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Comic Book Illustration: Boarork Pencils 2

Applying Line Weights & Cross Hatch Rendering

In this tutorial we’ll continue from where we left off with Boarork the Brute, going over the rough draft we previously sketched up to polish up the pencils.

If you haven’t seen the previous video in this series, click below to watch it:
Boarork The Brute Draft | Refining Your Style & Fixing Mistakes

Our main goal when it comes to the final pencils of any comic book illustration is to define it with impactful line work that’s sharp, energetic and concise. The line weights, shadows and cross hatched rendering all come together to enhance the presentation with contrast, depth and dimension. When done right, the end result can be breath taking.

I like to break the pencilling process down into three main stages that I’ll occasionally jump between at different points, depending on where my focus is. These three stages are the line weights, shadows and rendering, all of which are separated into individual passes. Breaking them up into separate phases helps me keep the process manageable.

The line weights are applied as the main outline is defined. They’re purpose is to add variation to the thickness of the line to achieve certain effects.

 For example, Line weights can be used to indicate light direction, by increasing the thickness of the bounding contour on the dark side of a form. They can be used to suggest depth, by making the outlines around a form heavier as it protrudes forward, toward the viewer. And Line Weights can also help to emphasize key points of focus within the illustration, simply by giving elements of interest a darker outline.

As well as incorporating Line Weights, the main outline should be clean-cut and energetic. The line should have a sense of movement and liveliness to it. This is often achieved by keeping your line work strong, steady and purposeful. Each stroke should be laid in with care and consideration toward its shape and trajectory.

Shadows allow us to add that extra level of three dimensionality to our drawings by clarifying form and lighting, while at the same time increasing contrast, drama and cinematic appeal. Just like the outer contours themselves, the shape of a shadow should be defined in a way that helps to describe the form its cast upon with a vivid, stylized aesthetic.

It’s good to try and articulate the silhouette of a shadow with an interesting shape. Every line should exaggerate the form to some extent, pushing it just enough to give it the right amount of visual impact it needs to stand out.

Finally, the rendering stage is all about pushing the depth and dimension within your illustration even further. Here we’ll create a tonal blend between the black and white values, while at the same time describing the surface of the form as we wrap a series of carefully placed, extremely fine hatches around it.

The length, thickness and spacing of these hatches control the value and softness of the tone. Deciding what purpose these hatches will serve, and the outcome you’re looking for will help you to figure out their variables so that they’re able to serve your art in the most impactful way possible.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial and get a ton of value out of it. Try applying some of the techniques you’ve learned throughout this demonstration and see how they work out for you! If you found the video useful, then be sure to share it with your fellow comic artist friends, no doubt they’ll get a kick out of it too.

Until next time, keep on creating and keep on practicing!


Software Used: Manga Studio/Clip Studio Paint


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