Colour In Mind by MrHass

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When creating an illustration, the introduction of colour is often one of the most fun, and most pivotal steps to be taken. This is especially true if it is applied by traditional means rather than digitally. Good use of colour can raise unexceptional line-art into a great image. Unfortunately the opposite is also true.

 

The way an illustrator approaches colour is a skill unto itself, separate from how someone can draw, compose, invent and so on. Some illustrations use a palette of many colour hues. Others restrict the number of hues, opting to perhaps use tints and shades.

Impericon-Festival-Artwork-by-Ivan-Belikov

Ivan Belikov enhances his line art with both subtle and vivid flat colours. Artwork for Impericon Festival

Greg Toccini's artwork for Low issue 12 makes use great use of rolling colour textures

Greg Toccini’s artwork for Low issue 12 makes use great use of rolling colour textures

Comic book artist Toccini puts it as follows:
“When I do the color, I keep in mind that the palette is fundamental, and the rest is just volume. Finding a good palette is the hardest and most essential part of the process. The color needs to serve the story, as do all the previous steps. The focal points should light up and the foreground should be separate from the background. Detailing everything is detailing nothing. The areas give value to the detailed areas.”

Whether specific colours are required or not, having an agreed overall approach saves both illustrators and their clients a lot of time. Used well, colours will reinforce the artwork and underpin the mood of an image. Often the profile of the end viewer influences what sort of approach is required. A good artist knows how to balance the various factors, measuring out colour appropriately and using combinations that make the image compelling.

Polish artist Swanski uses eye-catching combinations of colour. Artwork for Absolute Vodka.

At Column Arts Agency the use of colour is considered from the outset, not as an afterthought. When specific brand colours are desired, Column artists suggest a suitable scheme that delivers the right brand aesthetic. This ensures a commissioned illustration looks great and best serves the purpose for which it was created.

MrHass is a Manchester based illustrator represented by Column Arts Agency. He specialises in hand drawn artwork made with dip pen and ink.

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Column Arts Agency are an illustration agency that represents commercial artists. We specialise in working with the advertising, publishing and editorial industries. Column Arts Agency have links in Birmingham, London, and Manchester. We were established in 2011.

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"When I do the color, I keep in mind that the palette is fundamental, and the rest is just volume. Finding a good palette is the hardest and most essential part of the process," Greg Toccini


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