Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

help plz *beg beg beg*
beautifully_demonic at 4:35PM, June 6, 2007
posts: 57
joined: 4-11-2007
I´m begging for your attention thnx but I mean … I uhh I have an idea for a comic … but I mean … Each time I start drawing the fist pannel is just fine but then I start the next one and the carachter looks completely different and I start erasing and redrawing and erasing and redrawing and in the end it ruins the da*n paper and I have to start all over again and it comes out even worse and I bang my head on the table in frustrasion… could any of you plz help me??? * gigantor puppy eyes*
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1f u c4n r34d 7h1s u r34lly n33d 2 g3t l41d
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:16AM
Hijuda at 4:39PM, June 6, 2007
posts: 460
joined: 4-12-2007
Er, this one's really related to artistic skill. All I can tell you is to draw better, I guess.
It's a comic!

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM
silentkitty at 4:41PM, June 6, 2007
posts: 620
joined: 1-15-2007
It's.. yeah. It's just a matter of practice. You're not going to be perfect right away.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
JustNoPoint at 5:35PM, June 6, 2007
posts: 1,375
joined: 3-16-2007
Draw DRAW DRAW!!!!

Draw your main cast over and over again! Anytime you have a pencil and paper draw them. I'm assuming you are young enough to be in school here.
Draw on notes, on tests, Heck I had to pay for a text book when I was in school cause I even drew in it!


I need to scan in my earliest drawings of my characters from 1995 when I was still in grade school and let you compare to how they look now!

Also, remember what shapes your character uses. What shape is the head? Make up certain shapes and sizes to fit each proportion and try your best to get that accurate every time.

I am not the greatest at always making my characters look exactly the same, but having a general knowledge of what shape each part of them is helps. Some characters have smaller circles, some have pear bodies or I even use blocks to set up certain characters builds.

Buy art books too. I have nearly 50 (you would think I would be better than I am =P)

Oh yeah, don't forget to practice ^^
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:12PM
lunamoon_3 at 8:19PM, June 6, 2007
posts: 11
joined: 1-9-2006
I usually go with the “Heads” approach to draw my characters. If you already know what that is, ignore this! :

Basically, when you are drawing your characters, set certain heights for them. The way to keep them consistent is to draw heads. My main Character Luna is 5.5 heads tall. So when I draw her, I draw 5.5 ovals that are her head size, then I draw her in. The waist is usually 2-2.5 heads, the rest is the legs!

Other things to do to keep the character the same is to make maaaaaany character sheets. Practice drawing the character from front, side, 3/4 and back view. Also draw heads. Heads in different angles, different expressions, ect. Then you can use those while you draw to keep your character looking the same!

hope this helps!

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:49PM
Kohdok at 10:02PM, June 6, 2007
posts: 776
joined: 5-18-2007
^ What they said. Also, come up with a pattern that you often find giving your character as a unique trait.

Here's my advice to make this process even simpler:

Take your character and draw him/her the absolute best you can. Don't worry about making it look like any previous drawing you've done of him/her. The most important thing is to make sure you're happy with the image and can tell that it's the character you're thinking of.

Then, go through and identify the most noticeable features that they have and point them out. Look for as many as you can while doing so, like this:

Then, simply retain those features whenever you draw the character, don' worry about making it perfect. The character remains recognizable no matter how different they look. Eventually, you'll develop more habits that make the character even more recognizable.

That works if you need a nice, fast solution that eventually works itself out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:19PM
Alexis at 12:17AM, June 7, 2007
posts: 314
joined: 1-15-2007
Those first few comments really weren't helpfull.

I would say just go ahead and draw a comic. Keep drawing, and don't worry too much if the characters don't look “right.” Keep it simple. You will get better quickly, you'll be surprised. Go ahead and post what you draw, it will help you keep motivated to keep drawing. Don't listen to people who say you aren't any good. Everyone started out needing a lot of work.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
marine at 12:43AM, June 7, 2007
posts: 2,425
joined: 1-6-2006
use paint and copy and paste the same things over and over, I've done it for years.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
wyldflowa at 3:06AM, June 7, 2007
posts: 142
joined: 4-20-2006
I'd advise practising like crazy - keep on doing your comic whatever the cost. It may look ropey for a while but you'll get better the more you draw. Don't just give up after the second panel~ Learn from the mistakes you make and draw the next part of your story. If you keep drawing the same scene over and over again because you're not happy with it all you'll get better at drawing is that scene! You have to keep going and try new things~

I also think you should give your characters some unique physical traits so that even if they aren't drawn absolutely perfectly they still have recognisable features that set them apart from the other characters. Different eye shapes, face shapes, thick or thin eyebrows… maybe a certain expression (think of Ichigo's perma-frown in Bleach XD). Hair and clothing are good too - just don't rely on them. There's nothing worse than reading a comic where all the characters look like clones dressed in different outfits with different wigs on~ Use their features instead to set them apart; maybe a character with a long nose or big lips or a pointy chin, that sort of thing. :) Body language can also make you characters more recognisable - one character may be very reserved while another might be hyperactive.

So even if you don't draw your character perfectly every time a reader should be able to think “they have a long nose, big eyebrows, smile a lot and are hyperactive so they must be so-and-so” and recognise the character by their traits~ I'm not saying just rely on these traits completely and don't make an effort to draw the character similarly each time, but learning how to draw these things will eventually help you learn how to improve the continuity of your character drawing. Drawing a character is about expressing their personality on paper - not just a perfect rendition of their physical appearance on each page. :3
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:52PM
D0m at 9:15AM, June 7, 2007
posts: 661
joined: 5-26-2007
Catch the drift? Sadly, most of us aren't born drawing or painting like Alex Ross.

