Comic Hero Girl

Step-by-Step Guide

Artist, Nicola Yau has created this step by step guide to adding blended and layered colour to comic art using Classique and Illustrator markers.

Step 1.

To start you can begin applying shadows to some of the areas of white using the Blue Gray 2 Classique marker. These areas are on the hands/ forearms, chest, torso, belt, sides of the skin and legs. As well as the leg areas of the character off-page.

Step 2.

Following that you can now use Silk Classique marker to fill in the skin. Make sure to leave areas that require highlights of light uncoloured as shown in the picture.

Step 3.

Build up areas of the Silk colour needed to create more shading and then add deeper shadows to the areas using a Saddle Brown Classique marker. Be careful not to layer too much with the saddle brown as it may appear too dark.

Step 4.

Brighten up the face area using a Cocktail Pink Illustrator marker for the lipstick.

Step 5.

A Saddle Brown Classique marker can now be used to block out the colour of the hair. This area requires areas to be left uncoloured as well for highlights.

Step 6.

Build up shaded areas with the same Saddle Brown.

Step 7.

You can now begin to create the shadows within the hair using an Amethyst Illustrator marker. This requires more layers in areas that show much darker shadows.

Step 8.

Large portions of the suit can now be coloured with Cocktail Pink Illustrator marker. These areas are the shoulders, under the chest cape clip, the side of the torso, skirt panels and legs. These can be completely blocked out with the colour.

Step 9.

Now you can build up layers of the Cocktail Pink to create shading in the areas needed. This helps to build up the depth.

Step 10.

Following this you can now add the deeper shadows with the Amethyst Illustrator marker. Again, be sure to layer up those areas that need deeper shadows.

Step 11.

Going back to Cocktail Pink you can now fill in the cape of the character off-page to the bottom left completely.

Step 12.

Build up areas of the Cocktail Pink to add the shading.

Step 13.

Carry on in this area using the Amethyst Illustrator marker to cast the darker shadows. Layer up the areas to the left to create deeper shadows required.

Step 14.

Filling in the other main areas of the suit you can use a Violet Illustrator marker for areas including the arms and legs.

Step 15.

Build up some shading with the Violet Illustrator marker before moving on to creating the darker shadows with Amethyst.

Step 16.

Finishing this area you can then use the Cocktail Pink Illustrator marker to create the darkest shadows.

Step 17.

The last main aspect of the clothing of the character is the cape. You can fill in the whole area using a Violet Illustrator. No need to leave any areas out here.

Step 18.

With the Amethyst Illustrator marker you can now add the extra shadows here.

Step 19.

Finally, the cape can have deeper shadows applied with the Cocktail Pink Illustrator marker.

Step 20.

The off-page character needs finished off. To do this you can pick up the Navy Blue Illustrator marker and apply colour the centre panel of the leg.

Step 21.

Build up layers of the Navy Blue on the left side of the leg.

Step 22.

Amethyst can now be added to the further left side of the leg to add shadow.

Step 23.

The eyes can then be worked on, with a Leaf Green Illustrator marker you can add the colour needed for the iris' of the eyes. Make sure to leave the small area on the upper right side of the iris' for the shine.

Step 24.

Highlights for the eyes can then be made using a Dandelion Classique marker.

Step 25.

Following this, you can then use an Amethyst Illustrator marker to create shadows for the upper areas of the irises.

Step 26.

For the final part of the character the Dandelion Classique marker can be used to fill in the areas for the cape clip and arm patterns. Be sure to leave areas uncoloured to show shine as indicated in the image.

Step 27.

Gently with Saddle Brown Classique marker you can cast shadows on the Dandelion areas you have just placed down as needed.

Step 28.

With the Pale Tan Classique marker you can now fill in the whole area of rock formations in front.  

Step 29.

Lastly, you can use the Saddle Brown Classique marker once again for shadows on the rock formation. Layers can be used with this colour on the rock formation to also help build up depth and create areas of deeper shadows.

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