Below, you can see a work in progress gallery of the process that goes into coloring a page for Wytches. Click on the images to view them larger.
As an artist, I try to vary my approach on each project to match the needs of the story and the artist doing the black and white drawing. My coloring should reflect the storytelling and create a proper mood for the story but should also match up with the work the black and white artist put into the book.
For the comic book Wytches, my approach to the coloring was wildly different from anything else I’ve ever done. I worked back and forth on developing this look with the black and white artist, Jock. My first attempts were actually a fairly standard approach to coloring, mostly trying to match the palette to the story.
Jock kept pushing me, though. He wanted something more, something unique and unusual. He had mentioned fairly early on that he liked spatter, so at one point I did a bunch of spatter on a page. It was late at night as I was working on developing the look for this book and at the end of that work night, I had come up with something that I liked but which I was certain was going too far for what he would want. I sent that page to Jock and went to sleep. In the morning I checked my e-mail and was very happy to see Jock’s delighted response to the page. He loved that approach and accepted it.
This spatter approach developed into the color look for the book. Generally, the spatter is heavier and with more jarring colors on pages that have heavier emotions and is lighter on pages where things are calmer. This book is not calm in many places, though, so it’s fairly spatter heavy.
The look over the course of the story changes a bit as well. Earlier on, things are more colorful. The underlying colors on the pages are more saturated and so are the spatters. As the story progresses, the underlying colors on the pages are more muted and desaturated, with much of the color coming from the spatter and even the spatter has a more narrow, limited range to those colors, veering more towards reds in many places. I planned this from the beginning, to have that sort of darkening of the palette as the story developed and became darker and darker. I wanted the colors to reflect that.