Comic Book Style Design - Page 4
       by William Beachy | Go Media  |  17 February 2007

If you accidentally landed here without having completed the third page, click here to go back to the previous page.

Step 4. Create a Second Copy of the Artwork at 150 DPI
Save a copy of your black and white artwork at 300 dpi. Set this aside – you’ll need it later. Then create a second copy of this artwork at 150 dpi. This is the file that we’re going to use for coloring. You will be coloring at this lower resolution because it’s easier on your computer.

Step 5. Create a “color” layer just under the artwork.
Your Photoshop layers should be set up like this:

Top Layer: Your Black and White Artwork. (set this layer to “multiply” so you can see the color behind your line art.)

Middle Layer: Blank Layer to be used for coloring (Also set to multiply)

Background Layer: White.

Step 6. Color your Artwork
The process of coloring is a very complex subject matter. I will not be able to go into all the details of coloring but here are a few tips.

First, fill the main shapes with a color that has a medium value (not to bright, not too dark – somewhere in the middle.) Then go back and add the shadows and bright spots off of this medium value color.

Switch to your artwork layer, use your Magic Wand to select an area on your artwork that you want to color, then switch back to your color layer to paint your color. In this way you can color carefree without fear of going "outside the lines."

It might be a good idea to do your solid colors on one layer, your shadows on another layer, and your highlights on another. And generally, keeping things on layers can save you grief in the long run in case you want to change things.

Have a general color strategy going into this process. I will often start with a fairly limited color pallet and work only from that. A lot of my coloring looks almost monochromatic because I use such a restricted color pallet. This is kind of like cheating, but I admit, I’m not the best colorist.

Also, you can use photographs in your coloring process to add texture.

Step 7. Delete the Artwork Layer, and Return the Color Layer to 300 dpi.
At this point your document should have only layers that with colors – no artwork. Next, return your image to 300dpi.

Step 8. Open Earlier 300 dpi Artwork and Paste it Above the Color Layer.
This is your original black and white artwork file that you saved at 300dpi and set aside. Select the artwork and paste it onto your color image. Set the new artwork layer that should be on top to “Multiply.”

Step 9. Flatten the Image and Save It.
This should be self explanatory. Your artwork is done! Congratulations.

Step 10. Import the Image into your Design Software.
I personally use Adobe Illustrator, I think it’s the best. But you can use Freehand or Corel Draw. Use the “place” function to import your artwork into your Illustrator file.

Step 11. Add Text and Graphics.
Add text and vector graphics onto your image as you would any photograph.

Step 12. Export the final design. That’s it you’re done!
I know that this tutorial did not go into all the details one could think of, but I wanted to give people a general understanding of the process of how we create our illustrated designs. We understand there are many aspects to drawing, illustration, and coloring. We could spend all day writing about the ins and outs of it.

Keep in mind that this is not the only way to do this type of work. It’s just a process that works for me. You may find yourself discovering shortcuts or other methods and we encourage you to experiment. If you have any questions, just ask either as a comment on GoMedia's page for this tutorial or in the Drawing and Design forum of

:cap: William Beachy | Go Media


1 | 2 | 3 | 4

SUPPORTERS:'s fast and reliable hosting provided by Media Temple.