Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Introduction to Coloring - Enrollment open!

The first class old out fast, and this one is already on its way to do the same. Unlike our recent announcements about the new lettering and inking courses, we've already done a coloring class. And Chris Sotomayor, colorist of AVENGERS, SUPREME POWER, BATMAN and countless other great comics, is back for more!

Chris's reputation withing the industry is unparalleled. He's helped start the careers of dozens of colorists already! The most recent additions to that list are a few Comics Experience Coloring Course alumni.

I took the course when Chris first taught it and he's amazing. Absolutely astounding. But let's hear from him. I asked him a few questions recently and here's what he had to say:

Andy Schmidt: Soto, so why come back and do the coloring class a second time?

Chris Sotomayor: There's actually a lot of different reasons for this, but I'll limit it to just a couple of the main points.

Firstly, when I was coming up in the comic business, there was no real internet, like there is now. All the internet was, was text and crappy porn. Nowadays, it's a great resource, and you can find information on anything. One of the snags though, is that most of it is peer to peer information. So the information you're getting may not totally be 100% accurate, and is at least suspect to people's opinions (meaning that some people may not think painting is important to learning photoshop, so they pass that information by). What this class allows, is for me to teach people the right way from the ground up. I'm teaching this class as an art class, that uses PhotoShop as the tool of creativity, so you get the proper foundation, and not just learn how to use the lasso tool.

Secondly, I love "cutting edge" stuff. I like to be in on things on the ground floor I love trying new things. This class is all of those things. This is different from those tutorial DVDs (or to a much lesser extent, books) which provide you with one image to color, and show you how to color that particular image. With this class, it's fully interactive, and done in real time. I teach techniques and approaches that work on everything. And best of all, you can get answers to your questions right there. Have you tried asking one of those DVDs a question? It ain't easy to get an answer.

Andy Schmidt: How were you able to deal with the different levels of familiarity with Photoshop from the original class? I mean, how were you able to catch the real beginners up without boring the folks who already had experience coloring?

Chris Sotomayor: When we designed this course, it was very important to start from the bottom, under the assumption that no one knows anything, but still make it interesting for those that may already be familiar with some of the more basic aspects. An important part of that is building in certain "wow" moments so that everyone can can something new in every class session. I think there's probably the most information (and the most important information) on the second day of class. That seems to be the one where everything starts to make sense and I hear the most "oohs" & "ahhs". That's seems to be a defining class and sets the tone of what everyone will be learning.

Andy Schmidt: Does someone have to know Photoshop to take the class?

Chris Sotomayor: Absolutely not. We really start this from the very ground up. All you have to know is how to start up PhotoShop. I'll take you through every part of the tools and what they do, and what you'd use them for right from day one. And remember, if you're still not clear on it, you can ask questions and get real answers. My goal is that at the end of each class, everyone walks away with complete understanding of what they just learned. And the home work assignments are designed to reenforce what you learn in class, so you have a working understanding of how these things are applied in the actual work. "No student left behind".

Andy Schmidt: Ultimately, is coloring about know Photoshop? What is it YOU look for first when evaluating someone's digital coloring skill?

Chris Sotomayor: Knowing PhotoShop is great (heck, knowing anything is great), but is nowhere near the beginning or end of anything. Anyone can learn PhotoShop. There's plenty of classes and books on that. What I teach is an art class. That's the real emphasis. Creating art using PhotoShop. You have to have the foundation and sensibilities to be able to apply the different principals of painting and art. Using PhotoShop as an extension of that is what separates this course from other books, DVDs, and online tutorials.

Andy Schmidt: Anything else you'd like to add about the course or about coloring in general?

Chris Sotomayor: Aside from the things that I mentioned, there's a few other really important aspects of this course. Part of taking this course, is that you will have a packet of hi resolution black & white artwork to use for the homework assignments. Artwork from all of the big publishers. Marvel, DC, Image, & IDW. All with an amazing range of material to color. All of which you will use to build your portfolio, step by step.

Also, all the classes are recorded so that the students can review them at their leisure, in case they discover there's something they didn't quite understand the first time it was discussed. So, although I teach the class once a week, you can continue taking each class as many times as you want, whenever you want (Recordings are available from a streaming website during the six weeks of the course for class members --AS).

And there's one other thing that I really enjoy, that was really something we didn't plan on. As I taught this class the first time, I noticed that there was an interesting peer tutoring dynamic that the students developed on their own during the time between classes. Everyone seemed very open to discussing ideas and approaches, and even gathering questions. This was something that I hadn't counted on, and something that I thought added a new and very interesting level to the course. I honestly don't think you can get this kind of experience from anything out there today.

Andy Schmidt: As always, thanks for joining the Comics Experience. We're glad to have you on board and look forward to seeing what your new students can do!

Check out the courses page for details on the class!

Hope to see you there!

Andy

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