What I'd do is start copying if you wanna draw better. Copy who you admire, and you'd be surprised how much it'll change your personal style and improve your hand. you'll get to the point where you crank art out like no one's business!!!

Nadya- a tale about what happens to SOME of us when we die.

Currently: Nadya is awake and asking more relevant questions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM
StaceyMontgomery at 9:40AM, June 7, 2007
posts: 520
joined: 4-7-2007
Practice is everything, of course.

One technique I use to help me draw characters consistently is to base them on real people. Real human faces vary quite a lot - you have entire portions of your brain hardwired just to tell faces apart. You can use this same ability backwards, to help you understand how to draw different faces in detail.

Take pictures of all your friends from different angles, and really study their faces. What makes Her chin different? What makes his chin different? Then go and draw those things.

D0m mentions the artist Alex Ross, who uses this technique sometimes. Ross is famous for drawing Superman (and Clark Kent, of course) with a very realistic and detailed face. His “Superman face” has become the standard that everyone else uses. In many people's minds, it is the “definitive” face of Superman.

And as I recall, it's based on a friend of his. I say “based on” because his friend doesn't look just the same as his Superman - but it does provide a basic reference point. That way, late at night, when Ross just can't manage to make his Superman look right, he can go back to his source material and look at it and start over.

A lot of my characters started out as real people. For instance, There's a minor character in Rocketship A Go-Go, a police officer who shows up here and there. He's based on an old friend of mine (Who I haven't seen in years). But he was someone I knew well, so his face is still clear in my mind. It gives me something to work from. I doubt anyone would point to my drawing and say “Hey, that looks like Denny!” but it doesn't matter, what matters is that I've been able to draw the officer with the same face, over and over.

Well, I mean, I *hope* that I'm drawing him with the same face very time. At least, close enough that people can tell. And if not… well, I made sure there's only one big blonde guy in a police uniform. That probably helps too.

As for practice…. there's no better practice than trying to keep up a webcomic!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Aeon at 8:13AM, June 9, 2007
posts: 266
joined: 9-5-2006
Some very good advice so far, but I'll add my own two cents.

If you're stuck on a page,and keep erasing and erasing, stop. Put it aside for a minute. Have a snack. I'm a big fan of snacking.

Then come back and get a fresh sheet of paper. Start drawing the character. Don't stop until you've filled the page. Draw full body, hands, floating heads. 3/4 angle, top angle, bottom angle, profile, head on… Just draw that one character. When the page is full, take a good look at it. See what's carried over into the different angles. Maybe they're starting to have a distinctive nose (noses are hard, but they can be a really quick and effective way to distinguish characters from one another.) Do they still look like they have that nose in profile? Practice with jawlines, and think about how they could steriotypically identify your character… a long jaw can be stern or sullen, a rounded jaw friendly or a little dopey. Do they have a big mouth or small? Same goes for body parts, of course. Tapered fingers or blunt? fleshy arms or muscular? curvy hips or slender?

Like Kohdok and others have said, identify the specifics of the character, and then make sure you incorporate them. Make them kind of a shorthand for the character.

Now go back to this page. You aren't allowed to erase this time. Start by laying it out. Just draw stick figures. Think about what you're trying to communicate: do you need to see action or facial expression in this panel? How many panels will it take? Don't get beyond the stick figure stage until every part of the page is layed out. I often find that if I try to go in and detail one part of the page first, without planning the rest, it throws off my whole game, and means I have to work that much harder to make the rest of the page match. Preliminary layout is key!

Okay. You've got a page full of lines and stick figures. That's good. Now start fleshing out the stickfigures evenly… not just completely finishing one panel at a time. Give the figures weight, start sketching in background if you haven't already. Don't worry about giving them full faces yet, just sort of indicate where the features will go– lines for eyes, nose, mouth. Maybe start a little general shaping, like jawline or nose to help you remember who's who.

What you've got now should look very much like a comic page. You could probably post it like this and people would be able to understand what was going on, although not very well. Once you're to this stage, you can go in and start finishing. I like to bounce back and forth between panels… say work on panel one until I get bored with it, bounce over to panel four and detail my favorite character, bounce up to panel two and draw in the hair, etc, etc.

It won't be perfect. It'll never be perfect enough for you, because it's your baby. But keep at it. Post things that aren't the Sistine Chapel, but start taking notes as you do, like, ‘X’s nose isn't quite right in panel 4. I need to remember it's crooked, next time,' or, ‘Z’s hair is different in every panel. I should pay more attention on the next page.' But post it anyway. People want to read your work, and you want them to. That's why this site is great, because it gives you a chance to grow and change every time you post a page and get feedback on it.

Okay. That was long-winded. I guess I had a lot to say about that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:46AM
patrickdevine at 3:43PM, June 9, 2007
posts: 759
joined: 4-26-2007
Kohdok had some good advice, I do my characters in a similar way. I think it's also helpful to simplify your character designs so there aren't as many details to be inconsistant
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
Megacherv at 9:33AM, June 12, 2007
posts: 63
joined: 6-6-2007
HELP PLEASE!!! I BEG YOU!!! My comic is taking loads of shit at the moment. I need sme serios help to stop people complaining. My comic is Megachervs Adventures ( Thank you!

I also browse on my PSP and PS3. So if I'm online, I may be on them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
Hijuda at 10:00AM, June 12, 2007
posts: 460
joined: 4-12-2007
HELP PLEASE!!! I BEG YOU!!! My comic is taking loads of shit at the moment. I need sme serios help to stop people complaining. My comic is Megachervs Adventures ( Thank you!

Umm… why are you asking in this thread? Make your own.
It's a comic!

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM

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