How to Draw Everything – Comics for Beginners episode 9
Loved this episode. I remember from my childhood that a lot of the professional artists have been less than ethical about this subject, and this was way before computers and scanning devices.
Especially Alex Raymond and Burne Hogarth’s work were used for more than just references, while the more talented artist had a point with it or used it as an in-joke. Illustrated Classics and Agent X-9 were so immersed into it, that we had a game called “spot the theft” :).
For example, our own Anders Walther (comic book artist and Oscar winning animations director) was not above “a little borrowing” from Scott Campbell’s “DangerGirl”. I’ve always found it reassuring, that even professional artists had to use references.
Yup, and as you say, Anders just won an Oscar! Surely an example to follow 🙂
I seriously don’t recommend stealing from Hogarth or ANY OTHER ARTIST. Reference is one thing, blatant theft is another. And it will backfire one way or another…
amazing lesson! working with reference is very useful, but drawing real people would even better, but in other hand, how good as an artist you suppose to be to draw printable comic book?
You’re absolutely right, Evgenia, drawing from life is how you get better at drawing. Best method, by far.
As for your question on how good you have to be, that depends on a lot of things. Most importantly, what kind of story you are trying to tell and what style you choose. Consistency can take over where “good” art fails!
I talk a lot about this topic in one of my podcasts: https://comicsforbeginners.com/talent-isnt-everything-comics-beginners-podcast-episode-22
There are a lot of artist I wouldn’t consider great but who have an “ugly” style that is consistent and fit their subject matter, Gary Larson comes to mind. You can tell excellent stories with stick figures if you want, it’s all a matter of form and content blending together. I also talk a about developing your own personal style in episode 10 of these tutorials.
Let me know if this answer is helpful. Thanks!
The other day I was having a hard time trying to draw a child coloring with crayons. I could not figure out what a child’s hand looked like holding a crayon. I did a search for images “child coloring” and voila, I got a bunch of great images to draw from.
I was wondering what you think about about stealing random internet images and modifying them in Photoshop. I like drawing people and animals but not backgrounds. I’m finding that taking elements from several different images from internet and modifying them to the point of “unrecognizability” and then putting them in the background of my drawn figures works well for me. I am always trying to improve my drawing skills (which are mediocre at best) but I’d rather work on drawing things like to draw. Do you think my background thievery is cheating?
I used to think it was cheating, now it’s a daily routine for me 🙂 Sounds like you’re doing it right, combining and modifying. Whatever get’s the job done and doesn’t get you in (legal) trouble.. Do it!
got it! Combine – Modify – Stay out of trouble. My new motto.
Nice episode, Palle! Thanks! You actually confirmed some of my suspicions about how to get references and incorporate them.
If you steal from one person that’s called “plagiarism”. That’s bad. However, if you steal from many people it’s called “research”. 😉
(My friend who is a PhD told me that. He also told me that PhD stands for “permanent head damage”.)
If you want an example of some AMAZING “stealing”, James Cameron’s “Avatar” is pretty much the exact same story line as “Dances with Wolves”, except done with blue aliens and dragons, which is why South Park did an episode called “Dancing with Smurfs”.
Finally, pretty much EVERYONE steals story types from the Ancient Greeks. Even William Shakespeare drew heavily from the plays of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
You know the joke “And that’s what she said”? That joke came from the first scene of a play by Aristophanes called “The Frogs” from 405 B.C. So, technically speaking that joke is over 2,400 years old. (At least!) It’s absurd to think that “that’s what she said” survived BOTH the rise AND fall of the Roman Empire, lasted all the way through the dark ages, the black death, the Renaissance, two world wars, and the invention of the Internet… and we’re still using it in 2015.
Anyway, thanks again! Going back to watch more videos. =)