Sunday, September 1, 2013


As you might have read I went to Fan Expo, while I was there I watched a few people create some art.  One of those people was Marcus To who drew me this amazing picture of The Flash.


(I scanned it, then printed it, and coloured in the print out)

Now I think I mentioned here that a while ago Amber and I went to a private art lesson and while it was interesting to be told some of those things that we learned that night for me it wasn’t anything ground breaking.  However since that night and even more so since Fan Expo I have been drawing a lot. 

Yesterday and today I have ended up watching a whole bunch of videos on youtube mainly with Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane and Todd Nauck as the stars and especially with McFarlane and Lee I learned so many tricks and ideas and methods.  Some of them I was aware of but didn’t really know how to put to use, or not use them correctly.  And then some of idea really taught me how to do something I didn’t know at all before, or I was really having trouble with.  Earlier today while watching some of those videos with Lee and McFarlane I made a point of having some paper handy and just sketching along, putting the ideas to use and really trying to cement things in my brain.  I’ll share those sketches and the lessons in a much shorter format below.



These are from when I was watching Jim Lee demonstrate. The first one is the top hand there that is a green lantern hand, and the middle Batman hand, the crux of that lesson was that hands are not squares, they are pentagons turned a bit, the top point of the pentagon is where the middle finger is.  For that flared out look you draw the pentagon shape, then the bulge for the thumb base, and then the pads of the fingers, lines to connect to the palm and then a few little shadows, done.  His basis for the hand in general though is that ‘everyone is holding a softball.  If you imagine that ball, draw the bits of the finger tips that you see and then the connections, it’ll work out.


This was a Todd McFarlane ‘how to draw feet’  He mentions in this video a previous video where he did hands and that fingers are basically peanuts, a peanut each for the first two bones and then 1/2 a peanut for the finger tip.  That way you get the knuckles.  He mentions this because toes are pretty much the same thing.  Most important to note when drawing feet from the end was that your ankle bones don’t line up perfectly.


There is a finger peanut hand here..  and then eyes.  Todd started with the left most eye in photoshop, very basic. Relax the eyelid, and give it weight, put highlights on the pupil and iris, then maybe a few creases around the eye to make it a bit more realistic.  If you are trying a bit stylized, you can draw the shape of a hat, and make than an eye.  To note was that you rarely see the entire iris, it’s usually cut off on the top at least, and be sure to add in the highlights if you are drawing at a detail level where you can see the pupil and iris.


Jim Lee had a video on drawing dynamic figures, he pretty much drew this Batman, with Joker getting punched in the foreground, I didn’t add that.  There was much more to the lesson, but one of his key points was to separate the centre of mass of the torso and the center of mass of the hips.20130825_215301

Like here, these centres of mass are stacked, and while the reaction of the villain helps to sell it, the pose up top indicates much more movement on Batman’s part.  There is good ‘movement’ on the Riddler here, but notice his torso, is far to the right of his hips.

action 2 and chest

Another Dynamic pose for the Flash, he’s moving super fast, and you can tell because of where his torso is compared to his hips.  (Lee didn’t draw Flash like this, I just did it while watching) Lee also noted the idea/rule of each action needs and equal and opposite reaction, so Flash’s right arm is way back, so his right foot is way forward to balance him out.  While this rule can be contradicted a bit from what I know of martial arts (in a step through punch the right arm and right foot come forward at the same time), it’s generally true.

On the bottom was from a demo with Todd and Greg Capullo, the current artist on Batman, and Todd was pointing out what he called the ‘Lazy W’.  It’s there in the chest, starting under the shoulder, forming the pecs and then going up around the other shoulder.  His point with this was that if you can draw that, you’ll know where to place lots of muscles as the should always stays ‘behind’ the W, even if the arms go straight up, pulling the chest to go nearly vertical.


Last was legs, this was Capullo and McFarlane again and here I learned that Todd is really big on drawing things connected as he goes, so here you can see the steps because I drew them all out.  starting with the knee cap, then the little bone under, then adding in the muscles on the legs, noting that the inside muscle is always lower then the outside one.  Then depending on where your light is you pic out the shadows to pull out and BooM – leg!

So yeah, other than a 35k bike ride and short workout this morning, this was most of my day today!  Yay FREE Art Lessons!

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