The #1 Little Dirty, Dirty trick, Professionals Use to Create Their Comic Book Faster and Better.

The #1 Little Dirty, Dirty trick, Professionals Use to Create Their Comic Book Faster and Better.


For many of you, this maybe not a secret at all but, for some it is! 

What I’m going to share today is that the use of photographic reference is essential for the comic book artist nowadays! Maybe in the past, the artist could get away drawing by head. Not anymore. The Industry got much more demanding on the Super-Hero genre. Of course there are lots of styles but even so, the use of reference is fundamental. You can see a manga comic book and say: “Oh wait a minute, these characters don’t really need reference!!” Oh my friend, YES they do!!! The reference is there as a guide to help you to create a credible scene. They are there to help you to make the character with the right anatomy, the right proportions and in the right perspective: STRUCTURE remember?!!! The style you use should follow these principles of drawing. Except for very rare cartoons, then you need to follow nothing but nonsense right.?well…

One challenging problem I see over and over is the consistency. How to draw the same character over and over and make it look like he is the same guy. And more challenging is drawing the same character in different angles. Even professionals have a hard time on this one. There are artists that are able to afford to hire models to pose for them. Some take pictures of themselves to use as reference. Some asks for friends to pose and create a scene so, they can work from that photo. The fact is that the reference helps immensely to create a scene in a professional and accurate way. The forms, shapes, perspective, lights & shadows are all there.

A little tip I would give is NOT to TRACE the photo!! But use it as a reference!!! Tracing the photo can make your characters look stiff and lifeless. Hard enough is to make a character dynamic and alive with a reference but, tracing it may kill the scene. You need some experience to be able to create a character that looks alive in a scene!! The line quality of your work will only show when you use the reference and actually build the character by yourself!!

So, use reference for EVERYTHING!! background, vehicles, animals, shoes, lamps characters, clothes etc…

Are you able to draw the same character in different angles over and over again? This is a problem that I found for myself and for that I’ve created my own Comic Art Reference Book! You can download some tools for free HERE: ! With more than 20 poses specially created for comic book artists this book will soon be available. You will find Faces, facial expressions, hands, feet,  anatomy, proportion, poses of all kinds and much more!!!! 

  • If you want to learn how to draw.
  • If you want a reference book specially created for comics book artists.
  • If you want to create characters with consistency. 
  • If you want to draw real shadows and real people as well as super-heroes.

I’ll be off to NYCC next week and hope to meet some of you there.

Hope you have enjoyed this sequence of articles and that they could help you somehow, I had a blast!! Thanks for your time!

All the best to all.

Th, th, th, that’s all folks! See you next time.

Yours truly 

Rod Rodollfo 

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