Comic Hero Boy

Step-by-Step Guide

Comic book artist and Manga master, Nicola Yau has created this step by step guide to adding dynamic colour and realistic dimension to comic art using Classique and Illustrator markers.

Step 1.

Making a start on the image, a Blue Gray 2 Classique marker is used to create shadows on the white areas of the suit. This is also applied to the middle strip of the foot of the character off-page to the right.

Step 2.

A Silk Classique marker can be used next to fill in the skin. Make sure to leave some areas uncoloured to show a highlight on the skin area.

Step 3.

After continuing to use the Silk marker to layer up some of the areas that need a bit more shading, move on to using a Saddle Brown Classique marker for the darker shadows.

Step 4.

The character off-page's foot on the bottom right can be filled in completely using the Cocktail Pink Illustrator marker.

Step 5.

Build up layers of the same Cocktail Pink colour for the whole foot.

Step 6.

After that you can then use an Amethyst Illustrator marker to create the deeper shadows needed for the foot.

Step 7.

Going back to the Cocktail Pink Illustrator marker you can now move on to colouring a block of this colour for the whole cape.

Step 8.

Build up the Cocktail Pink colour on areas, especially on the parts of the cape behind the character.

Step 9.

Extra shadows can be created using an Amethyst Illustrator marker, extra layers will need to be added for the deepest shadows.

Step 10.

The last of the character off-page that is visible can now be filled in. This can be done using a Violet Illustrator marker and can be filled in completely.

Step 11.

Build up the shadows with the Violet colour and then follow with the darker shadows using the Amethyst Illustrator marker.

Step 12.

Moving on, the next colour to use is a Navy Blue Illustrator marker. This will be needed for areas around the suit including the shoulders, forearms, under the chest cape clip, sides, lower body area and bits on the legs. These can be blocked out completely with the colour.

Step 13.

 Build up the Navy Blue for shading here.

Step 14.

An Amethyst Illustrator marker can then be followed up with to cast deeper shadows on these areas.

Step 15.

Picking up the remainder of the areas on the character you can apply colour with a Dandelion Classique marker. This is to be used for the hair, eyebrows, cape clip on the chest and arm areas of the suit. Be sure to leave out those little areas of colour that need the light highlights.

Step 16.

Different layers of Saddle Brown Classique marker can then be added for shadows.

Step 17.

The last bulk part, which is the rock formation in front of the character can be coloured completely using the Pale Tan Classique marker.

Step 18.

Finally, shade in areas of the rock and apply shadows using Saddle Brown.

Top Tips:

  • Be careful with layering the same colour, the more you go over it, the darker it will become.
  • Don’t be overwhelmed by how much there is to do. Feel free to take it slowly and focus on small areas at a time if you feel more comfortable
  • Don’t feel the need to get everything accurate on your first try. Keep going and keep learning. You will slowly improve without a doubt!
  • Small details are best to be filled in with the smaller end of the markers. Larger areas are best with the brush end or chisel tip.
  • You can work in parts of the colours being placed down, working through the steps to create the shadows and highlights before going back and working on another group of colour.

So, for example if you’re working on the clothing of a character you can work on a part of the arm first, follow the steps of putting down the highlight and shadow of that particular area. Then moving onto the other arm and following the same steps again.