Within the past two weeks, I have learned the basics about comic book drawing. I met with my mentor, Davinder Brar, and talked to him about the basic outline of the project. We discussed my goals, and where I want to be at the end of the project. After we figured out a rough schedule, Davinder started teaching me the fundamentals of comic book drawing.
We started off talking about how long it takes to draw a comic book. Davinder said that really fast illustrators are able to get one page done a day, but for most illustrators, it takes a couple days to finish one page. Davinder showed me some of the comic panels that he drew, and we compared them to other artists comic panels. By doing this, I learned about different styles of comic book art. Some comics are more detailed and dark, while others are more cartoonish and light. It all depends on the tone of the story.
Next, we started to draw. According to Davinder, the most important thing that I need to be able to draw is the face. When I asked why, he said that the face is the first place that the reader looks when looking at a new panel. Also, people spend every day looking at human faces, so we know what a face should look like. Readers can recognize a poorly drawn face immediately. It’s important to draw the face correct because if the face looks weird, it will be impossible to ignore. So, starting with learning how to draw a face seemed like a reasonable place to start. After learning how to draw the face, we moved on to the body. Davinder told me to start off drawing circles for the major body parts (head, chest, torso), and then draw everything else off those circles.
When I asked Davinder how he learned all this, he said that he spent a lot of time talking to other artists. Davinder met a lot of artists at comic conventions, so he would bring his art with him whenever he would go to conventions. He would then ask artists at booths for tips on how he could improve. These experiences were very helpful for Davinder because other professionals could give him advice on how to keep moving forward. One piece of advice he learned was to not learn how to draw from comic books. Instead, you should look at different styles of comic books, and figure out the pros and cons of them. That way you can find the right style for your art.
Davinder has also taught me about being a mentor. One facilitation strategy he used was only doing a couple of drawings with me and letting me do the rest at home. By doing this, I was not just copying what Davinder was drawing. Instead, I had to make sure that I had learned the techniques, so that I could create equally good drawings with and without Davinder. This is a strategy that will help me develop as a mentor.
I’m looking forward to the next few weeks of In-Depth!