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Submitted on
December 17, 2013
Image Size
15.5 MB


24 (who?)
WSFOS Page 1 Inks MarkStegbauer Color test by JoshJ81 WSFOS Page 1 Inks MarkStegbauer Color test by JoshJ81
Here is a test color page for a cool little story written and owned by Michael Exner :iconmikeexner3:
Inks Mark Stegbauer
Colors by Josh Jensen :iconjoshj81:
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ChargedGraphite Dec 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
This is a long one but I assure you, it is the review and application response that you asked for.

This is a great example of coloring lighter.

The only concern that I'd have with this page would be the two panels on the bottom right.

The one of the bottom left is spot on, as the character profile in view is more in shadow and should be a dark like he is there. 

The top panel on the right side should be a little clearer and bolder on the colors of the character. You did great with the sun light but just a little too far with it in my opinion. 

If you try tweaking that line between the light looking intense but just under " too intense ", you will have better control over what the viewer sees. 

Always remember to reveal as much of the character in the scene as you require to make him/her present and not risking breaking the illusion for ' over-decorating ' the effect. 

Think of it as a technique of targeting the object and sticking it into that environment with the light already shining down and the character, car, cactus, tumbleweed, etc...whatever it is, going into the scene and blocking out that given light.

I know this is a little bit different time of day in this example but still the same principle to reflecting sunlight...The key is understanding that the sun is the ultimate in pure light sources we have and it highlights the color it hits because it removes the space for shadow by coming back up off the ground and other surfaces. 

That doesn't mean that it blocks them out though, unless the character is in a direct position to block it completely at select angles. 

Since we can see the character in the line work in full view, this isn't one of those cases.

Check this out and see what I mean, in use of full, bold colors and still having the sun play it's part in the shot:

Next, even though the areas that are at the most exposed point to the direct sun are in bright, warmer tones, the original colors of the characters and clothing still remain, just highlighted rather than overtaken and washed out. 


1. Check out old spaghetti westerns of the 1960's and then some modern westerns of today, like Hildago,  Appaloosa, as well as The Quick and the Dead, from the 1990's with Sharon Stone and Russell attention the how they light these characters in those situation and still maintain their desired shot for the viewer to see clearly what is going on and is emoting. 

2. Keep in mind that on both ends of the spectrum, you are working in a visual medium and no matter how dark nor how bright the environment of a scene gets, the characters must ALWAYS remain clear, crisp, bold and visible. The dimmer or brighter the light source, the more the character needs to be present. 

You can execute this in a number of ways but you have to test and find what works for your personal style. 

A. You use full color hues for a technique like I did on the above example, where everything shows and uses more extreme hues per individual color that appears naturally.

If you look closely at the color work, there are a min. of 5 hues of each color used to get that gradient, even in the white of the shirt.

B. You use a selected tent, which is either green hues, blue hues, soft gray hues, ( this last one will get you into the trouble you had before with overshadowing so I don't recommend it for you ).

C. One of my personal favorites...You can use the combination of A & B,  especially for a darker scene to use full color hues on the characters and key objects and go darker with greens, blues or grays on the environment, to make it pop. 

They use this effect a LOT in books like Wolverine and HellBoy.

Here is example of a page I used it on:


What didn't work-

AVP Requiem - We've all seen it and know how crappy that movie was due to it being so dark. It is too dark and too dull in color for the important money shots, which were in every seen.

That was a great idea but a horrible execution.

What did work-

30 Days of Night - This example is the other end of the spectrum from the sunlight and how everything played together perfectly and was still completely bold and visible...even though the environment was in a blackout. 

More to target-

Pitch Black - a PRIME example of a movie where the sun engulfs the characters but you still see every color of skin, clothing and every other aspect, even with multiple suns coming down on them.

Check it out and absorb this and see about giving it another shot from scratch, just to see how much different it will be. 

Hope this helps!

JoshJ81 Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ahh...I have something try for sure now!
ChargedGraphite Dec 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
Cool bud...hope it helped you out!
JoshJ81 Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Me 2, I'm about to do a 5 page sequence...
ChargedGraphite Dec 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
You need any advice or to shoot the breeze, talk shop, bro, I'm always open to charge...heh.

Also, check out the Breaking-Comics is finally open. Still green but building up a little speed as the holidays come to a close.
JoshJ81 Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Joined!  Thanks
ChargedGraphite Dec 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
Awesome! Much appreciated.

Going to be posting some new pages of original short story work that didn't make it into megabook 3 due to my catching the flu this week and killing my deadline.

Will also be posting some other cool stuff; tutorials, art, etc.

Going to be cool.

Anyway...get to work, as I want to check out how this works out for you...take care, bro.

If I don't catch you around later on, Happy new year too.
Knockoutcomicsbook Dec 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
 i like your drawing it is willing  clean great coloring i love your stuff . i can not want to see what you do next :) (Smile) !cooooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  so a great image  !!!!
JoshJ81 Dec 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks Anthony, trust me, much more is to come :)
Chadfuller Dec 18, 2013  Professional General Artist
great colors!
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