I'm new to this forum, but I'm already in love with it
I'm starting a personal project - a short comic story - with a friend. I'm not a pro and I've learnd what i know about drawing by myself. I think I've reached a quite, let's say, low-average level; enough to try some structured project. I mean, enough to try something that gives me the opportunity and the momentum to learn more. Anyway: the first problem i have is to draw characters similar to themselves page after page. By now the main character seems to differ from pose to pose and this is no good, you know...
Have you any tip to fix this?
One thing you could do is draw out the basic concepts for the character. That way you know what goes where for future refrences. Another thing that I've seen from diffrent articles and the tv is that comic book artists keep lots of pictures of their characters around for reference.
Illustrating a comic is hard work indeed. I maintain my own webcomic because I wanted to try my hand at working on a large project, and it was more work than I expected. Still, it's good practice and a great learning experience.
I have run into the same problem before that you have having now. The best advice that I can give you is to practice drawing those characters over and over again. If you've only drawn those characters a few times, then chances are that you haven't established their basic characteristics yet. Draw a few headshot sketches, and take note of what varies from piece to piece. Is the chin more rounded or more squared-off from the previous sketch? Are the eyes wider or more narrow? What about the nose? What 's different about its shape? All of this may seem like minor details, but we subconsciously pick up on these details in our minds. Determine what details work best for the character you are drawing, and keep them in mind as you draw that character more and more. Then, draw the full-body character and repeat the inspection process. Eventually, you'll develop a method for drawing that character and he'll begin to look the same from panel to panel.
I also suggest developing character sheets for your characters. Set aside a page or two for each character in your sketchbook, and draw his or her different emotions. Imagine what changes on his or her face when he or she is sad, happy, angry, embarassed, etc. Not only will this help you to build consistency with your characters, but it will also give you some practice with emotions.
I ended up drawing one chracter at a time at some point, that is, I had the sketches for how it should look and then I started on page 1, and character 1, whe I had drawn that character I started all over on page 1 with character 2. In that way I coule keep the characteristics if the characters apart, cause they all looked kinda the same and it was hard giving them a personality of their own.
Otherwise, draw your character from all sides to keep as referance, and draw a lot, thats all you can do realy.
Give each character one or two (or even three or four) defining features--features that no one else in the story has. Like a Roman nose, or a certain haircut or head shape, or body shape...that sort of thing.
Back when I was first trying to teach myself how to do this, I spent a lot of time looking at old comics drawn by the late, great John Buscema. He was the absolute master of keeping everyone looking consistent from panel to panel. While I was looking at his style, I noticed that he would give them one or two distinct features that he wouldn't give any of the other characters.
The one thing I've always done, and I know people like Gabe, and Kurtz do is if there are a few frames where the character is in the same stance and all that changes is mouth position, or even something like the hand's placement if you're really good (oh this only applies if you ink digitally) then you can just draw the character once, then ink it on its own layer then just copy it. Did you follow what I said, because I sure as hell didn't.
THAT'S POST #1, the first of many bad and useless posts.
Well, thank you all!
Trying to summarize, these are your suggestions
- create a strong character. With at least one or two noticeable face element
- have a character sheet to keep as reference, with many poses and many facial expressions
- draw again and again and again, writing down notes on what is ok and what is not, until the hero seems to remain consistent
- copy and paste where possible (i use photoshop just for the colours)
- drawing the same character in all the panel of the story, then start with the next one till the end and so on
I'll try to apply them and post here the results.
Really great advisors here
I'm not a big fan of cut/pasting but that's just the anal purist comming out . I think you'd improve a lot if you'd train yourself into learning how to break down your character into shapes. Focus on rendering shapes correctly as well as keeping proportions of those shapes from one drawing to another. Once you have the basic shapes down, your character is almost there..
So in short, a character sheet (or Model sheet) is the most important part of your references. Having a turn around of it will help you define where which peice connects with the other. Once you have a good mental image AND reference of your character, you can always refer to it and keep consistent. That's how animators do it at least...