Comics Coloring 101: Introduction to Comic Book Coloring
Be a comic book colorist! Developed by Andy Schmidt and popular colorist Chris Sotomayor (Avengers, Captain Marvel, Batman, X-Men, and many more), this six-week intensive class for colorists teaches you all the necessary tools and tricks for not only coloring with Photoshop, but also how to use color as a storytelling device. You’ll get access to all the tools of the trade, tips on how to break in, and you’ll be working with Chris on the pages you color for the class.
Finally, as if that wasn’t enough, you’ll meet an additional professional colorist as a guest speaker! During the course, you will color several comic book pages, including pinups, covers, and interior sequential pages—and rework them with the instructor’s advice. If you’ve ever dreamt of coloring comics, this class is for you!
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The single best comics coloring course on Earth! Or so we believe. Chris Sotomayor and Andy co-developed this class to make sure that you could learn everything we could possibly cram into six weeks.
We focus this class on, with all things, storytelling. The aspect of comics that is unlike most other forms of printed art is that it tells a story and believe it or not, the coloring of a comic has a lot to do with how the story is told.
Take any comic off the stands and examine the colors used at a glance. Superhero comics are bright and bombastic. Crime colors are muted, often with blue tones, horror comics often have red and earth tones. And on and on. At a glance, it’s easy to tell that the color is an integral part of the storytelling process.
- The class meets once a week between 9:00 and 11:00 pm EST, for six weeks.
- You will learn from best-selling and highly respected colorist Chris Sotomayor (Avengers, X-Men, Supreme Power, Batman, Firestorm).
- You’ll get Chris’s lessons and lectures and discussions!
- You will meet a special guest colorist!
- You also get exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum.
- You’ll have access to recordings of any class in the series for the duration of the class and a few weeks after its conclusion—so you never have to miss a class!
- The course is limited to keep the class intimate and ensure that every student gets the attention he or she deserves.
Chris Sotomayor has a reputation of being the fastest color artist in the business, and has been a mainstay at Marvel Comics since 1996. He’s proven himself time and again having worked on their top properties, including Spider-Man, X-Men, The Avengers, Daredevil, Captain America, Hulk, and many others, as well as working on titles for DC Comics, Image Comics and Humanoids. Past breakout works include Supreme Power/Squadron Supreme and Captain Marvel.
In addition to his own coloring work, Soto (as we lovingly call him) also owns and operates SotoColor, a coloring and comics studio in which he finds work for and develops the talents of literally dozens of working, top-ranked colorists in the industry. And he’s ready to apply those skills to helping YOU!
Storytelling is great, but what if I don’t know anything about color theory?
Have no fear, our courses are geared for the beginner as well as the experienced artist. Chris will take you through all the “foundational elements” upon which great colorists build their careers. And that starts with color theory; understanding how colors relate to each other is monumentally important.
Besides listening to Chris prattle on and on, what do I actually do in this course?
Every student is given a number of professional pages to color. These are pages illustrated for actual Marvel, DC or IDW comics. You’ll have professional scripts and line art to use and reference. And the scans are good and clean; the kind you should be getting if you go pro!
And best of all, by the end of the course, if you follow through, you’ll wind up with some portfolio pieces to boot!
What if I don’t know Photoshop?
Don’t worry! We cover everything you need to know for coloring comics quickly and in a friendly manner. And we’ll slow down if we need to.
We wouldn’t substitute this class for a Photoshop class if you want to be a graphic designer, but if you just want to color comics, we’ll have you covered!
Who is Chris Sotomayor and why is he teaching my class?
Chris is easily the most active comic book colorist working in the industry today with over 10 years of experience under his belt.
Chris regularly works for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Boom! Studios, IDW Publishing, and many, many more. Chris came up learning from a generation of leading colorists, and then began teaching the next generation himself! After mind-blowing runs on some of Marvel s hottest titles like Supreme Power and Captain Marvel and then jumping up to Avengers and more, Chris also started his own studio called Sotocolor where he has now trained yet a third generation of colorists who work on dozens of comics every month from a multitude of publishers.
