Here’s a little window into the colors as they develop! Sadly I didn’t save any WIP versions of the rendering process. I’ll try to remember that next time.
Because this piece was so unobvious I decided to flat out the overall shapes before I sent it out to my flatter Chris Canibano, so he could refine it all. So the first image is me, the second is him. I had him color hold a few things too…very important that the linework could be separated. The third is what I did to adjust the flats to the color scheme I had in my head.
The fourth image is a huuuge jump, but yeah, I did my rendering, which involves a shading layer, some gradients, and some dodge tool highlights. And I also, as you see, changed the background scheme a lot. I wanted the background to look like the sun’s rays, but it needed to be dark enough for all the bright things to pop! When I play around with color scheme, I select a few of the colors and mess with hue/saturation and slide the hue around to see if I get any ideas. I also use the color mixer to sort of unify the colors…group them together, so to speak. Picking colors is probably the most time-consuming part of coloring, and I don’t think I’m alone in this.
The last image is the final one; Here you can see what a difference all those effects make! We’ve got glowing effects as well as a texture applied. I don’t normally use textures on Rocket Girl…but again, I wanted this to seem like a depiction of buildings, not real buildings, so it was important to group and flatten everything to give it that effect. I made the texture in Painter 9 with their watercolor brushes—I used this technique waaaaaay back when with that very first Madame Xanadu cover. (I’ve tried the new Painter’s watercolors and it’s not nearly as good. Thank goodness I still have an old computer with the program on it!)