Some of you might remember I posted a painting I used in my portfolio for CTNx. It is a painting, not a comic panel. For my comic, however, I`m not going to paint it all. I`m going to use line art.

I experimented a bit with how to colour this lineart and how to keep things simple. After doing the Oatley Academy course Painting Drama 2 that`s all about colour, I decided I would try to just use flats. Some of my favourite comics use only flat colour and they`re no less atmospheric. But it`s still a challenge to get your mood and atmosphere across without gradients and with hard edged shapes like in line art.

The challenge of how to recreate atmosphere like in this painting…

Concept art for my comic "Recollection City"
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Concept art for my comic “Recollection City”

…in a comic panel in flat colour.

I’m experimenting with two methods.
1 Doing it literally in all flats:. The first result I got was not really going where I wanted it to be, so I abandoned it.

It still needed some variation in the rocks for example. I can’t just give those one colour since the light is bouncing on one side while the other side is dark. This technique wasn’t really statisfactory since I felt like I was doing cell shading.

2 Another technique that I’m trying out is something I derived from techniques out of the Oatley Academy’s course the Magic Box. I use the lasso tool over a coloured background to create gradients. I think this looks better. And it`s just as fast as the flatting.

These are very rough, the lineart is just a sketchy version, I`d also use different colours in the comic and I used the lasso tool very crudely. But I like the overall sense of atmosphere that is still there in the second attempt.

I still feel like I want to tackle the challenge to create a lot of atmosphere with just flats (without gradients), which requires a very good understanding of colour and colour relations. I’m curious where this search will end.

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