Improving your Drawing Skills

How to Draw:

Improving your drawing skills

I’m currently working on my next comic book/graphic novel. At this point, I have fully sketched out the book, and have moved to the next phase which is hard-lining the pencils. This is where I add a more detailed, fine lined drawing of my quickly sketched drawings. I came to a panel where I have been trying to draw one of my characters throwing their arms up into the air and storming out. However, every attempt to draw this has ended up with me being unhappy with the result. The final image of this gesture is below, and keep in mind, it took about 10 tries just to get this pathetic drawing down on paper.

Drawing Bad Cartoons
Reesa trying to storm out of the room, but her gesture is expressionless because of my poor drawing.

The drawing just looks odd to me. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever drawn, but it does not convey what I wanted to get across. And when drawing comics like this, the intention is to create a hyper-expressive pose in order to set up the joke that is coming in the next panel (which is not shown here). Bottom line is, I have a problem and I can’t draw my way out of it with this pose.

I’ve done all of the things that I have posted about before. I’ve gone to the internet to search for images of people posing in the way I’m trying to draw. This was a hard one to search for. I looked up, "angry woman storming out," and other related keyword phrases. Not one image I found was what I was looking for. Then I tried using my wife as a model to storm out of a room and throw her arms up. I took a bunch of pictures and tried to find a pose I could draw from. I needed something because I was really having trouble visualizing the overdramatic exit of the character. But nothing worked.

I couldn’t draw it, so now what?
This can happen to anyone. You get to a character, scene, prop or whatever, that you just have trouble drawing…and these 3/4 rear views of characters walking are a challenge for me. I will need to work on it, but I am in the flow on my comic book drawing, and I can’t spend all of this time one one panel. I need to do something.

So, I will try the next best thing…I will draw a view of the character that is a little easier for me to draw.. I don’t want this panel to completely grind me to a halt. It hasslowed me down big time this week and frustrated me to no end. So, I picked a new view. One that can be used to convey the same information.

I’ve gone ahead and redrawn that panel. It’s not as dramatic as it was intended to be, but it gets the idea across. Truthfully, this panel is not a pivotal scene that has to be conveyed just right. It’s almost a throwaway, transitional panel. Definately not worth the time to spend getting it absolutely perfect. But I vowed to not do on this book what I did on my first book, Spectre: A Dark Matter. And that is to allow drawings that I wasn’t happy with to stay in. The drawing above makes me unhappy.

The new panel is shown below. I find it more acceptable. And I can live with it even though it is not what I originally envisioned. And now I can move on to the next panel and next page of drawing.

A Better Comic Book Panel than the original
Reesa looks a little better here, and I can live with this panel in the context of the entire book.

The bottom line is, if you find yourself struggling to draw something, make it easier for yourself and change directions. Everything you put down on paper should be your best work. Be your own worst critic and push yourself to put out your best work.
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