Thoughts on working with a colourist

Did you happen to read my post last week about “Working in Black & White” vs. “Working in Colour”? Well I just starting working with a colourist for the first time on ANDREW JACKSON IN SPACE and it’s been a really interesting experience.

First off, “the Colourist” is Harry Saxon who has worked with Heather Antos (the editor of UNLAWFUL GOOD and ANDREW JACKSON IN SPACE) before and came highly recommended. I checked out his DeviantArt page before we jumped in to the colouring and he had some great stuff so I wasn’t too worried.

The biggest challenge has really been communicating what I sort of see in my head. I’m used to getting an idea of how I want things right from the start and then working towards that. Since I’m not colouring the book, and colour is a HUGE portion of the process, communicating either what I think or what Brian has put in the script to Harry is important.

So far, so good.

Brian, Heather and I talked about the colouring quite a bit as I was designing the characters and stuff. So we had a definite idea of what we wanted but it is a bit of a leap of faith. I was really drawing a lot of inspiration from 80s sci-fi for the overall design, so I thought  it might be cool to pick up on this 80s idea with the colouring – neon and stuff like that for the lighting (hot pinks and oranges and greens and blues). At the same time, I always (always!) colour my stuff very desaturated and in my head, and I saw things like the Tennessee (Jackson’s ship) and some of the worlds as being really desaturated, muted earthtones. That mix and contrast in the colouring could really add something to the story but what Harry did with this idea has been pretty cool and he’s done stuff I definitely wouldn’t have. He’s used tones I wouldn’t have and added in lighting and effects that I wouldn’t. But that’s actually part of the process that’s interesting and fun and collaborative. The pages end up looking really different!

Anyway, I keep mentioning ANDREW JACKSON IN SPACE and I really haven’t shown any of the artwork, so I thought it might be a good idea to give you guys an idea of what you’ll be getting if you contribute to the Kickstarter. So we’ll take a brief brake from OTV for today (and probably tomorrow) and I’ll share some of the finished artwork. I’m super happy with these pages and I think they’re some of the best work that I’ve done at this point.

Here are pages 1-4, fully illustrated by me, coloured by Harry and lettered by me.


We also did up a few promo pieces (I’m showing them here without the copy so you can check out Harry’s colours).


And don’t forget the cover.


If you think this looks pretty good and you’re interested, please check out the Kickstarter campaign which is currently running. As little as $5 gets you name in the back of the book and you get a copy!

About jason

Illustrator and graphic designer. When not working full time as a Senior Graphic Designer, I am usually working on the graphic novel On the Verge: the Arrow of Time. Artist on Andrew Jackson in Space and The Sisters.

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