Friday, October 10, 2008

Coloring School

I've been teaching "digital coloring" on Wednesday nights. Not that there is any other kind anymore. We used to color with paints and markers. Nowadays, comic book coloring is all done in Photoshop.

My only previous teaching experience was in being a classroom guest for friends who teach at SVA, FIT, and AUC (Cairo). I taught a weekly workshop in Kuwait for a while, until my colleagues became too busy to show up and watch me zealously declare "too many colors here looks like vomit on the page." I remember a few people looking shocked. You'd think that would have taught me not to swear in front of the staff in Kuwait or Cairo, but I'm a slow learner.

I managed to not swear in front of the students this time. I am teaching four times over the course of the year, 2x per semester. My first session ends on Wednesday.

Thankfully, it's all worked out. I did not take to teaching naturally, but I have warmed up to it. My first group of students were great—polite, hard-working, and talented. They paid attention when I told them about flatting and trapping. They diligently learned to delete black tones in the color channels and to first choose colors, then use gradations, and finally brushes. Last week, we learned to make custom paintbrushes and then we made a mountain scene using the lasso, gradations, brushes, and filters. It's a lesson I picked up from a coloring DVD by one of the colorists who revolutionized the use of Photoshop for comic book coloring.

Teaching has been surprisingly fun. And as a bonus, I get paid to do it. The only problem is that once I finish this session, it starts all over. And again. And again. That bit makes me dizzy.


Marie Javins said...

I had help from Steve Buccellato and Matt Hollingsworth, both who let me show samples in class. Thanks, guys!

Ed Ward said...

Enh, you did it once, you can do it again. It does get easier, I can tell you that.

What's even more interesting is your attitude toward teaching and your ambivalence about being taught, as with the last post. Or maybe "getting taught" is inexact. I'll think about this some more, though...

Marie Javins said...

I would not say I have ambivalence about being taught. But I am alienated and hate snottiness about MSM.