top of page

Comic Book Illustration: Oriana Colors

Picking a Complimentary Color Palette, Environmental Lighting

If you missed the first part to this series, click below to watch the inking process for Oriana: 

Comic Book Illustration: Oriana Inks | Inking Over The Roughs, Rendering Textures & Materials


In this demonstration we’ll be coloring up Oriana, from Tin Man Game’s, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. To find out more about Tin Man Games, click the link below:


You’ll get an overview of my basic approach to comic book style coloring, rendering and lighting -beginning with the base colors, where we’ll establish a complimentary color scheme for the illustration. This process is also known as ‘flatting’, since we’re literally lying in a flat mid tone for each of the main elements within the composition.


From there we’ll decide on an overarching lighting scheme and begin shading the character, starting out with the base shadows and then the base highlights. These light and dark tones are derived from the mid-tone base colors we laid in previously, and we’ll be using them to describe each form with depth and dimension.


To pull this off accurately, there are two primary things to consider - the form being shaded and how the light is hitting it. In these initial stages of the coloring process, the base shadows and highlights are laid in with big, broad strokes to convey the general forms, materials and lighting within the illustration.


Later, these tones will be blended together, to create a smoother transition between the light and dark values. The level of intensity that the light bounces off of certain materials will be dialed to make them more distinct from one another as well.


Once we enter into phase two of the rendering process, it’s important to take some extra time and care to make sure the subtleties within the forms and materials throughout your illustration are described to a fine degree of clarity. Attention to detail is the name of the game here, and it’ll determine the quality of the overall presentation once you’re done.


Throughout this demonstration we’ll be using Photoshop to digitally color and paint the inked line art of Oriana. I’ll be using multiple layers throughout this workflow, to compose the base colors, shading and lighting, ultimately tweaking the final illustration using a number of key adjustment layers. These adjustment layers will be responsible for modifying the contrast, saturation and harmony of the color scheme.


I hope you get a lot of insight out of this demonstration. Effective coloring requires us to learn a lot of things that fall far outside the scope of what I’m able to fit into this tutorial. But there are a few valuable footnotes here that are certainly worth keeping in mind.


Thanks for watching, and good luck!



Software Used: Photoshop


If you like the video, show your support by commenting, sharing or subscribing.

Comic Art Community -
How to Draw Comics .NET -
Instagram -
Facebook -
Twitter -
Tumblr -
Pinterest -

Sign Up Free and Get:

  • The Step-By-Step E-Book walking you through the making of "Cleineclypto"

  • Figure Drawing Foundations: Proportions Of The Heroic Figure E-Book

  • Access to subscriber exclusive special offers, promotions and giveaways

bottom of page