Figure Drawing Stuff

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

I had a great question last week asking if I used pose references or anything when I’m drawing Zip and Li’l Bit. I don’t. The way most of the characters in the comic are designed using a person to model as reference would probably create more problems than it would solve being as the look would be so much different. For a character such as the Captain, or Officer John, using a person to model the pose might help, but for the rest of the characters, probably not.

Also, if I were to work from a model, or maybe a 3D rendered figure, I don’t know if I’d be able to capture the weight or movement of the character as easily. I think it’s important to be able to exaggerate a pose to help sell the action or story in comics. The first three panels in today’s strip are a nice example of that. They actually could be exaggerated a little more, but I hope there’s a sense of weight to the objects Zip is lugging around which isn’t something I think I’d be able to capture from a model.

Now, if I was drawing a more realistic comic, I would definitely try using a model to see if it helped save time (although I’m not sure how long my wife and friends would put up with posing for me). Where I can imagine having a figure for reference would be tremendously helpful is in drawing clothing.

On the subject of poses, here’s something I noticed a couple weeks ago that I thought was way cool. When I’d been in the comic shop, I’d bought a pint glass featuring Captain America for myself, and a kiddie size (actually a shot glass but don’t tell him) version for my son. The pint glass had a drawing of Cap by, I think, John Romita Sr., and the shot glass had a drawing of Cap by the King, Jack Kirby. When I got the glasses home and was looking at them, it dawned on me that they were essentially the same pose, yet look at how completely differently each artist interpreted that pose. It’s fascinating how the action and personality of each pose is altered, almost drastically, just by the perspective each artist chose to show the figure and how the figure’s weight is distributed. Cool, huh?

Pose Comparison