Like all of Comics Experience’s instructors, Chris is not just a top professional in his field; he’s also an accomplished teacher as well. Sotocolor has been leading the industry in coloring comics for several years, and every member of the Sotocolor team has learned from Chris himself. And now Comics Experience is pleased to be able to pass that working knowledge on to you!
What do I do after the class?
Once the course is over, you’ll have been taught how to approach comic pages and stories—not just a set of steps for these specific pages. It’s important that colorists learn to think on their feet (well, in their computer chairs, anyway).
You’ll be able to confidently approach black and white pages for coloring. The idea with all our courses is that you won’t need us once the course is over. You’ll be able to color on your own!
What else will we be doing?
In addition to talking with Chris during the class sessions—and they are recorded if you have to miss one or more—you’ll also have exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum where your class can meet online 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the duration of the course.
The forum is where you’ll be able to post your work for your class to review, comment on, and make suggestions. And likewise, you’ll be asked to comment on your fellow students’ stories as well. You’ll problem solve together and find new ways to color, work around story challenges, and punch up the dynamics!
Do I need to know a whole lot about comics?
Absolutely not. All Introduction courses are designed for total beginners and those seeking to improve their craft. The class has a quick pace, so if you’re very new, be prepared to work, but one thing we pride ourselves on at Comics Experience is our ability to teach to an individual’s skill level.
These courses aren’t about the instructor, and that’s why we keep them small. We have an excellent track record with our students, and it’s our top aim to keep it that way. So, new to comics? Come on in, we’d love to show you around! Old pro? Let’s sharpen those skills and learn a few new tricks! Everyone’s welcome, and the group learning will help everyone improve!
Do I need to be a computer wiz for the class?
Nope. Not one bit. You need to have high-speed Internet access. We recommend that you have headphones with a microphone to plug into your computer, but that’s by no means necessary. Ultimately, you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, though we like hearing your voice!
Once you’re in your first class, we’re sure you’ll get comfortable very quickly.
What computer programs do I need for this course?
You’ll need Photoshop. Any version of Photoshop should do! The basics are the same and have been since the beginning. If necessary, we’ll do some general troubleshooting with folks as they encounter differences in different versions of the program.
When does the class meet and for how long?
The Introduction to Coloring class meets once a week for six weeks. It meets between 9:00 pm EST and 11:00 pm EST. The course is held live.
What if I miss a class?
All of our classes are recorded and available to view via streaming link for the duration of the course. And on top of that, you’ll have exclusive access to the Comics Experience forum set up just for the class. You’ll be able to interact with the rest of your class all week long at any time!
If I don’t live in the United States, can I still take the course?
You bet. We’ve had students jump in from Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa. Not Antarctica yet, but give us time!Some of these students have not been able to attend live, but they’ve viewed the recordings and interacted with their classmates online!
Learning about comic storytelling is great, but do we get any practical industry advice?
You’ll get a LOT of practical industry advice. Networking is one of our main topics in all of our introductory courses. It’s, simply put, essential for anyone who wants a career in comics. We discuss relationship building and ways to get your foot in the door and where to go to meet the right people and so on.
If I don’t want a career in comics, and just like making comics or even just want to learn more about the art form I love, is this class right for me?
Sure it is! How better to expand your knowledge and understanding of comics than by engaging with creators? And that’s what most of our students are—they’re creators. It’s a great place to learn just for fun. We’d love to have you!
How do I sign up?
Click on the PayPal button and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions within two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.
There simply is no better comics coloring course offered—on the Internet or live. This is the best—period. If you want to color comics for fun or become a pro, your comics career starts here. Go ahead and reserve your spot today! Space is limited.
