Tomb of Dracula Thursdays - page 07

A couple of days ago, I discovered that Aurora's hair (the character in the first two panels) is supposed to be red. Or at least was originally coloured that way. Be that as it may, I decided to keep it blonde here, just to keep things consistent. If this were to going to print, I would be sure to change it in both pages, but for now blonde works just fine.

So, there is a temptation when painting a night scene to make everything dark and monochromatic. After all, this is how the real world looks when a lot of modern lighting is missing, and these rooftops of Boston don't seem to have a lot of light sources. Well, I still want to use contrast, but keep the dark, spooky feeling of a vampire book. So, my compromise here is to keep the sky cool (blue tones, going to green as the page progresses) and the buildings more of a neutral tone, putting up spots of warm and cool light sources periodically to give the scenes a bit of depth. The snowy roofs help a lot, as snow reflects so well that it helps define the difference between sky and ground.

A note on the sky - I have the sky changing colour on each panel. This is a deliberate choice. One of the jobs a colourist has it to help the reader's eye wanting to travel from the top left of the page to the bottom right. I find that leaving all the backgrounds the same colour (even if it makes sense) stops that flow of reading (or at least doesn't help it along). I much prefer doing a small change of colour from panel to panel, preferably slowly transitioning from one colour (deep blue, as in panel 3) to another colour (green, as in panel 7) rather than simply jumping around from colour to colour. This transition of colour creates a sense of momentum in the page, drawing the reader's eye down to the bottom right.

In the text, it is stated that, for Deacon Frost, HIS SLICK SILVER HAIR CATCHES AND HOLDS THE FRAGILE MOONLIGHT. This says to me that the hair must have white highlights in it, without necessarily having large amounts of white in it (otherwise, it would simply be described as white hair. Although this may simply be poetic license on the part of the writer). I went with warm tones on him to differentiate him from the similar-looking Dracula on this page. Oh, were I to paint him in other scenes, ones not so wrapped in shadow, I would create a more varied look to his clothing. However, as he is heavily in shadow, and it being a nighttime, moonlit scene, I felt keeping him fairly monochromatic would more easily create a sense of depth in panel 5, pulling him out of the background without confusing the image too much. It won't matter here, as this is his only appearance in this issue, but it is something I would worry about later were I to be colouring a series he appears in.

This book was written by Marv Wolfman, with artwork by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer, and lettering by John Costanza.

See the original blog post about this project to learn more of the story behind why I'm colouring this issue.


Chris Chuckry said…
nice page! I like the combination of browns and cool greys.
Ian Sokoliwski said…
Thanks :)

Any idea who I should talk to about submitting this as colouring samples at Marvel?
Chris Chuckry said…
I think C.B. Cebulski is the guy--if he's still there. You could try posting a query on Gutterzombie. Somebody there may be more up to date. Good Luck!