link to main site

link to main site
This is my old site now. Click here for the new one!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Art tutorial - figures

Another series of pictures that I used in my comics group. Before we started working on our supervillain idea, I was using these sketches that I did for Vic at Hazardous Publications.

The point of these was to illustrate a principle I had talked about with my group: If you can do stick-people, you can do a comic. I'm not the first to realise this; Randall Munroe has been putting that lesson to good use for years now. Basically, I say stickmen can make a comic, and any of the later stages you can get with practice.

  • So, the first step is the one I think anyone can do - stick-people laying out the poses. This is the stage where it's easiest to fix anything you're not happy with. Check the poses, etc. At this stage I was using a blue colouring pencil, as it is easier to ignore and delete these lines once proper pencils and inks are used later.
  • This stage is still a basic one - make all the sticks into solid body-parts, put in the rough lines for the face, and add in the rough details of things like fingers.
  • Next, you add the rough surface details- hair, clothes, distinctive skin marks (hair, tattoos, etc). This stage is probably the last one where you can make big changes. You can see I've done that with the figure far left, whose pose wasn't working for me, and who would have been too difficult to change after the clothing and other details had been added.
  • Next, I went to a 2B drawing pencil, which allowed me to draw more detailed pencil art over the rougher blue lines. This lets me add a bit of texture, detail and shade, and just generally be a bit more precise.
  • Next, I switched to a thin black ink pen to reinforce the pencils, and make the lines clearer.
  • Finally, I used a thicker pen to go around the edges of objects, which helped to differentiate lines that show texture and shade, and lines that show shape.

©2014 James Mathurin