Category Archives: fan art

The Figure According to John Buscema

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Let’s have just one more look inside in How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way for some helpful figure drawing lessons.

In an earlier chapter, John Buscema addressed basic anatomy and proportions: the breakdowns of the human figure into formal shapes: cylinders, spheres, and so on. That chapter is quite detailed and well worth reading. This shorter chapter compares that approach to a much more loose and relaxed – even sloppy – method: scribbling.

 
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The Human Head According to John Buscema!

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The following pages from How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way demonstrate all the essentials of drawing the human head. These breakdowns resemble the ones we looked at in yesterday’s Bad Girls figure drawing lesson. But, they go more in depth: more poses, more character types, and more comparisons of the highly idealized male and female faces.

 
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Anatomy of a Comic Book Bad Girl!

In just four pages, Brian Pulido and Steven Hughes of Lady Death hit all the highlights of basic figure and face drawing. Does it use an exaggerated, idealized, slick comic book version of the female figure? Yes! But, the basics of facial features and the essential building blocks of the body apply to all physical types.

This lesson appeared in Wizard – Bad Girls Special. Get your pencil sharpened and learn How to Draw Bad Girls!

 
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mystery of the metal sculpture

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Much less mystery would surround this sculpture if anyone felt like working this time of year. It caught our eye on a recent journey, but no one seems to be working in its corporate office building building this week! Google searches yielded nothing. Calling random offices at that location yielded nothing. Maybe in 2014 we can find out more about it.

If you want to take a crack at it, the address is 4450 N. 12th St. in Phoenix, AZ. And if you want to visit it in person, look how close the bus stop is!

We dig the concentric rings that seem like a nod to both atomic science and astronomy, and the way it makes the landscaping much more interesting. We built a little model of it in our 3-D software, and put it in the queue of subjects we’d like to draw or paint.

 
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inktense and sharpie postcards II

inktense cards - snail

 
After our comic book postcards got addressed and ready to go, we still had four more pieces of blank paper! How about a snail and some experimental planets?

Yes, they might not look like planets to you; but, they are based on the shapes in a picture of Saturn we saw online: a bird’s eye view from the pole where Saturn casts a shadow on its own rings in dramatic high-contrast sunlight. We thought it might make for a cool painting, so we played around with it compositionally at postcard size. Again, we are laying down color first with Derwent Inktense water-based ink, then rendering the subject over that with Sharpie marker.

 
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inktense + sharpie postcards based on comic book panels

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Those clouds were really fun to draw and we might have gone way overboard on them once we got the hang of it. The lines are definitely influenced by cloud and smoke rendering techniques we have been analyzing from Michael Zulli, Alex Nino, Kieth Giffen, and others.

The color is Inktense. Derwent’s Inktense inks give you vibrant colors in a block form that you combine with water and brush. They work a lot like watercolor paints but as an ink. We have zero background in watercolor or ink brush technique, but they seemed potentially fun to play with.

For these postcards, we applied the inktense colors first, sometimes after a light pencil sketch for layout and design. Then, over the areas of color, we rendered the subjects with Sharpie markers.

Original:
 
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Since the internet loves to hate Roy Lichtenstein for “stealing” old comic book panels, we will try to include some references here. Yes we are copying comic book panels! It’s fun, and we learn a lot about rendering technique from studying comics. When you want to be good, study the masters!

The rocket above is a study of a panel from 1953, a comic book called Atomic War, issue #4. Look, Roy, we even sourced the original panel :) By the way, Atomic War is so old that it’s now public domain. We got ours at the Digital Comic Museum. So, feel free to reprint it and make posters of it or whatever. You can even buy Atomic War comics t-shirts now.

Next up: Psycho Bear!

 
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Psycho Bear comes from an issue of Weirdo published by Last Gasp. We sold the issue, but have a picture of the page, credited to R. Hayes:

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We started our set with this hand in the eye, based on a sculpture at the Atlanta airport.

 
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Next up, a smoldering planet.

 
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Source? DC’s planet of Apokalips as rendered by John Byrne and Karl Kesel in the first issue of Legends in the 1980s. The earthy orange tones and sharpie fine point marker made us feel like we were inking Larry Stroman’s work on Alien Legion. That guy can sure draw a space-scape! This felt good, as our first four painted studies of Byrne’s Apokalips ended in utter failure. This one felt like a step forward in rendering technique.

Alright, Roy, here’s the original.

 
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THOOM!
 
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THOOM! So much fun we did it twice. It comes from a John Buscema panel in Mighty Thor #200. Buscema, one of our favorite artists, a kind of Jack-Kirby-meets-Frank-Frazetta, created our favorite art textbook: How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way.

 
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OKAY ROY HERE IS THE SOURCE! Jeez.

 
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Anyway, these are all stamped and ready to be launched into orbit from Martian Headquarters. Here are some more photos we took because we’re obsessed with the iPhone 5 camera after living without a decent camera for like 39 years. Look how nice they are in the window!

 
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puma study

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Just for fun, we did a study of a very small picture of a snarling mountain lion we traced years ago from a book or DVD cover at the library. We used a sheet of 16×20 paper, the “throwaway” cover of a much nicer set of art paper. Our reference may have had few details, but we can’t blame that for our lack of knowledge about both facial anatomy (jaws in particular) and markings on a puma’s coat. Still, it was good practice for a rough brush technique we want to use, and good practice working with white and black while still wet to create various grey tones, highlights, and detail.

Here we have some “in progress” shots where we build up the painting in layers with pastels, Derwent Inktense water-soluble inks, and acrylic paint.

 
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Ellie the studio puma finds a new den with Kull, the barbarian powered by the awesomely cosmic tiger goddess!

 
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