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Comic Book Illustration: Boarork Pencils 3

Adding Depth & Enhancing Readability

In this drawing demonstration we’ll continue working on ‘Boarork the Brute’ – focusing our attention on the orc warriors.

If you missed the previous videos in this series, you can click the links below to watch them.
Boarork The Brute Draft

Boarork Pencils - Part 2

Since we’re dealing with multiple characters, I manage the process by first defining the major contours that’ll outline the orcs. Using a steady and precise hand they’re carefully weighted to enhance the visual appeal of the line work. Every contour varies in thickness along it’s trajectory to indicate light direction, depth and emphasis.

The outline also describes the shape of the orc’s with vivid clarity. This fortifies each element throughout their anatomy and design with a striking silhouette that’ll encompass the rendering and intricate details within them.

Shadows are first outlined then filled in for the same reason – to capture an interesting shape that describes the form they’re being cast around in an appealing way.

Next the forms are shaded using the crosshatching technique. A series of uniform, fine lines are pulled out of the shadow, their trajectory following the forms surface and in turn describing it. Depending on the length, heaviness and closeness of these hatches, a tonal value and blend can be generated.

The purpose of crosshatching is to give depth to the form, as well as describing its material and texture. When done so thoughtfully, this makes the illustration appear more three dimensional, visually readable and increases its level of believability.

The major drawback to rendering for most people isn’t that it’s difficult to do, but that it’s incredibly easy to overdo it.

The key to successful crosshatching is balance. Hatches are most effective when used sparingly in only the areas they’re most needed to ensure maximum impact. There should also be areas with a minimal amount of detail where the eyes can rest, breaking the illustration up and making it easier to digest.

When it comes to contrasting values, it’s a good idea to create a certain amount of rhythm within the composition between the various tones. Ideally  you want to lead the eye throughout the image, having the most important elements within it appear most prominent.

This is especially important when working on a large illustrations such as this with multiple characters. If the tones aren’t balanced correctly, distinction may be lost between the elements. It might not be obvious as to where one character ends and another begins, or the assets within their costuming could appear flat and confusing to look at.

Each comic art technique should have a strategy and purpose behind its use. Always keep this in mind when working and you’ll be able to create a compelling illustration that pulls in the viewer.

I hope you enjoy this comic art tutorial and get loads of insight out of it. Thanks for watching, and until next time - keep on creating and keep on practicing.



Software Used: Manga Studio/Clip Studio Paint


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