Thoughts on Colour Theory?

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Thoughts on Colour Theory?

Postby Hungie » January 27th, 2019, 8:07 am

So I have been meaning to colour future pages to both practice my painting, shading etc as well as enhance viewership quality. Until recently, I've been firm in keeping my hand out of colouring because well, I'm not too good I feel. But I'm trying to expand and try new things!

Anyway, looking through a few comics, I've always found comics that stay conservative with colour theory (keeping things realistic), whilst most of the time objectively good, never that exciting for me

Looking at some pages of Spider-Gwen, some panels or pages are completely covered with more 'dreamy' or 'neon' hues of pink/purple, automatically being much more memorable for me as a reader. Maybe I just like the colour pink :P

My favourite artworks are some of the stuff made by Hirohiko Araki which utilise extreme swatches not necessarily to convey meaning or feeling, but rather to kind of show off Araki's finesse with using clashing colours used in a very inconsistent manner. Very apparent when looking at the colour palettes of one character in different works.
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Re: Thoughts on Colour Theory?

Postby Ricelily » April 17th, 2019, 8:20 pm

Color is an intimidating beast when you don't understand the theory behind it. And the best way to understand it is by understanding the basic color theories and terminology.


Value refers to levels of tints, tones, and shades in an image. (often times people struggle with color is because their values are too close together.)

Tints- are hues (colors) with white added into them. That's where our pastel colors come from.
Tones- are hues with gray added into them. That's where some muted colors come from, mainly it subdues the intensity/brightness of the hue.
Shades- are hues with black added into them. That's where our really dark colors come from.

*To get earthy-muddy hues- you add various amounts of the complementary hues into each other.

Let's look at your picture samples:

The Avengers poster is a "Quad Complementary" scheme:
Yellow-green (Hulk)
Red-Orange (Scarlet witch and Iron Man)
Blue-green (Captain Marvel and America)
with a Red-Violet background. The red-violet anchors the other three colors in the foreground together in a united image.

Spider-Gwen is a "Split Complementary" scheme: Red-Violet, Yellow-Green, and Blue-green.
Gwen is surrounded by tint and tone variations of Red-violet and is the dominant color. Yellow-green (tone) blends into the dominant color because they share similar value. While the tiniest tint of Blue-Green highlights in her shoes serve as an accent color.

The Araki illustrations have several complementary schemes in both images. In the first one, the two characters are dressed in one complementary scheme (Blue and Orange) which make them stand out from each other. In the background is another complementary scheme (Yellow-green and red-violet). While these colors are on opposite sides of the wheel, (Yellow-green and Blue) and (Red-violet and Orange) are also analogous on the color wheel.

That's just to start. And if you plan on coloring your pages in the future, experiment with the color schemes (complementary, split complementary, triad, quad, monochrome (one color with variations of tint, tone, and shade) and find out what you like! There's no wrong way to try, just go for it.
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Re: Thoughts on Colour Theory?

Postby Socratatus » August 12th, 2019, 4:08 pm

It`s funny. I`m pretty to new to all this. Haven`t been that long doing art through a computer. I tried following all that Art colour theory stuff, but it was slowing me down, so I just said, "Ah 8%$* it!" and just went with how it looks and feels to my eyes.

I know I still have some way to go, but at least it got me getting on with it instead of being delayed once again by something!

I don`t even know if I`m making sense! :|
A Steampunk\sword & sorcery tale.
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