Coloring Comics with Photoshop (Streaming & downloadable videos)

A Comprehensive Course from an Industry Professional | taught by K Michael Russell Watch Intro Video

Course description

If you're tired of searching around YouTube and the rest of the Internet looking for organized coloring tutorials, you've come to the right place!

This is the ultimate comic book coloring course with over sixty in-depth, real-time Photoshop coloring tutorials that cover the entire process start to finish with full high-definition video (1080p) and professionally recorded audio. It covers all of the technical aspects involved when coloring comics with Photoshop, and there's a big focus on storytelling, mood, depth, and getting your pages to "read"--something overlooked in most coloring tutorials and the most well known books on the subject.

The course includes instant access to 12 chapters full of shortcuts, tips, tricks, and techniques learned from my experience as a pro comic book colorist working for publishers like Image Comics, IDW Publishing, and Top Cow on comics like JUDGE DREDD, POSTAL, HACK/SLASH, & critically acclaimed GLITTERBOMB.


Download the syllabus here!


I'll show you everything I wish someone told me when I first started (that I had to learn the hard way.) I'll explain how to build your portfolio, what types of pages to include in it, and I'll even provide some tips on finding work as a colorist.

*** See the course curriculum, free sample tutorials, and student testimonials at the bottom of this page ***


What you get

  • 10 hours of downloadable video lessons in mp4 format, so you can watch while you are offline or traveling! You can see the full curriculum below. It's big.
  • A full set of downloadable brushes and tool presets (with a video lesson on installing them) for color swatches, actions to automate certain aspects of coloring, and color settings to ensure correct color reproduction on the printed page.
  • A big selection of high-resolution, sequential line art from pro comic artists Edwin Huang, Max Dunbar and Jonathan Brandon Sawyer--who were all kind enough to donate art to the course!
  • Access to an exclusive discussion section, so you can ask questions or post art for personal feedback or critiques.

Here's what artist and Marvel/Disney/Image writer Jim Zub (WAYWARD, SKULLKICKERS, FIGMENT) had to say about the course: "I wish I had something as clearly laid out and well organized as this course when I started digitally coloring my work. Needless to say, I recommend it for people who want to produce pro quality comic coloring."


FAQ's

What do I need to get started?
Photoshop & a drawing tablet. Photoshop CS6 & CC are used in the lessons, but almost any version will do. Clip Studio (formerly Manga Studio) has similar functionality, but only Photoshop methods are taught in this course. Photoshop CC is available for $9.99/month as of this writing. The presets in the course require CS6 or higher. If you have an older version, I also include the manual settings, so you can set them up.

Do I really need a tablet?
Short answer? Yes. Long answer? Yesssssss. Coloring is possible with a mouse, but it is much more difficult. A tablet is highly recommended. Wacom tablets are the industry standard and start around $70 as of this writing--even more inexpensive when buying used on eBay. My Wacom Intuos2 is 14 years old, and I still use it every day.

What if I want to color anime characters or cartoons or something other than comics?
The concepts apply to all sorts of art--not just comics.

Can I view an example lesson?
Absolutely, there are two free lessons to view in the course with no purchase required.

Are all of the lessons available immediately?
Yes, you have access to the entire course instantly after checkout. All lessons, downloads, and tools are available immediately.

Does the course ever expire?
Nope.

Get started now by clicking on the BUY COURSE button up top, and I'll see you in the course!

K Michael Russell
K Michael Russell
Professional Comic Book Colorist (GLITTERBOMB, JUDGE DREDD)

I began coloring comics professionally in 2011, and I've been a fan of comics as far back as I can remember!

I'm working as a colorist for comic book publishers Image Comics, IDW Publishing, Top Cow on projects like JUDGE DREDD, the critically acclaimed GLITTERBOMB, POSTAL, and HACK/SLASH. I also worked on one of the short stories in the 2015 Eisner & Harvey-nominated In The Dark: A Horror Anthology.

I uploaded my first comic book coloring tutorial to YouTube in July 2013 and launched my coloring course about a year later. I now have about 14,000 YouTube subscribers and about 1,800 students from 70 countries enrolled here. Crazy! :) There are so many tutorials out there, but not many cover the most important aspect of coloring - storytelling! Even the most popular books on the subjects don't even talk about it. I created this course for that reason.

I'm a huge movie fan, guitar player, drummer, and all-around tech geek. I live in Long Beach, Mississippi, with my wife of sixteen years, We have two cats. One is a jerk.

