In this paper, we propose a novel framework for restoring color images using nonlocal total variation (NLTV) regularization. We observe that the discrete local and nonlocal gradient of a color image can be viewed as a 3D matrix/or tensor with dimensions corresponding to the spatial extend, the differences to other pixels, and the color channels. Based on this observation we obtain a new class of NLTV methods by penalizing the ℓ
norm of this 3D tensor. Interestingly, this unifies several local color total variation (TV) methods in a single framework. We show in several numerical experiments on image denoising and deblurring that a stronger coupling of different color channels – particularly, a coupling with the ℓ
norm – yields superior reconstruction results.