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Ep. 20, Page 23
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Comic 1466 - Ep. 20, Page 23

7th Oct 2013, 10:39 PM in Episode 20 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)

Author Notes:

smbhax 7th Oct 2013, 10:39 PM edit delete
Some recent pencils:


Lucid 7th Oct 2013, 10:51 PM edit delete reply
Its great. I wonder if you have some feminine heroine in your life, or if this is some kind of psychic woman?
smbhax 8th Oct 2013, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
My...mom? Aaa wait no this just got confusing : oo
cattservant 7th Oct 2013, 11:12 PM edit delete reply
Seeing a man about some colors...
smbhax 8th Oct 2013, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
Warm or cool?
Lucid 8th Oct 2013, 12:55 AM edit delete reply
I want to get some tips from you on drawing. Do you have any educational references, or a tip that I could think on?
smbhax 8th Oct 2013, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
Hey I like the painted approach in the latest page of your comic.

As for drawing, let's see... My favorite human anatomy drawing guide currently is George Bridgeman's classic "Constructive Anatomy," which you can find online pretty easily by Googling. Other guides I've found useful in the past have been another oldie, Andrew Loomis' "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth," and (in my younger days) the Stan Lee / John Buscema "How to Draw Comics the MARVEL Way" although I would now take Bridgeman over both of those.

If you're thinking of inking more or less traditionally, both Klaus Janson's "The DC Comics Guide to Inking" and Gary Martin's "The Art of Comic Book Inking" have useful information.

Other than reading those kinds of things, I would say just look at (and look for) a lot of photos, films, artwork, and comics you like, and study them but don't copy them. Illustrators I've been into lately include Alex Raymond, Bill Seinkiewicz, Frank Frazetta, David Downton, René Gruau, Alfons Mucha, Frank Miller, Fiona Staples, Takehiko Inoue, and Yoshihisa Tagami. I grew up on more traditional Marvel comics illustrators like John Byrne and Alan Davis. I've also found it useful to study fashion photography both for the models and the clothing. Tumblr is a good place to find these sorts of things; my tumblr is smbhax.tumblr.com if you want to see the kinds of things I'm looking at there. I should note that I look at art for inspiration, and photos / film and real life (I go to a gym most days of the week, and I'm sure that subconsciously (or otherwise >_>) observing others there has been absolutely invaluable for drawing) for actual reference material--and that for the most part I don't advise drawing directly from a photo or whatever, but rather just consulting them to get an idea of how things look in the real world, then setting that photo, etc aside and drawing your own image. I try not to look up photos while I'm in the middle of a drawing unless I'm really really stuck on something.

Oh! Also, mirrors are very useful. I have a hand mirror next to my drawing table for making faces in if I need help drawing a particular expression (although sometimes my own face won't cut it and I have to go looking through my trove of reference photos or Google images for clarification), and of course the larger closet or bathroom mirrors are available if I need to try a pose or check a calf muscle or something; in that regard, getting in better physical shape has helped, too. The mirrors are also very helpful for checking drawing accuracy by looking at the drawing reflected in the mirror: this makes it easy to pick out errors or distortions that your eye has been skipping over; if you're working digitally, just use your drawing program's function to flip the canvas horizontally.

I would probably still be working all digitally (I did up through the initial part of episode 13 of A*) if it hadn't started being ergonomically uncomfortable for me. I do miss the ease of use of certain digital tools, but I'm actually glad I switched to working traditionally, even though it takes longer and isn't quite as flexible, because once I did I realized that the very easiness of using those digital tools had been allowing me to get by without really having to know how to draw certain things, like oh say nostrils for instance--because I could just sort of muddle around and undo/redo until something came out looking sort of right, even if I didn't quite know how I'd done it. So I would definitely recommend trying to work on paper as well as digitally, if just to expand your knowledge of tools and techniques. You can find a list of the materials and tools I work with on the about page of my main site; lately most of my daily blog entries there have been about drawing and stuff, usually with more detail than I put in my comments here.

Specific pencils and paper and brushes and ink aside, though, I would say that I've found the most important drawing tools are time, an eraser, and sheer stubbornness; it isn't that you eventually start to make drawings without mistakes, but rather that you get better at recognizing a mistake, or just a weak drawing, and refuse to let it be seen by anyone; you have to be willing to obliterate a drawing that just isn't working well, and start over from scratch. Usually you will be able to come up with something better if you just keep at it. Constantly question your results, look back over your past work and note what went well and what didn't. If you're entirely satisfied with your work, something has probably gone wrong. Don't strive for perfection, but for what successfully conveys the idea; when I'm stuck on a drawing I generally find that it's because I was trying to force my way through by drawing highly polished details of some high-falutin' idea, whereas what I really need to do is to keep searching until my hand and eye have hit upon a valid basic inspiration; once the beginning is good, it can always be refined. Don't overthink it. Modern pop culture would have it that drawing skill is the result of some sort of magical talent you have to be born with, but it actually comes from observation and practice, and those who are the best at it are those who have worked the hardest and most effectively at it. There will always be someone better than you, but you can always get better than you currently are.
Lucid 8th Oct 2013, 12:45 PM edit delete reply
That was an awesome response. Thank you.

I'm going to keep at a few of those things, and see how it impacts my drawing.

Thanks for showing how you do things for SMBHAX. I'm grateful. I'll send you a comment if I'm ever in seattle. Thanks again.
smbhax 9th Oct 2013, 3:04 AM edit delete reply
Cool, I just hope it ends up being useful in some way : )
moizmad 8th Oct 2013, 5:35 PM edit delete reply
Wow, apparently Ben chewed up all of the allotted space here so I cannot..
smbhax 9th Oct 2013, 2:38 AM edit delete reply
The internet is finally running out of space : ooo