Some of my former (and current) collaborators include : Isaac Goodhart, Amy Chu, Kody Chamberlain, Ale Garza, Mike Norton, Michael Moreci, Steve Seeley, Emilio Laiso, Jim Zub, Max Dunbar, Mike Henderson, Chris Lewis, Eryk Donovan, Rachel Deering, Valentin Ramon Menendez, Tim Seeley, Matt Miner, Jeff McClelland, Glenn Møane, Jonathan Brandon Sawyer, Shawn Aldridge, Jorge Vega, Jeff McComsey, Mark Bertolini, Fabian Rangel Jr, Jethro Morales, Pow Rodrix, Magnus Aspli

K. Michael Russell
Professional Colorist and Instructor
info@comiccolor.com

Course Curriculum

Getting Started
18:04
Introduction to the course
Course outline
Tools of the trade
What is a colorist?
Photoshop presets installation
Manual tool settings
Downloads & attachments
Optional Photoshop add-ons
Show Content
Line art preparation
13:21
Downloadable line-art
Line-art settings
Cleaning up line-art with levels
Layer setup
Show Content
Photoshop tools - tips, tricks & settings
41:34
Information on the tools lessons
Photoshop keyboard shortcuts
My custom keyboard shortcuts
Lasso tool
Bucket tool
Magic wand tool
Brush & pencil tool
Gradient tool
Show Content
Color theory
40:43
Introduction to color theory
Hue, saturation, & value explained FREE
Warm and cool color concepts
Complementary color schemes
Complementary scheme examples
Analogous and monochromatic scheme examples
Color context (When red is not red!)
Avoiding muddy colors with my "K" rule of thumb
Show Content
Flatting
16:20
Flatting FREE
Show Content
Storytelling Concepts
32:24
Introduction to rendering
Storytelling examples
Working with planes (foreground, midground, background)
Separations and panel layers
Checking your values
Level of detail
Show Content
Rendering
40:51
The "Layer via copy" trick
Lighting angles (Where is the light source?)
"Cut and grad" rendering style
Cel-shaded rendering style
Painterly rendering style
"Flat" rendering style
Show Content
Coloring walkthrough (what we've learned so far)
47:37
Walkthrough - Part 1
Walkthrough - Part 2
Walkthrough - Part 3
Walkthrough - Part 4
Walkthrough - Part 5
Show Content
Advanced coloring techniques
84:19
Color holds (changing the color of the line art)
Primer on technical concepts
Using Brush Modes (Overlay, Screen, etc)
Special effects (glows, fire, etc)
How surfaces impact rendering
Multiple light sources & "bounce" light
Using Color Mode layers to shift color
Layer masks
Adjustment layers for non-destructive editing
Texture overlays
Show Content
Final page preparation
16:18
The Beginning of the End!
Preparing pages for print with CMYK conversion
Batch processing
Preparing pages for use on the Internet
Project organization tips
Show Content
The "business" of comic book coloring
30:34
How to build your portfolio (with advice from my editor friends!)
Finding work as a colorist
Tips on collaborating with other creators
My story about how I "broke in"
Exit survey
Show Content
Bonus video tutorials
232:39
Bonus #1: Real-time coloring walkthrough (fully narrated)
Bonus #2: Gradient maps & more storytelling tips
Bonus #3: Real-time coloring demo (video only)
Show Content

Reviews (18)

This is what I was looking for!

by Christopher Capozzi
Thank you so much for this! I just finished watching the videos through and I am going to immediately start watching them again. I have been digitally coloring my own illustrations for years now, but I was self-taught and I knew I needed something else before I could start working towards the next level. This course is exactly what I was looking for and I would recommend it to any artist thinking about coloring comics. K. Michael Russell creates a very pleasant atmosphere for learning, showing a wealth of technique and insight without intimidating or overwhelming. Finally I'd like to add that the amount of knowledge and resources presented in this course seemingly would cost much more than what you will pay, so the value is amazing!

Amazing!!!

by Raphael Feitosa
Great course. Easy to understand. Excelent audio and video. I absolutely recommend it to everyone out there struggling to get knowledge on how to color comic books using photoshop. I'm positive you won't regret. Thanks KMR, you helped me a lot.

