How To Draw In Comic Style – Once you know who your character is, it’s time to draw them. It’s a good idea to see how you’ll draw this character in your comic so you can be consistent. However, it’s not uncommon for a character’s design to evolve ridiculously over time – the same goes for the characters in Paradigm Shift – but it’s worth the effort to spend time researching their overall look, outfit, and appearance before starting page 01. Also, understanding human anatomy and practicing drawing can really take your character to a whole new level.
Here are some examples of how to play with a character before starting the project. It’s sweet from STRANGER. I knew I wanted it to look like Miyazaki’s character, but I played around with a few designs before going into his final scene:
How To Draw In Comic Style
It took quite a bit of work for her colleague Nikka to crack her design. I also drew inspiration from Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. However, I was able to create something completely new by borrowing the round head and wide eyes and combining them with features taken from the inspired fisherman.
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What someone will notice about your character is the image that creates a sketch, not the inner details. Having characters with different body shapes and heads will help make them more prominent in your story.
First, let’s look at your head and face, because they are perhaps the most important features in defining and expressing your character. Even the shape of the head can indicate a triangular, round, square personality. Each of them gives a different feeling. It can also help a lot to add a different hair color or other features that can create a unique, recognizable look. Here’s how I created the alien characters for the STRANGER story:
I use two basic heads as a starting point to draw the heads of my characters from all angles, then move and stretch them to approximate shape. I borrow techniques used in animation to create a character from the basic shapes below the head. The first is a classic anime head with a “seed” shape:
I start my seed with a circle (or gray ball as I imagine it in my head) and then hang a sharp hook from that circle at various angles. You can then draw a “cross” with the center of the face and where the eyes will be, and use this seed shape to draw the head from all sides. Here’s the one I use for Keith’s head at Paradigm Shift. Using this as my starting point, I draw the entire head, then add details until I complete the final sketch. I use this process for all my comics and illustrations, working from rough sketches to the final image. Here’s how I use the seed shape to draw Kate from the front, side and 3/4 views:
How To Draw Heads Step By Step
Notice how the proportions of the face translate between different angles. The line through the eyes is about halfway between the top of the head and the chin. The top of the nose is located between the eye line and the chin. It sits about halfway between your nose and chin. On the other hand, if you draw a line from the top of the nose to the chin, the lips will line up roughly there. The ears are halfway between the front of the head and the back, and the edge begins with the eyes. If you imagine that the center line of the face tilts to the left or right and the eye line moves up or down, you can start by turning your head towards your eyes and use it to make the head and draw your face like this on all sides. :
The second main skull is based on the more classic human skull image used in American superhero comics:
. I start with a more egg-shaped head. Then I draw a “cross” to show which side the head is on, like the seed example above. I hang the chin in an egg shape Unlike the “seed” of Anima, the jaw line changes more dramatically between straight and profile. It will take more practice to pull off more than the usual look and from all angles. You can imagine it a bit like a cube, but it just goes down to create a curve. Also, the cranium is not round-headed or egg-shaped, but slightly rounded at the sides. I show this with lines around the edges of the forehead that wrap around the top of my head
As with the seed example, there are some rules to keep in mind, although they may vary slightly. The eyes are semi-oval in this head style. The chin then extends to the middle of the egg shape – thus dividing the face into three parts: the top of the head to the eyes, the eyes to the bottom of the egg shape, and the bottom of the egg shape to the chin. The eyes on the face should be smaller than in the previous example, and there should be more space between them.
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To work on details like hair and drawing heads from different angles, I recommend drawing from life, copying photos, and occasionally studying an artist you really like. The more you practice, the more you’ll expand your visual vocabulary as an artist, and you’ll be able to mix, match and contrast to create your own unique features. The same goes for comments. Play with your drawing and find the faces that best express your character’s emotions.
The first step in drawing full body human figures is to break down the basic dimensions. Of course, cartoon characters can be drawn at different scales, so I’ll focus on more realistic human proportions first. This method can be modified to lengthen letters, which can be made longer or shorter as needed. Above we have Keith and Mike, the “ideal” man-to-woman relationship. Proportions are often measured “over the top” on figure drawings, as this is an easy way to check that features are in the correct position on the drawing, especially if the figure is drawn straight on. Note the lines running through the image above – they measure the number of “heads” used for each symbol.
Also note the proportions of the hands. The birds are above waist height and sit flush with the bottom of the ribcage. The hand almost coincides with the bottom of the foot. For men, the shoulders and hips are one width apart, and the shoulders are wider than the legs.
Kate is slightly shorter at 7 1/2 inches, which is closer to the “real” human relationship. The top half disappears around the hips, making her legs slightly shorter than Mike’s and her legs longer. “Sir” goes with:
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In fact, Kate has a smaller body than her counterpart. Not only is the head short, but the hips are narrower than the legs and the shoulders sit almost on top of the legs. Her clothes are tighter and her legs are taller.
If we remove the details and look at the images below, we can see that each image is made more easily. Instead of joints, I use circles (think “roses”) and draw leg shapes between them. I use an egg shape for the rim and some kind of “jam” shape for the bowl. I created simplified shapes for each major body shape: upper arms, lower arms, thighs, calves and feet, and arms and legs. (More on hands and feet in a moment). I also imagine that the arm is connected to the spine (actually it’s like the back) so you can swing it up and down and back and forth. Note the gap between the two images. The male chicken is longer and the female is shorter and slightly wider. This was a useful review for my photography.
I won’t go into detail about muscle anatomy (there are entire books on the subject), but here’s a quick cheat sheet of the main images I think of when I draw. Many characters and human figures are drawn from observing these figures and copying drawings from anatomy books. I recommend that you take the time to do so.
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