We’ve all seen it before. Instead of strong black outlines on artwork, sometimes artists use a darker hue of the fill color used on that specific character. Professionally, this is known as a ‘color hold’. It is a nice way to make your characters stand out but not be too bold, but is it the style you want to go for? It’s a look that has been quite popular in content such as Disney cartoons, and using various outlines these days can even be a way to organize different animation elements. That’s what we’re discussing in this weeks Friday Artist Talk.
Most web comics that I can think of tend to favour black outlines, including myself. This could be partly due to our creative process in roughing out art and then inking it in. Animation is after all a different creature entirely. Similarly related, Dark Wick (a comic written by Marty Basto from here on Top Web Comics) features occasional haze or bloom that affects the line art quite significantly. It’s something that is fun to experiment with.
Another use of color hold can be for background characters or details. If you really want to blend something into the background, even using a grey outline instead of black can make it seem less important than your main bold characters.
What do you think? Do you prefer one style over the other?