Colorist

In comics, a colorist is responsible for adding color to black-and-white line art. For most of the 20th century this was done using brushes and dyes which were then used as guides to produce the printing plates. Since the late 20th century it is most often done using digital media, with printing separations produced electronically.

Colorists may work directly for comics publishers (either as employees or freelancers), or they may work for coloring studios which offer their services to publishers. American Color, Olyoptics, and Digital Chameleon are companies notable in this field within the comic strip industry.

Contents

History

Originally, comics were colored by cutting out films of various densities in the appropriate shapes to be used in producing color-separated printing plates. The typical colorist worked from photocopies of the inked pages, which they colored with special dyes. Dr. Martin's Dyes was a brand notable in this field within the comic strip industry.[1] CMYK codes were written on the page to indicate the final printed colors, and these hand-colored pages were used as guides by the engraver.[2]

More recently, colorists have worked in transparent media such as watercolors or airbrush, which is then photographed, allowing more subtle and painterly effects.

Digital color

Colorist Steve Oliff and his company Olyoptics were one of the first to use computers to do color separation. Although other companies at the time were experimenting with computers, Oliff and his crew were the first to blend the color guide artist with the separator.[3] In 1987, the Japanese manga Akira was in preparation to be translated and published by Marvel Comics's Epic Comics line. Oliff was chosen as the colorist, and he convinced Marvel that it was time to try computer color.[4] After the publication of Akira in 1988, computer coloring became increasingly prevalent in the comics industry.[3]

By the early 1990s, even though the larger comics publishers were using computers, there were variations within the field. DC Comics allowed only a 64-color palette, while Marvel had expanded it to 125 colors. Dark Horse Comics allowed even more variations.[1] The dominant programs in use during that time were Color Prep and Tint Prep, both originally implemented by Olyoptics.[1] In 1993, Image Comics' use of computer color and more advanced color separation technology propelled DC and Marvel to further upgrade their coloring techniques. Finally, in the mid-1990s, Digital Chameleon's facility with Photoshop helped make that program the industry standard.[1]

The improvements in the technology used for coloring have had a great impact on the way comics are drawn. Before the use of computers, artists would often use the pen or brush to put in detailed shading effects; now the artist is more likely to leave the drawing open and leave it to the colorist to insert shading through variation in color tones or through adding a layer of translucent black. Most contemporary colorists work in digital media using tools.[5]

Notable colorists

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Hollingsworth, Matt. "Color Guides," MattHollingsworth.net. Accessed Apr. 6, 2009.
  2. ^ "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel Two-in-One #52 (Marvel Comics, June 1979).
  3. ^ a b Khoury, George. Image Comics: The Road To Independence (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2007).
  4. ^ Gravett, Paul. Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics (Laurence King Publishing, 2004).
  5. ^ Sierra, Jerry A. "Digital Chameleon Colors The Vertigo Universe - Part Two," Publish (July 1994). Accessed Apr. 6, 2009.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • colorist — COLORÍST, Ă, colorişti, ste, s.m. şi f. Pictor care se distinge prin atenţia deosebită acordată coloritului tablourilor sale. – Din fr. coloriste. Trimis de hai, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  coloríst s. m., pl. coloríşti Trimis de siveco,… …   Dicționar Român

  • Colorist — Col or*ist, n. [Cf. F. coloriste.] One who colors; an artist who excels in the use of colors; one to whom coloring is of prime importance. [1913 Webster] Titian, Paul Veronese, Van Dyck, and the rest of the good colorists. Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • colorist — (Amer.) col·or·ist || kÊŒlÉ™rɪst n. person who uses color colourist (Brit.) col·our·ist || kÊŒlÉ™rɪst n. person who uses color …   English contemporary dictionary

  • colorist — [kul′ər ist] n. 1. a person who uses colors 2. an artist skillful in using colors 3. a beautician who specializes in dyeing hair …   English World dictionary

  • Colorist — Ein Colorist ist ein Fachmann der Bildenden Kunst, der bei Comics, Filmen und anderen Medien Farben hinzufügt oder Farben abstimmt. Ein Colorist ist ursprünglich der Spezialist, der in der Textil , Druck und Kunststoffindustrie die notwendigen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Colorist —    A person responsible for the administration and tracking of the color/print pitching process of textile development and design. He/she creates seasonal color standards by delivery date and orders standards from external suppliers. The colorist …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • colorist — noun Date: 1686 one that colors or deals with color …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • colorist — coloristic, adj. coloristically, adv. /kul euhr ist/, n. 1. a person who uses color skillfully. 2. a painter who emphasizes color relationships in a work of art. 3. a person who colors photographs. 4. a hairdresser who is skilled in coloring or… …   Universalium

  • colorist — noun a) One who colors; an artist has a talent for coloring b) A hairdresser who is a specialist in colouring and tinting hair …   Wiktionary

  • colorist — col·or·ist …   English syllables


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.