Photographer Franck Bohbot captures the classic movie palaces of southern California [x]
My process of colourisation for the comics is what I call “an alchemy process”, by digitally mixing colours with layers blends.
It’s in opposition with direct colours, also called "Alla Prima".
If I love doing Alla Prima for studies and one-shots illustrations,
I think it’s not suitable at all for sequential art, in a condition of massive and fast production on +50 pages.
Alchemy process give an absolute control on everything, like in a 3D software:
I do a pass for the diffuse colors&textures, another for the lights, and a last one for the post-process.
Page number 01 from the volume 3 of “Detectives” drawn by Cyril Ceyles and written by Herik Hanna for Delcourt editions.
It’s a portrait of the main character of the story, full page, frontal composition.
I already know what to do with him, since i defined it from 7Detectives ( see Bibliography)
I read the script, ask to Cyril and Herik some details about the scene :
We are in England, in the 1920’s, It’s night time and it’s raining, This scene take place in a luxurious train.
So, here are my beacons ; 20’s, night, luxury.
I prepare the page for my process, using a script I made for this kind of manipulations, and give the PSD to my assistant, Emeric.
During that time, 2s in my head…
"Chemin de lecture", read path. The “probable” path of the reader’s eye in the page.
it gives to you the rhythm of the picture, and it defines the peripheral look.
"Compo image", image composition. Here we have a square type, an equal balance between vertical and horizontal lines.
There is another balance to keep between the balloons on the right and the window/seat/wall combination on the left of the picture.
The face is clearly a central element.
"Zones regard périphérique", peripheral view of the look. I’ll explain this later, in another note.
After that, i google some references.
In this case, I’m just looking at the “languages” of a luxurious train, what are the “adjectives” of it?
What makes a train luxurious ? What are the materials ? Where are the lights ? What are the local colors ?
What is shinning, and what is not shining ?
References and documentations are useless if you don’t observe them with the right questions.
To copy them is stupid.
What Emeric gave me back. A clean job.
FIRST PHASE OF THE PROCESS : CHARACTERISATION
If I were a drawer, this would be the phase of the sketching.
The flat work is one of the most important phase in the process of color, if not the most important.
It’s about designing the scene, giving it an identity, supporting/enriching the narration and laying down the foundations of the color scheme.
I take my time doodling, casting furnitures until satisfaction. I keep my colors in a low saturated state.
The detailed flat work. Flat was an undercoat which I complete with details.
It’s like adding some adjectives in a sentence. “green striped jacket”, “purple velvet bench thick and comfortable" …
Preparing the colors for the next phase of the process, controlling my color scheme, locking down the gamut, correcting the false notes.
It’s important that at the end of this first phase, the picture could stay like this, and be published without shame.
Everything got to be square and aesthetic.
SECOND PHASE OF THE PROCESS : COLOR AND LIGHT
If I were a drawer, this would be the phase of the inking.
The mood juice. My analogue scheme is going to change for a sort of analogue triad.
I’m laying down the dark tons very meticulously.
Looking how it dance, with a loosy brushwork. I’m laying down the light tons as carefully as for the dark tons.
Dark tons and light tons are the bones of the color, they structure the painting. It’s essential to choose them with purpose.
A lot of color works are failed because of that simple hasty.
An hour later, everything is in place. A few tweaks here and there, and the job is done.
LAST PHASE OF THE PROCESS : THE SELF-CRITIC
Yep, it’s important and it’s part of the process.
Do not rely on other people to review your work, and do it yourself. Don’t hurt yourself, but don’t be shy neither ; Just be honest.
What’s wrong in my colors ? What should I do to change that ?
In my case, for this page and since it’s the first time i work the drawing of Cyril, I know I did’t have found the right balance, yet.
The face of the character is clearly overworked. But it’s OK, since it’s a portrait, it’ll pass for this time.
Then, I notice a very low contrast between the pant and the bench.
I’ll have to pay attention to that in the next pages, because the color I used in the bench will certainly come back.
It may sound paradoxical, but looking at your colors in black&white is the best way to know if they are actually good.
Checking your values and the readability of the picture.
That’s it !
Beautiful photos of abandoned places.
THIS IS WHAT THE WHOLE WORLD WOULD BE LIKE IN A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.
What the fuck is the huge hole in the first one?!!!
Sadly a lot of them are one shots, but there’s a few longer ones. A lot of yuri manga is tragically too short and I’m always left wanting more. D:
After some struggles with myself, I ended up putting stories about college aged women so long as it’s not “innocent school life” heavy.
- Love my Life (this one has a movie. A uni student coming out to her father and finding that her parents were both queer as well.)
- Indigo Blue (A novelist caught between feelings for her boyfriend but also her feelings for another woman.)
- Free Soul (22 year old aspiring manga artist writing a manga about a black jazz singer. Artist falls for a trumpeter of a jazz band.)
- Sweet Lovin Baby (A young woman befriends a lesbian couple and falls for them. With three other short stories.)
- Conditions for Paradise- An OL in love with a world hopping freelance journalist
- We’re Aiming for Love Now (Journalist and a cutie in a cosplay store)
- Happy Picture Diary - (REALLY FUNNY. An social worker and an editor’s daily life together. All chibi but with some really real lesbian life jokes)
- Off-Time (an aging lesbian short one shot)
- 20-Year-Old Girl x 30-Year-Old Maiden- (one shot, a 30 year old sensitive about her age with a 20 year old woman in her art class)
- Princess of the Stars- (short- almost didn’t make it b/c high school flashbacks but it’s college roomies and it’s short and sweet- and challenges that “girls experiment with girls in high school then grow out of it” thing that people in Japan sometimes think)
- Ohana Holoholo: Torino Shino (Saya lives with her bisexual former girlfriend and her son. Nico, an actor living up stairs and a close friend, drops by for a visit almost everyday. Somewhat like family, and somewhat not, a story about their lives)
- My Unique Day-Sakamoto Mano (women in an acting troupe together. one shot)
- Abracadabra- Tanaka Minoru (a magician and a cute girl dealing with confessing to a girl for the first time)
- Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep- Mizutani Fuka (two women with the same name meet. Warnings for self harm)
- Cirque Arachne: Saida Nika (Two women working in the circus in a trapeze act. Stellar cute.)
- Maple Love- Otsu Hiyori (meeting in college; really cute)
Two that I recommend but are set apart from the others because one is written by a man and one is written with the male audience in mind respectively
- Kusari ha mou iranai- Uso Kurata; two Office ladies
- Octave- Akiyama Haru (seinen manga; a talent manager and a songwriter)
This is by no means an exhaustive list and I know there’s more (one particularly that I wanted to put on here but couldn’t remember the title of) so feel free to add on your favorite adult queer lady manga to the list!
Here’s a handy dandy color reference chart for you artists, writers, or any one else who needs it! Inspired by this post x
"The Great Illusion", Lara Stone by Paolo Roversi for Vogue Italia May 2010