Monday, January 30, 2017


Different layers used in Photoshop during the coloring process. Drawing by Guy Gilchrist, Colors by Philip A. Buck.

    Hello everyone! Here's something I've been meaning to share for a bit. I've been doing some color work for Guy Gilchrist lately. He did tons of the classic merchandise art for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the past & creates new pieces to sell as commissions or prints. I was super excited when he asked if I'd do the colors for his latest "full cast" turtles illustration. In the animated GIF above, you can see the layer breakdown I used for shadows, highlights & textures in Photoshop. Of course, there was a lot of work between these steps.

The TMNT cast in a rooftop scene drawn by Guy Gilchrist.

    Here is the black & white ink drawing Guy Gilchrist sent to me for colors. It's already impressive as is, wouldn't you agree?  

Character Color Reference

    When I'm coloring preexisting characters, I'll often gather together color samples & reference images into one page that I can leave open while working. I used this reference page to narrow down the colors that I'll use the most. Are the turtles bright lime green or dark forest green?! Since there's been many different versions of the TMNT characters' colors (even just in the 80's & 90's cartoon style,) this page helped me find a "common ground" for each individual color. I wanted colors that were similar enough to each version of the cartoon turtles that they wouldn't stand out as "odd" if the viewer was only used to one of the versions above.

Drawing by Guy Gilchrist, Colors by Philip A. Buck

The TMNT cast,  the final image, Drawing by Guy Gilchrist, Colors by Philip A. Buck

    After finishing the colors & sending the image to Guy, he realized the picture's dimensions were incorrect for the size prints he was making. The solution? He had me add extra cloudy skies to the top. I think it gives it more drama & compositional "breathing room." What a thrill to work on a Gilchrist TMNT piece! (And there were more to follow!)
    Thanks for checking in for this quick look at the process. If you have any questions or comments you can leave them in the comments section below. Until next post, Cowabunga! & God bless, you guys & HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GUY!

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