Contemporary comic authors encounter fewer barriers than their predecessors. Webcomics, digital distribution, design software and online communities make publishing, creating and collaborating much more convenient than it once was. These following tutorials will help you learn classic drawing and design techniques. They’ll also provide guidance for creating, innovating and sharing comics using modern technologies.
- Comic Book Inking and Coloring Tutorial Learn to illustrate a character using this tutorial. Practice sketching and inking a preliminary drawing. Then scan it into Photoshop for enhancing details and adding color.
- How to Color Inked Line Art in Photoshop Learn to edit and color sketches in Photoshop. Use this post-modern technique of adding watercolor textures to artwork to create cover worthy illustrations. Download the authors base sketch to follow along then practice with your own work.
- Manga Tutorials Follow these tutorials to learn the beloved Japanese style of manga comics. These tutorials cover how to draw character anatomy, clothes, landscapes, monsters, and more. Also included are guides for learning the popular software, Manga Studio.
- Comic Book Graphic Design Tutorials Check out this site for an abundance of videos on comic book art. Videos vary in length and subject. Learn to perfect drawing Marvel style hair, characters in perspective, text block lettering, trees, faces, and just about any element of comic art.
- How do I Break In? Jim Zub, author of Cartoon Network’s “Samurai Jack” comic book series published this informative piece for novice authors and artists. Zub outlines a list of questions and suggestions for getting grounded in the comic book industry. The site also includes 20 other tutorials on writing, pitching stories and comic book economics.
- The Complete Digital Comic This three-part tutorial covers sketching, penciling, inking, and coloring in Photoshop. Many other tutorials are available on this site. Be sure to check out “50 Facial Expressions and How to Draw Them.”
- Easy Drawing Tutorials This site includes step-by-step guides on how to draw over 100 popular cartoon characters from comics, tv, video games and movies. Each character is drawn in over twenty illustrated steps. Along with the written instructions are videos detailing the process of drawing each individual character.
- How To Draw Action in Comics This is just one of many tutorials by Robert Marzullo of Ram Studios Comics. Each one demonstrates different techniques of using a Wacom Cintiq drawing tablet in Sketchbook Pro 7. These tutorials are a great free way to learn how to illustrate using this particular software.
- Painter Tutorial: Create a Digital Comic Following these 11 steps and sketch out an entire comic page in Corel Painter 11. Learn when to use different size pencils to draw backgrounds with perspective. Practice detailing characters using layering and opacity tricks shown by the author.
- Pixton This is an an easy to use, online comic strip maker. The pixton site includes tons of user submitted strips to draw inspiration from. Pixton has preset design templates, characters, and text boxes or you can create your own. It provides a simple platform for sharing and digitally publishing your creations.
- Strip Generator This is excellent for those looking to get some first-time experience writing small comic strips. The site comes preloaded with characters and items that you can easily drag and drop into your selected layout. Create, share and browse comics made by the site’s community.
- Basics of Sketchbook Pro This tutorial is from the official Autodesk blog. Autodesk is the producer of Sketchbook Pro, a powerful tool for drawing, inking and coloring comic books. This video is an hour long. It demonstrates usage of the key tools available in the software to create modern style illustrations.
- Digital Webbing Forums This site host the most popular comic book art and writing forums on the internet today. This is a great place to seek critiques on your designs and story ideas. They have dedicated forums for finding collaborators, discussing speed bumps in your process, seeking out help and finding jobs.
- Use a Tablet to Create Stunning Comic Book Art This tutorial from Tuts+ lays out some simple methods for designing a character in an action pose. It also covers illustrating lighting effects on armor, using a gradient map to color, and creating a textured background. The entire process is done in Photoshop with a drawing tablet.
- Manga Studio 5 Webinar Series This video tutorial series is from Smith Micro Graphics the publisher of Manga Studio. Take the “Drawing Digital Comics for Beginners,” series to learn the software from the ground up. Then move on to one of the other 50-plus tutorials covering more advanced features of Manga Studio.
- How to Host Your Own Comics Starting a webcomic is as easy as launching a WordPress site. Don’t know how to do that? This resource is great technical read for those looking to learn. It takes you through the steps of acquiring a domain name, getting a host, setting up WordPress and using Comicpress manager to publish your creations directly to your own site.
Create Your Own Comics
Digital distribution makes it easy for anyone to start their own web comic. You don’t need to be Todd McFarlane to create appealing illustrations. Nor do you need to be Frank Miller to write entertaining stories. In the world of comics there is a place for every whimsical caricature and dry punchline. With great practice comes great talent.