A Comprehensive Photoshop Comic Book Coloring Course

Learn to be a colorist from an industry pro!

A comprehensive course | taught by K Michael Russell

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, & the 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 FREE
Course outline
Tools of the trade
What is a colorist?
How to install the Photoshop Presets
How to set up your tools manually
Important downloads & attachments
Optional (but helpful) Photoshop add-ons
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Line art preparation
13:21
Samples pages to color
How to set up your line art
How to clean up line-art with levels
How to set up your coloring layers FREE
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Photoshop tools - tips, tricks & settings
41:34
Introduction to Photoshop's tools
Using Photoshop keyboard shortcuts
My custom keyboard shortcuts
How to use the lasso tool (it does more than you think!)
How to use the bucket tool
How to use the magic wand tool
How to use the brush & pencil tool
How to use the gradient tool
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Color theory
38:42
Introduction to color theory
Hue, saturation, & value explained FREE
Warm and cool color concepts
Using 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
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Flatting
16:20
How to flat pages properly FREE
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Storytelling Concepts
32:24
Introduction to rendering
Storytelling examples
Working with planes (foreground, midground, background)
Using separations and panel layers
How & why you should check your values
Using different levels of detail when rendering
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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
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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
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Coloring techniques
84:19
How to make color holds (changing the color of the line art)
Primer on technical concepts
Using Brush Modes (Overlay, Screen, etc)
How to create 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
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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
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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
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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)
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Reviews (30)

Informative, Well-developed Instructional Coloring Course

by Kenneth Solomon
K Michael Russell has complied together a series of informative, instructional tutorials that effectively teaches the basic fundamentals of coloring comics with the use of Adobe Photoshop. The streaming videos are high quality and its downloadable options make learning very convenient to a student when offline. K Michael Russell provides a plethora of educational documents, advance tools, and practical examples giving the student a variety of useful elements that build on the foundation of digital coloring. His easy-to-follow instructional methods ensures the student gravitates to achieving the knowledge to fulfill their goals successfully.

by Dartallion Allen

by Fred Harris
I think this course was great!! I learned so much, more then I ever dreamed I would. I had so many questions about certain features in Photoshop and your course was the only place I found that had the answers. I plan on going through this course at least one more time. I've found that the second time around I get even more out of the course then I did the first time. You are a very talented colorist and it was an honor to learn from you. Whatever you do , don't stop teaching. I and many others like me need people like you to show us the way. Thank you for this course, thank you for taking the time to create it. I do have a few questions though. At some point in the course you mentioned another course that you had taken from someone named Cris Sotomayor. His course is quite expensive. What do you think about someone taking his course after taking yours? Do you recommend that?? Or is yours all that's needed for the time being?? Well, KMR that's all that I have for right now. Keep up the good work and I'll try and stay right behind you every step of the way. Once again Thank you for a well thought out course. I want to learn more about flatting. Where do you think I should go from here?? Sincerely Fred D. Harris
Read more

Informative, Well-developed Instructional Coloring Course

by Kenneth Solomon
K Michael Russell has complied together a series of informative, instructional tutorials that effectively teaches the basic fundamentals of coloring comics with the use of Adobe Photoshop. The streaming videos are high quality and its downloadable options make learning very convenient to a student when offline. K Michael Russell provides a plethora of educational documents, advance tools, and practical examples giving the student a variety of useful elements that build on the foundation of digital coloring. His easy-to-follow instructional methods ensures the student gravitates to achieving the knowledge to fulfill their goals successfully.

by Dartallion Allen

by Fred Harris
I think this course was great!! I learned so much, more then I ever dreamed I would. I had so many questions about certain features in Photoshop and your course was the only place I found that had the answers. I plan on going through this course at least one more time. I've found that the second time around I get even more out of the course then I did the first time. You are a very talented colorist and it was an honor to learn from you. Whatever you do , don't stop teaching. I and many others like me need people like you to show us the way. Thank you for this course, thank you for taking the time to create it. I do have a few questions though. At some point in the course you mentioned another course that you had taken from someone named Cris Sotomayor. His course is quite expensive. What do you think about someone taking his course after taking yours? Do you recommend that?? Or is yours all that's needed for the time being?? Well, KMR that's all that I have for right now. Keep up the good work and I'll try and stay right behind you every step of the way. Once again Thank you for a well thought out course. I want to learn more about flatting. Where do you think I should go from here?? Sincerely Fred D. Harris

by chaz west

Great course!

by Maja Opacic
This is a great course! It was also a reminder of things I thought I knew, but needed to be re-freshened. All these things are helping, not only with coloring, but also with my other art, traditional and digital. Another great thing is the fact that course never expires and you can always go back in case you need a reminder. Michael also gives very helpful critiques witch helps a lot. You can also see what other students do, and learn from critiques given to them. If you want to learn digital coloring this is a right place to start!

Great teacher, useful info, and practical/ understandable presentation

by Matt Walters
This course really gives the tools for anyone to practice and get into coloring. I used this course as a refresher from my Bachelor's program at SCAD, as I've let my skills atrophy quite a bit while having to pay bills with a corporate job. That being said, I found it helpful to watch the videos at 2.0x speed, but that might just be my impatience.

Excellent Course to Start Learning How to Color Digitally

by Robert Gill
I've been professionally drawing and inking comics for a few years now and was looking to add coloring to my skill set. I had only a very basic knowledge of Photoshop, and this course proved to be an extremely helpful starting point. The videos are clear and easily manageable, and the downloadable tools and presets offered are invaluable. I'm so glad I found this course online and am very thankful for the generosity of Mr. Russell to put all this out there for people wanting to start learning how to digitally color comics. I will recommend this course to anyone I can as often as I can. -Robert Gill

So Far So Great!

by Robert Johnston
I have been using Photoshop for a while now, and I'm learning more about it through KMR. I'm impressed! I didn't know things, I didn't know! Thanks KMR!

Signed up in order to change my career. Couldn't have hoped for more!

by Daniel Jones
What a foundation I've been given! Thank you Mr Russell!

AWESOME!!!!!

by Dominic Omoarukhe
This is amazing,i really enjoyed every lesson in this course, can't wait to apply what have learned on my comic book project, i totally recommend this course to anyone having challenges in coloring comics. Great job Mr Russel and i really Enjoyed it a lot. Thanks a bunch.

Coloring Comics is a Great Course!

by Jim Smith
This Is a Great Course ! Thorough and clear. A step by step method that is perfect for beginners! (that's me) I would and will recommend this course to anyone interested in colouring or creating comics at any level. From hobbyist to pro this course has something for everyone. Thanks KMR Also I should mention that I received a quick response when I sent an email question.

Wooooooow Beyond Expectations

by nathan humber
This course is very thorough, it really is a huge help for anyone who is serious about learning and creating on the next level. I think the information, is well worth the price. Speaking personally I attended "art school" and so many of the tips and basic information holds so much more value. This course is also well designed and easy to navigate through and the downable content is solid. I'm completely satisfied and happy with this course! TIME TO CREATE

by Farid Ezedin

by Donald Mangan

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!

by Donald Wagner

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

by Ethan Rappaport

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!

by Malin Rozon

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.

by Demetrio Barroero

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
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