sifueagle on Aug. 4, 2009

I thought I'd do an art lesson with today's sketch. Today features the Cloud Eagle leader, Magiddo. Magiddo is where Armageddon is to take place in the Bible (how's that for a cool character name?).

When drawing it's critical you're aware of what you draw. It's been said endlessly draw what you know. I know martial arts from kung fu movies to realism. I can draw katanas better some of the best artists out there. Am I bragging than I can draw better than them? Not at all, I'm aware of the physical structure of the weapon, the history, and the proper way to hold it in several martial art styles. Just by looking I can tell if someone is used to western blades, eastern blades, and if the person is trained in soft kung fu style or hard karate style.

I bring up the katana reference because I still need reference with guns. The best way to overcome this is to study, study, study. When I did Six Shot Shuriken Sheriff I studied 6 shooters and I got to a point I could draw them naturally. Now that's it's been awhile since I've been serious with S4, I need reference when drawing a revolver. Ah, I digress. The 9 mil in Magiddo's hand is a generic outline.

There's a light source on the jacket coming from the left. Even with a fancy lamp on the right wall as a secondary light, I know what's the primary source. The purpose of the lamp is to add some kind of detail to the wall. This makes the room look like a hotel or executive office.

In all comics, generic buildings seem to be off in the distance. Most buildings are just across the street. Think of the size and placement of everything in the background. When Batman is swinging above Gotham City, what the $%^&* is his rope attached to? Let your character interact with the surroundings, don't just use the back as window dressing.

To loosely connect everything together, I put bullet holes in the window and Magiddo's gun is smoking. Did he make the holes or was he being shot at? Remember, a picture should be worth a thousand words. Tell a story with your images instead of just a sexy girl standing with a gun or on a beach (though I have no problems with that).

Lastly, I added a stylized edit with the gun smoke cutting off the bottom. I created a border with the art to close it all together. Capes and speedlines help cause the readers eye to follow movement. Don't add capes and excess black to cheat in your anatomy. It can help in some panels but eventually a weak artist will reveal what he's not good at.

I hope I didn't bore anyone but was able to give some insight into art. If nothing else, just continue to draw because you love it.

~Sifu Eagle