Behind The Scenes: Color Palettes

Since I started adding color, Parhelion uses four color palettes (so far), each with their own associations. The cast page renders each character in the color they fit thematically, based on my vague and slippery typology.

palette

Red- Don’t-give-a-fuck iconoclasm (and, secondarily, ‘desert heat’). Peter (and Kiefer-161 in general), Inkling, and Nikolai in the process of making very bad decisions.

i10p1

i8p7

i9p4

Blue- Friendly professionalism (New Sequa, the World’s Collective [coming soon], and the image Yima tries to project). Alternatively: cold, indifferent plastic and concrete (Basilisk’s territory, and the image Yima actually projects).

new sequa colors

chapter16

yima colors

Green- Deeply alien (from the protagonist’s perspective). So far, the only green sections are Nyphs and Singniyhe-4, but I’ve got ideas brewing for some more.

nyphs color

singniyhe colors

Purple- Pompous luxury (Nikolai, the Yima Cartel elite) or eerie stasis (Litany).

NIkolai colors

yima elite colors

litany colors


I’ve had a lot of fun since I introduced color to the comic, and playing with it since- switching palettes back and forth to represent different time frames (and then converging them), switching colors to represent TV stations (here, here, and here), using gradients (and filling the between-panel gutters with colors). I have more ideas in store: multiple palettes within the same panel, switching colors for new reasons, and even a sequence that drains back to grayscale.

Innovations in color merge very well with advances in paneling, composition, and overall storytelling to heighten the comic in ways big and small. The best thing I’ve learned from making Parhelion is the ethos of tinkering and improvement: try a new technique here and there, refine it, and let it bloom into something genuinely cool as hell. The pages in the near future expand more on gradients and color covering 100% of the page, and I’m very excited to show them and everything beyond.

 

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