Published January 19, 2023

Marvel Colorists Offer Their Best Coloring Advice

To celebrate Colorist Appreciation Day, a few of Marvel's finest colorists shared the advice they would pass on to up-and-coming colorists.

In honor of Colorist Appreciation Day, which takes place on January 24, Marvel is celebrating our mighty colorists all week long. To do that, we spoke with a handful of our finest colorists to gather insight on their work, the skills they learned from their peers and mentors, the advice they would pass on to the next generation of colorists, and more.

To reflect on their journeys as colorists, we asked Jesus AburtoEdgar DelgadoMarte GraciaRachelle Rosenberg, and Matt Wilson to share the best advice they ever received, as well as the advice they would now give to up-and-coming colorists. From technique and lighting to always making room for improvement, here is some of the best advice they had to give.

Jesus Aburto

"Learn always how the light works and bounces/affects each material. Also, regarding the light sources, go deeper in your research. Learn about interior design/decoration too."

Edgar Delgado

"Watch movies to learn how to light a scene dramatically. Also, everything is easier if you know how to draw."

Marte Gracia

"When I first started coloring books 20 years ago, I worked in a studio and my mentor was Edgar Delgado. At first, I was struggling to work as fast as the rest of the team. He, at some point, told me to slow down, that what was required of me was quality, not quantity—that speed will come with time, and it did. With time, I was able to do as much work as the rest without dropping quality (as much quality as a beginner could offer!)."

"If someone asks me for any advice, it would be to focus on technique, to learn anatomy, to study nature, to understand why and how light bounces all around us, rendering reality. Once we understand all that, we can then try and figure out a style, because style without substance is quite hollow and pointless. Technique > Style."

Rachelle Rosenberg

"Best advice I received was from an editor early on while submitting color art. He told me to never stop learning and be open to improving. I know there is always room for improvement. I can always work harder to be better."

"My advice to someone else is to never give up. It’s a hard road to get here, but it is so worth it… then once you are here, don’t forget to keep improving."

Matt Wilson

"Work for the story and with the art. What color choices can you make that will enhance the story? Maybe there is a subtext from the script that you can visualize with your palette or lighting choices. Then, what cues is the art giving that you can base your coloring approach on? Will texture brushes or flat colors look best with the art? All of that boils down to be intentional with your choices, and make choices that best serve the story and enhance the art."

Thanks for celebrating Colorist Appreciation Day with us! Don't miss these other articles about the art of coloring:

Inspirations | Proudest Moments | Advice | Fun Facts

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