Comic book artists have one among the the toughest jobs within the creative field.
As creators of stories we’ve plenty of responsibilities beyond just telling the story. We must be costume designers, character designers, sometimes inkers, colorists ect.
It’s an enormous job.
With something around 4-5 panels a page at around 20 pages a book… the quantity of art we create is staggering.
Luckily as we grow as magazine artists, and that we put pencil to paper, we each learn ways to hurry up our process and also tricks and tips that internally help us just become better artists.
But you don’t want to spend thousands of hours learning these steps on your own.
You don’t. nobody does. So i made a decision to write down down a number of my favorite tips that help me on a day to day make my comics. Not with great care you’ll learn but also to remind myself.
It’s even worse once you are constantly pressured by time. I even have a family and each day job so finishing pages as quick as I can is paramount. I also want to draw them well. and supply an exquisite experience for the reader.
This is why I wrote my 10 favorite tips to urge better and faster at drawing comics.
When drawing Comics always start with an idea .
Don’t stare at a white piece of paper! Throw down ideas as thumbnail very small (small enough to suit on a sticky note).
It helps you not only get ideas down quickly but also to edit what you set on paper.
Let it flow through you and learn to scribble
Once you’ve got an idea scribble onto the larger size layout. Don’t start doing shapes or building construction lines.
Move that pencil around. Find the drawing through action, not through rigid shapes. you’ll worry about proper form later if you’ve got to. Get the movement and energy down first.
Think in terms of shapes and silhouettes
Get down shapes for everything. Don’t worry about drawing the face yet, or the eyes yet, or whatever details concerns you.
Draw the shapes.
Shapes overlap. Shapes are often distinct. Shapes create composition.
Look at your layout. Ask yourself if it expresses the proper emotion.
Be expressive. Use gesture, posture, shapes, distortion… anything to urge the energy and emotion of a page.
Is the countenance correct for the scene? Are the arm motions natural?
If you aren’t getting the emotion and gesture, you’re not there yet.
Don’t add unneccessary steps to your process.
Once you get the layout down. Once you’ve got the gestures and emotion within the page, get to drawing the ultimate drawing as soon as you’ll .
Don’t keep refining the layout.
The more you refine, the more you edit, the more rigid and lifeless your drawing are going to be . Energy and emotion come through once you conserve the maximum amount of the energy and motion from the first sketch.
Now it’s time to create the structure.
This is where you begin building the structure of your characters and backgrounds. Don’t overly complicate. Keep your shapes simple and quick. You don’t need to be precise.
You’re laying down a framework not finishing yet.
Don’t worry about rendering or shadows until almost everything else is completed .
Many times I don’t add blacks until the very end. Solid structure makes blacks less necessary but also more impactful.
You’re getting to be tempted to use a straight edge. Stop!
99% of the time you don’t need it. There are not any straight edges actually . Everything is imperfect.
If you want to use it, keep it just for machinery or things that are alien.
If you want to use it for perspective lines, that’s fine but attempt to draw it by hand first. rather than employing a straight ruler use a curved one. this provides you more motion.
If you are feeling something is off use a straight edge to see it.
Don’t become reliant on tools which will sap the energy from your drawing.
Muscles are available pairs. Use how they flex and relax to define your characters.
When drawing figures muscles or limbs are available two parts. The front and therefore the back.
For every protest made by a muscle, an muscle can and typically causes and opposite movement. When one a part of the body flexes the opposite is loose. When one is smooth the opposite is angled.
This is how you create dynamic form and tension in muscles.
When the bicep flexes it becomes round sort of a balloon, & the triceps straighten out. This curved/straight relationship works everywhere the body.
Don’t forget to let your panels breath.
Leave space for word balloons, leave space for word balloons, leave space for word balloons.
Did I repeat that too much?
Let your characters breath.
Leave dead space in panels for copy.
Not only will this reduce the quantity of drawing you really do and prevent plenty of time, but also will make your compositions better also
You should start brooding about texture as your drawing takes shape.
Everything feels different. A shirt is different than a wooden table is different than an animals fur.
Don’t get too caught up worrying about this, but do your best to think about this stuff .
Not everything needs crazy detail but if you begin to create texture into your drawing and characters your work becomes richer.
Learn to simply accept the 90% rule.
You’re drawing 20-30 pages a book.
Don’t worry that a panel isn’t perfect. Don’t worry that a page isn’t perfect. Don’t even worry that each one the pages are perfect.. they’re not. I promise you it’s okay.
Tell the story as best you’ll right now… then advance .
When you finish a book subsequent book are going to be better. you’ll be better.