“The Magic Show” Color Comps


Hello, Friends! Long time no . . . blog.

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve updated this site, but I’ve been busy! About a month ago, I enrolled in a digital painting course through Chris Oatley’s Art Academy called “The Magic Box.” I’ve been promised the secrets of the Photoshop universe in exchange for a small donation of blood, sweat, and tears, but in order to become a Photoshop expert, one must do one’s homework.

My first assignment was to paint four color comps using an arsenal of new techniques learned in lesson #1. Please excuse the low resolution and general messiness of the image; I’ll be turning it into a polished, finished piece later.

I think my biggest challenge with this piece was figuring out how the stage lights would interact with the magician frog in the foreground. I found tons of reference photos for theater/stage lights and white spotlights, but finding reference for multiple, colored spotlights was almost impossible. On three of the comps, I gave the frog a fuzzy shadow. I did away with it on the fourth. I’m still not sure which approach is more realistic.

As far as the color combinations go, I think my least favorite is the blue/orange combination in the top right. Funny enough, when I decided to try red for my last panel, I was sure I’d end up hating it. I didn’t. The combination was surprisingly . . . surprising, and I liked it (although I think the background got a bit too light on me). I also like the purple panel, and although I like the green, green was an obvious choice.

Magic Show Color Comps



  1. I had no idea you could do that with Photoshop! Does the effect work only with a scene you’ve created or does this work on any photo you scan?

    While the green scene was an obvious choice, I do prefer it. The blue one makes me think it’s taking place at night and the red looks like they could be in a cave with reddish clay walls. The shadowing is not something I know enough about to comment on. To me, it looks all right.

    All in all, a fascinating technique. 🙂


    • Thank you so much for your feedback! You can pretty much do anything with Photoshop. It’s basically limitless. I actually drew this particular picture and scanned it into the computer for coloring, but you could do it with a photograph.


What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s