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Consistency is Key

damehelsing at 12:00AM, April 18, 2021

So many people will tell you that consistency is key and in some areas, consistency is definitely key, but the only area I’ll be diving into today is art.

Is consistency really the key when it comes to art? I would say no but I will agree there are certain areas where things should be consistent, but I often find that consistency can lead to a halt in an artist’s improvement over their own work.

What should be consistent and what shouldn’t be?

Your character’s basic looks and traits should be consistent, their skin tone should always be within 3 shades, their eyes should remain the same color as well hair color, even their height* to their body type should remain very similar.

Those are the key points which should stay consistent.

(*height is normally difficult to get exactly right, I just suggest drawing your character at a height you’ve been drawing them at.)

Your character’s style doesn’t have to be consistent. The way they wear their hair, hair length, nose shape and eye shape* even hair style: straight, curly, wavy, etc.

(*shapes are hard to get exact EVERY. SINGLE. PANEL. It’s important we recognize this and leave these shapes open for improvement too!)

Objects and location should remain consistent in terms of where and what things are, if you look at a floor plan you can see a kitchen, dinning room, etc, the rooms should remain the where they are, but it doesn’t mean it can’t get a make over from time to time ;)
The same goes for the outside world. Was there a hotdog stand once upon a time in a corner? They can always come back, but it doesn’t have to look the same as before.

We’re constantly learning and understanding new ways of drawing things and improving over time, as well as ALSO finding things we love! Drawing what we love is very important to us webcomic artists (honestly any artist) unless you’re an absolute beast who can deal with drawing ANYTHING, but feeling love towards our project is important, now I’m not saying you’re falling out of love, I’m just saying some times you’ll hit a point in your comic that you don’t particularly care for but you gotta get through with it because it’s essential to the plot or it just provides a smooth transition into the next part of the story, whatever, this wasn’t the point, so onward!

As our artistic abilities improve, our style changes and in the end so does our artwork.
You can go through any webcomic archive and take a good look at the first page versus the 100th page, things change, the artist evolves. There is some times a downgrade in art work, that could be chopped up to the artist being busy, a loss of love towards their project, etc, but when it’s not that, there is definitely an improvement.

If you keep trying to get that one character right every single time, there are chances of you not moving forward; your style and ability coming to a halt.

Embrace changes and play around with your style and how or what your character wears and the way they style their hair, you know, all that fun stuff.

How do you feel about artists trying out new styles? Do you enjoy seeing the improvement and changes made along the way? I know I do! :)

This article is strictly my opinion and how I approach comics personally, I believe every artist has the right to experiment and find things that bring them joy in their work.

I might actually make another article talking about consistency in our comics next week, but hopefully more detailed and more thorough.

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hushicho at 3:51PM, April 18, 2021

It's very good to try and have consistency, but don't become obsessed with it. So many artists especially love to go back and redraw things, redo cannot do this. You'll never be able to do anything but redraw a story you already told, if you do this. You'll just keep improving and keep feeling the need to redo and improve. Don't do that. I'd rather see an artist settle into a style gradually, after some rocky practice, than to see someone who constantly redoes things to fit their current style...which will inevitably change.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 12:21PM, April 18, 2021

The most exhilirating part of watching my style change and/or improve is to see what new effects I crack out from it. Like making a surface on an object or character shine in a way it haven't before or setting a mood with the shading in a interesting fashion. I can't wait to be done with my script writing and get back to drawing soon^^

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