Comic Book / Comics

What Do Comic Book Colorists Use?

Comic book colorists are an essential part of the comic book industry. They are responsible for bringing life to the black and white artwork by adding colors that enhance the story being told. Colorists use a variety of tools and techniques to create the perfect balance of colors that will engage readers and enhance the artwork.

Tools Used by Comic Book Colorists

One of the most common tools used by comic book colorists is Adobe Photoshop. This software is widely used in the industry because it provides a wide range of tools that allow colorists to add, adjust, and manipulate colors with ease. Other software tools that are popular among colorists include Corel Painter, Manga Studio, and Clip Studio Paint.

Tablets and Digital Pens

In addition to software tools, comic book colorists also use tablets and digital pens to create their work. Tablets allow artists to draw directly on a screen, which makes it easier for them to see how their work will look once it is printed. Digital pens provide more precision than traditional pens or brushes, which allows colorists to create intricate details in their work.

Color Theory

Color theory is another crucial aspect of comic book coloring. Colorists must have a thorough understanding of how colors work together to create different moods and emotions in readers. They must also understand how colors can be used to highlight certain elements within a comic book page.

Color Palettes

Color palettes are also important for comic book colorists. A color palette is a set of colors that are chosen specifically for a particular project or scene within a project. A well-chosen color palette can help set the tone for a story or scene and make it easier for readers to follow along with what’s happening.

The Process of Coloring Comics

The process of coloring comics can vary depending on the artist and publisher’s preferences, but there are some general steps that are typically followed. These steps include:

Step 1: Flats

The first step in the coloring process is creating flat colors. Flat colors are solid blocks of color that are used to fill in the different elements on a page. This step is typically done using a selection tool in Photoshop or another software program.

Step 2: Shading

Once all of the flats have been created, the colorist will start adding shading and highlights to each element on the page. This step involves using various brushes and tools to create depth and texture within the artwork.

Step 3: Effects

After shading has been added, the colorist may add special effects such as glows, blurs, or lens flares to enhance certain elements of the artwork.

Step 4: Final Touches

The final step in the coloring process involves adding any final touches and adjustments to ensure that everything looks perfect before it is sent off for printing.


Comic book colorists play a crucial role in creating visually stunning comic books. They use a variety of tools and techniques to create vibrant colors that enhance the story being told. Understanding how comic book colorists work can help readers appreciate the artistry involved in creating these beloved stories.