The last step is equally the most fun and the most work. What time I save with the simple backgrounds, is spent rendering all the figures. Above, I’ve applied flat colors to the characters. As I’m still working in Adobe Illustrator, that means getting the pen tool and creating paths around the areas, then choosing the color fill for that path. For smaller areas, I use the blob brush to outline the areas, which are then filled in.
Remember, the artwork is on a transparent layer on the top, so I can see the color shapes underneath as I draw the path. With a complicated drawing, it can be very time consuming and tedious, but the results are very satisfying. The colors are sharp and vivid. The file is easily editable and smaller in size than the same page rendered in Photoshop.
Most comic how-to books treat Photoshop as the only program for coloring comics. As an experiment I colored an older story using Photoshop. It looked good, though a bit airbrushed. But the process took more than twice the time to complete it and the files are huge.
Now there are only a few details left to finish this strip. I will add some light and shadow to make the figures look rounded. I'll finish the brick wall in Photoshop and add it to the last panel and make room for the title logo. That first panel is on a separate layer that can be turned off. It will only be used in a later version when I rearrange the page to fit a comic book format.
Tomorrow the finished strip will go up. If you’ve stuck with me through all this, I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts. It has been fun writing about my working method.