learn Comic Book Coloring!

Learn how to digitally color comic, anime, or manga art with Photoshop from a professional colorist--includes brushes!
  • Lectures 16
  • Video 4 Hours
  • Skill level all level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion

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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 Judge Dredd and Hack/slash 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 other coloring course options and 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?

  • Over 16 lectures and 3.5 hours of content!
  • 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.

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.

He launched his first coloring course in May of 2014. He now maintains a beginner course on Udemy and another on his website.

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Average Rating
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  5. 1 Stars
    • Joy Landa

    Glad I took this course!

    I'm only halfway through, but I've learned quite a bit from this course. I have been doing non-professional comic-style coloring for a while now, and this helped me understand faster methods and why things are done a certain way. Now when I look at professional comics I can understand how they achieved the look that they did and how I can get similar results. My methods usually took forever and were painstaking, and I didn't always get the results I wanted. Really glad I took the course! If anything I could suggest, it would be to explain some of the presets and actions a little more so those of us who are not on Photoshop can create similar tools, even if it's just a document explaining (if this actually does exist but I haven't gotten to it, I apologize.) I'm tech-savvy enough to have found most of it on my own, but I did have to install a Photoshop trial to break down some things I didn't understand (I use Corel Painter.) Some things I just can't do in Painter, and some are done another way. I figured out most of it, but some others may need help trying to replicate the presets and actions. It's merely a suggestion and I don't take anything off for it seeing as it was my choice to use a non-standard program! Since I'm learning this for my own business purposes and not for getting a job in the industry, I'm okay with Painter, just had a little trouble translating some of the tools (though the new version of Painter allows you to import Photoshop brushes, so I was just fine with that!) All in all I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to know how it's done in the comic industry, whether for career, personal, or business purposes!

    • Vince Cheney

    50% Through

    Half way through, but I have already learned a ton! Definitely recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn coloring for comics. Everything is laid out step by step and explained.

    • Russell Campbell

    So worth it!

    This was a kick ass course! The teacher shows you how to colour comics professionally and how to work with the goal of speed and accuracy. Got this course for a steal on sale and I feel so lucky!! I work with Gimp and the things he shows can easily be done on this software instead of Photoshop, although I still have to see if Gimp can import some of the tool presets, etc. If not, it would be easy enough for me to do the things he's doing anyway and make my own presets, macros, etc. Seriously, one of the best courses I've taken on Udemy.

    • Ben Clifford

    Nice introduction to coloring

    I knew almost nothing before doing this course, but I feel that I now have a solid grounding to start my own work. If you are only interested in comics as a fan this course is still good. Purely as an academic insight into how comics are colored this course is still worth watching.

    • Andy Ziegler

    A Great Overview with Good Resources

    This couse is about more than just rendering comic colors. With an added focus on storytelling and the business side of the comic industry, as someone new to coloring for comics, this couse was a great learning experience from file setup to converting for print.

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