Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wendy Broome:Colorist

I have always tried to rock the boat in terms of color. From those days when Brian Haberlin, Alex Sinclair, and I were trying to figure out how to use Photoshop for comicbooks, to when I let us say bewildered the world with the not so well recieved color job on issue #1 of Stormwatch.

Color is in my blood. I love the way it shapes things I draw. In fact right now I am for the first time oil painting and having a blast....

But anyways, here we are with Wetworks #1 again and I couldn't pass the challenge to try colors again. This time I had an accomplice...Wendy Broome. She has been coloring for Wildstorm FX since the old school daze and just recently this year went freelance because she gave birth to hers and Matt's first child. So I liked what she had been doing prior to going freelance and asked if she would not like to color Wetworks for me.

Thruout a couple of months we had worked out a formula that you don't really get to see kick in til issue #2 of Wetworks. The formula goes something like this...

Since I was going back to my old penciling style with alot of blacks and cross-hatching I decided to change it up abit, the pencils that is, in terms of the highlight areas of the drawings. That meant that I would consciously be trying to open up the highlight areas of the drawing leaving as much open space with no lines in the highlight areas. So that leaves alot of detail in the darker portions of the drawings and an open area within the highlights. This would leave Wendy room to add in color an extra highlight that's sole purpose was to accenuate the forms/shapes in the highlight areas I didn't draw. She would in fact be drawing in color, albeit only in the highlight areas. And conversely since most of the drawing is in the darker portions there is very little if any color work or variations there.

I thought and still do that this is a better compromise to the "traditional" color method of trying to recolor in color detail every portion of the drawing. I remember in the old daze we use to get a kick out of turning off the black plate and seeing how well we could shade the drawings without any of the black ink lines. Back then it was fun for awhile but especially when you got complicated inks to color it becomes redundant work and sometimes overpowering.

So Wendy finally gets the hang of it in the first half of issue #2. As she e-mails me the pages I go crazy over its simplicity and impact. When something looks good and looks like its simple that's a good sign that it works....well...

Then Wildstorm FX goes thru another bout of needing to bring back work into the studio and top of that list is Wetworks. So Wendy is yanked off the book by issue three. Thereafter the book gets colored in house in the studio by Wildstorm FX. I'm sure the "pit" (as Wildstorm FX is affectionately called internally) will do a fantastic job I know them all personally but still, especially for Wendy and the time we spent developng this style...I will miss Wendy's input, and will be forever sorry for her not getting the chance to dazzle me with more issue of Wetworks...

18 comments:

Ed said...

Hi, Whilce! How things going? :) I just found out you have a blog from Gerry. I'm excited to read your entries...except those with "reviews". Hehehe.

Anyway, can't wait to get your new stuff again. :D

Cheers!

-ed

Anonymous said...

Whilce! You have a blog! W00t! :D

Jac said...

Hello! I found your blog through Gerry's :) welcome to blogging!

hxero said...

Hi Whilce... got you blog link from Gerry as well...

RichardFriend said...

Wendy did a beautiful job. I saw the book yesterday and read it this morning...I had goose bumps.....Wetworks and Wild Cats back with the original pencilers....It's a dream come true.

Rich.

RichardFriend said...

also to give Whilce major credit....I know how much he contirbutes to the final look of the colors and he had explained it to me in great detail.

I was talking about Whilce and Wendy today and saying to Scott Dunbier....how great the colors were on the new Wetworks.....it's a great blend of cutting edge(illustration and animation styles) with a great clasic touch that feels familiar for comics.

ricH.

Daniel said...

Do you know why she got taken off?

Whilce Portacio said...

Do you know why she got taken off?

Well when you run a studio like Wildstorm FX you need it to do a certain amount of work every week and then every month...there are always times when books get late or are cancelled so then the studio manager must then go on a scramble to find work to fit back into the schedule...just so happens with my relationship with the studio my books seem to be always on the list of books to bring back into the studio...I don't mind too much because I helped start and build the studio...

Whilce Portacio said...

Hey Rich,

Talk about a dream come true...you guys out there don't know how many years I've been trying to get this great talent to ink my stuff...wait til you guys see issue #2 not only does the action ramp up but Rich's attention to detail shows in spades...

syrtheone said...

I thought the colors on storm watch were amazing and inovative to say the least. I did not know they were not well recieved in some circles, hard to imagine frankly.

RichardFriend said...

That's a shame that Wendy is off. I actually had no idea. I think WS effects has some really great talent....are you going to go in and work with them a bit Whilce? I really love the look you two created and I would hate to see it deviate from what you've got going color-wise with this book....it's really sweet.

and honestly Whilce this is a real dream come true for me. I always was a fan of your work and when I was trying to break in one of my favorite pages to practice inking was the first page of I think Wetworks number...2. It's Dane squating down and I think with his gattling gun looking weapon with the huge string of rounds that flair off.....just shooting everywhere with speed lines blasting out. I inked it 2 or 3 times.

:)

fun stuff....and now I get to do it for real.

Rich

Whilce Portacio said...

Syrtheone,

Well, you know that saying when you do something people don't expect they can't believe it's you. I got so much flak about SW in general that I seriously was rethinking my gameplan at the time.I geuss that's why I put so much into this new WW's...

Whilce Portacio said...

Rich,

Whenever anyone heard you were my new partner in crime they all reacted like it should be so...good sign, eh?

RichardFriend said...

I was checking out issue 2 today...and it's pretty nice. I got a lot of compliments on it...and it wasn't like I was around or anything when they originally saw it.

I would have people come up and say..."man yesterday I saw the pages you turned in....and...holy...sh*t. They looked amazing"

so that was pretty cool. it seemed like an honest compliment...which in the arts business isn't always the case...if you know what I mean.

hahaha

:)

ricH~

wendy said...

Hey Whilce! I just found your blog and I'm snooping! I'm so glad you're happy with the coloring! :D
Looks like I'm back on the book, huh? They said they were taking 3 from me, but the pages keep comin in! :D I'll take 'em! ha Hopefully the trend will continue!

...Thanks for the compliments Rich! It's great to be a part of such a talented team! :D

Whilce Portacio said...

Hey the whole gang is here...fantastic news Wendy. I didn't know I got mixed up which was your last issue...let me call Scott and find out the real scoops...again we all luv ya here!!!

Redmond said...

I LOVED the early coloring style in Stormwatch. Everyone that was bugged by it are clueless morons! You need to make MORE comics so you can squeeze in cool coloring jobs like you did on Stormwatch. :]

wbeachy said...

To Wendy.... I run a design firm in Cleveland Ohio. I am looking for colorist for a poster project I am working on. I was wondering if you are available and what your services cost.

To see some of my company's work you can visit: www.gomedia.us

You can reach me at: bill@gomedia.us

I look forward to working with you.