Note: In order to complete the work, the following system requirements are recommended:
- Photoshop (any version, preferably 7 or higher: 7, 8, 9, or CS, CS2, CS3, CS4 or CS5)
- At least a mouse, preferably a pressure sensitive tablet
- 1 Gigabyte of RAM
To participate in our live online sessions you will need:
“All of the classes, both the Intro and Advanced class have been of great help to me. Chris has been very generous both with his time and his resources. His advice and critiques have been very helpful. He offered a lot of help on how to color for storytelling purposes, how to move the story, and how to direct the readers eyes, it’s not just another ‘How to color pretty pictures the comic book way-tutorial’ Chris’ classes were a lot of help for me, and I feel more confident in my coloring.”
“Chris Sotomayor’s knowledge of the technical aspects of digital coloring is astounding. And his working knowledge of color theory and the use of light and color as a storytelling device were fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever had as thorough an explanation of the effects of color and light from an instructor, and I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in fine art. Last, but certainly not least, is his ability to effectively communicate his knowledge to his students. Perhaps best of all, as a student looking back over the work done for the class, I can clearly see improvement and the development of a deeper understanding.”
Colorist for Dynamite Entertainment
“Having gone through both coloring classes, I’ve seen my skill level increase exponentially — an opinion shared by my friends and colleagues who have seen my coloring work. I owe this progress to an exceptional teacher — Chris Sotomayor. Not only is his guidance tempered by an infinite patience to explain technique and the underlying reason beneath it, he’s inspirational in his constant strive to increase his own skill. That drives me to continue stretching my own level with constant practice practice practice. Definitely will recommend these courses to others.”
Former Marvel Editor, Current Workshop Staff Member
“I decided to take the Comics Experience introductory coloring course not because I wanted to become a professional colorist, but to develop some new skills within the comic industry, and to better understand coloring from the perspective of an artist rather than solely as an editor. From instructor Chris Sotomayor’s guidance, I got what I was looking for and then some. Soto and Andy’s teaching style invited a sense of camaraderie within the class while also providing direct, helpful instruction that we could put to use starting with the very first session. I went from having zero practical experience with Photoshop to a much more fluent understanding, and gained a solid foundation in the art and science of coloring. My goal was to learn more about the technical aspects of color, improve my Photoshop vocabulary, and learn enough do a bit of professional flatting work. Thanks to this course, I’ve been fortunate enough to fulfill all those goals, and I’m continuing to learn. Thanks, Andy and Soto!”
“For a non-artist like me, this was a great class, largely because Soto is willing to spend his personal time to get you up to speed… I feel like I’m at the point where I can do some basic coloring for some of my shorts and another friend’s strip, which is more than I could have asked for.”
“I really have to commend Soto. I feel he went above and beyond for us every class. Everyone seemed to get the individual attention they needed. I learned just as much from his critiques and paint overs of the other student’s projects as I did my own. Soto may say that he’s not going to pull any punches and blast us with the brutal truth, but I felt he did a good job of curtailing his criticisms to the individuals’ skill level, while still being encouraging and never overly harsh.”
“Thanks to you, Andy and Soto, and to everyone who I took the (Introduction to Coloring) class with. I learned a ton and hope to keep learning and take the advanced class… I would recommend it to anyone.”
Atomic Robo artist and co-creator
“…two things were outstanding about the class, (Beside’s Soto’s easy-going manner). The first is the instructor and (the second is the) critiques of our work. Class regularly ran late so that no one was left out, and I learned just as much from the critiques of the other student’s work as I did my own. One evening we ran an entire hour over, and while it was exhausting, it was great.”
“I just wanted to tell you that I am planning on taking future courses with you; the writing, the drawing, and the advanced coloring. Both you and Soto made the (Introduction to Coloring) class interesting and fun. During the six weeks I have learned so much from you both and feel confident in my abilities. Something I would not have if I had learned to do digital coloring on my own. You made me look forward to class every Thursday. You put so much of your time and effort into your course and it shows that you really enjoy what you do. It’s nice to see you sharing your knowledge with others.”