Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I was browsing around and came across a link for How To Draw Superman.  I clicked and looked and while I do think it’s a very recognizable Superman, it’s not all that great either though.  Some might come here and say the same about my execution.  They are welcome to do so really, I’m just trying to help out a bit.

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Always start with a wireframe, figure out a pose.  I think my main problem with that Superman link is that it’s such a static pose.  Superheroes are action type folks, so try to come up with something dynamic.

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I tend to start building the drawing from the head, if the head is a certain size you can gauge how big the body should be in proportion.

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Another rule of thumb I tend to stick to is that legs should be just a touch longer then the upper half of the body. So I’ll stick my thumb on the foot of an out stretched leg and a finger on the waistline, and then slide up so my thumb is where my finger used to be on the waist.  If my finger is only hitting the neck area then the torso is too short (or the legs too long).

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Be sure to include some sort of foreshortening in your dynamic pose, otherwise it turns out really flat.  See how the one leg is tucked under itself, and the arm on the back the shoulder overlaps the upper arm which overlaps the forearm which overlaps the hand a bit? Foreshortening.  Sometimes I am not great at it, but I know what it is at least!

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All that is left once you have the shape of the body put in is to fill in all the details.  I still find hair to be tricky, especially black hair.  Noses can take a lot of practice to get looking right too.  I have pages of noses in sketch books!

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Start filling in the details.  My favourite Nightwing has got to be Brett Booths rendition, even though he only did three books and a couple more covers than that.

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I should have done more shading here but I knew I wanted to try to use my markers to get the suit looking right.  I find the back suit hard to do if I want details to still show up. 

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I’ve inked it now, the key, which I am still learning how to do, is to use different line weights (thicknesses) to make the inking pop.  If all your lines are the same thickness for say the outline and the little details, the overall just won’t look as good as it could.


I’ve erased the pencil and coloured the drawing here.  I’ve picked a light source that it sort of in the upper right corner, just out from the plane of the paper. So the shadows fall on the backside of things and the highlights right in the front middle.  It’s not a drawing that will end up in a professional comic book, but it’s got weight and depth to it at least and it’s a dynamic action pose.

And that’s how I draw Nightwing!

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