AMAZING

by Jean Snowden
This course was truly AMAZING! It's worth every penny. Actually KMR should charge ten times what he does. So quick, get in on this before he changes the price. If you're trying to be a professional colorist or just a hobbyist, this course is for you. If you're trying to get more familiar with Photoshop, this is the course for you. When I started this course, I had no experience with Photoshop. Now I feel like a pro. I can't say enough about how great this course is. Seriously, if you want to know how to use Photoshop, there's no better course out there. Thamks again KMR for being amazing! Jean
Read More

This is what I was looking for!

by Christopher Capozzi
Thank you so much for this! I just finished watching the videos through and I am going to immediately start watching them again. I have been digitally coloring my own illustrations for years now, but I was self-taught and I knew I needed something else before I could start working towards the next level. This course is exactly what I was looking for and I would recommend it to any artist thinking about coloring comics. K. Michael Russell creates a very pleasant atmosphere for learning, showing a wealth of technique and insight without intimidating or overwhelming. Finally I'd like to add that the amount of knowledge and resources presented in this course seemingly would cost much more than what you will pay, so the value is amazing!

Amazing!!!

by Raphael Feitosa
Great course. Easy to understand. Excelent audio and video. I absolutely recommend it to everyone out there struggling to get knowledge on how to color comic books using photoshop. I'm positive you won't regret. Thanks KMR, you helped me a lot.

AMAZING

by Jean Snowden
This course was truly AMAZING! It's worth every penny. Actually KMR should charge ten times what he does. So quick, get in on this before he changes the price. If you're trying to be a professional colorist or just a hobbyist, this course is for you. If you're trying to get more familiar with Photoshop, this is the course for you. When I started this course, I had no experience with Photoshop. Now I feel like a pro. I can't say enough about how great this course is. Seriously, if you want to know how to use Photoshop, there's no better course out there. Thamks again KMR for being amazing! Jean

5 Stars!

by Ron Lobo
I feel lucky to have found such an organized and practical course on coloring comics. Lessons are hands on and based on professional experience. Awesome!

Awesome!

by Jan Velazquez
It was a pleasure doing this course! This was just what I needed to feel secure in coloring because it gave me that extra tweak I knew I was missing. Also, it was so organized which made it super easy to follow. What else can I say? Just, Thank you! -Jan Velazquez&

Awesome!

by Jan Velazquez
It was a pleasure doing this course! This was just what I needed to feel secure in coloring because it gave me that extra tweak I knew I was missing. Also, it was so organized which made it super easy to follow. What else can I say? Just, Thank you!

Great course recommended for everyone!

by Laszlo Seber
Awesome course, Mr. Russel! Great job! Enjoyed it a lot, lots of new info gained! The set up and layout of the course is really great for beginners and more experienced photoshop users / artists as well. Had a lot of fun with it, can`t wait to try out these newly acquired techniques on my own now. Added extra surprise bonus that made me jump out of my chair was seeing Mike the fly detective and hearing my name mentioned! Haha! :) That was epic! Thank You!

Awesome course!

by Stacie Pinsoneault
These courses were very in depth and helpful. I enjoyed every lesson and I can't wait to actually do everything I learned. I would recommend this course to anyone who needs help getting started or understanding any part of coloring comics.

Highly Recommending K Michael Russell's Coloring Comics Course

by Moti Friedman
As both a comic book writer and artist, Kurt's coloring course has been essential in helping me understand how to use color in order to better tell a story. Even if you're not planning to become a colorist, you should take Kurt's course since it will take you to the next level as a comic book creator and it is my pleasure to recommend it as such. Creatively yours, Dr. Moti Friedman Writer and Aritst of Adam Vanlinte http://adamvanlite.thecomicseries.com/

Excellent!

by David Nelson
I can't say enough good things about this course. K Michael Russell approached it as if you were an absolute beginner, so every step of the process is clearly explained from beginning to end. The advanced techniques are very insightful and inspirational, and gave me some other ideas on how to try to accomplish certain effects. If you're not very experienced with Photoshop, don't worry about it. Every technique is shown step by step and you will learn a lot about the software while learning about the art of coloring comics.

Fantastic.... The best!!!

by Francisco Rodríguez
Simply stated this is the best comic book coloring course of its kind out there. Loved it! This is THE Photoshop coloring tutorials for Aspiring Colorists - Bar None!

A great journey

by Istvan Rozsa
The course was very entertaining and helpful. I was struggling to get a better understanding of how things work in Photoshop when you try to make effects or just rendering but after going through all the lessons I have a much better point of view of how colours should be picked. And with the tools provided I can finally start to work properly on my art and practice, practice, practice... :) Thanks a lot KMR for these great lessons, and I think I will attend the class in the 3rd course :) Continue the great work! Istvan