Drawing comics is fun, relaxing, and rewarding. But how do you get started?
You may be wondering how to draw comics, and what books are the most helpful. I was wondering the same thing, and compiled this list of best books for drawing comics. I have gone through virtually every drawing book ever written on the subject. My focus was on tips and tricks on drawing comics both digitally and traditionally. Often this involves Illustrator or Photoshop. Here is a list of my favorite books containing drawing lessons.
Terry Moore’s How to Draw
Terry Moore’s How to Draw is one of the best books for drawing comics that I have read. Unlike other comic instruction books which focus squarely on providing drawing instruction, Terry Moore also describes what makes drawings beautiful in the first place. The author is know for drawing both realistic women and realistic facial expressions, which he discusses in great detail. For example, he demonstrates the way women handle weight and balance with an illustration of one woman carrying another woman on her back. Finally, the last chapter discusses the procedures and materials for illustrating comics, which has saving-grace advice I have not found anywhere else. Give it a read for sure.
Incredible Comic Book Women With Tom Nguyen
When it comes to drawing comic art, wanting to draw attractive characters comes with the territory. One of my favorite is Incredible Comic Book Women with Tom Nguyen which has some of the most useful advice I had seen in any drawing book, and I do not say that lightly. Instead of vague “follow along” drawings with obvious suggestions, Incredible Comic Book Women talks about every aspect of drawing females. Hair, legs, shape, movement, everything. It also shows good examples and, more importantly, bad examples, along the way. I think it is really excellent, and one of the best books for drawing comics. You should buy it or borrow it from your library asap.
Comic Artist’s Photo Reference Women And Girls
For those who do not know, reference is extremely important and must be used always. What I mean is that you must constantly be looking at photographs to check for accuracy, and cannot rely on your memory alone. Among the best books for drawing comics for reference I found was Comic Artist’s Photo Reference Women And Girls. Beside being incredibly easy to flip open for reference, the color photographs and included CD makes it a no-brainer. The CD contains photographs from all angles, making it simple to leap from image to artwork.
Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics from the Ground Up
If you do not understand perspective, forget about your dream of drawing comics. Perspective is a concept that explains how to draw buildings, weapons, people, and anything else shape-based in order to account for distance. Some people think there is just one-point perspective and two-point perspective. Most people know that there is also three-point perspective. But virtually no-one knows that there is 4-point perspective! This is why you must read Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics from the Ground Up. This book blew my mind. I had gone to art school and had taken so many instructional classes that my brain should have been melting out my ears. Even so, this book had taught me more about perspective than all of my years in college. The best books for drawing comics, with perspective in mind, is Vanishing Point.
Drawing the Head and Hands
Andrew Loomis is considered the Godfather of drawing instruction. This book changed my life. Seriously. Before I found this book, I had been struggling drawing heads for years. Drawing the Head and Hands contains easy-to-remember measurements that make drawing heads systematic yet easy to render. You will also grow to love Andrew Loomis’ encouraging style and fun-nature writing style. Most of all, you appreciate such in-depth instruction from such a successful commercial illustrator who was around during a time when illustration was more prominent than photography. Give it a read; you won’t be sorry.
The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression
Facial expression is not only important to convey emotion, but it is also hard to draw as well. Most books offer little advice on the subject. I was hopelessly lost until I found The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression by Gary Faigin. This book is no joke. The author breaks down facial expressions into emotions, muscles, and shapes. If that were not enough, the excellent drawings contained within are inspirational and effective. Although meant for artists in general, I still consider it among the best books for drawing comics.
Drawing the Head and Figure
Drawing the Head and Figure is among my favorite books of all time. Do not let the age of the book fool you. The author Jack Hamm has simple-to-understand advice that will take your drawings to new levels. What I like most about this book is the way it handles describing hair, faces, and wrinkles. It also provides step-by-step instructions in constructing critical parts of the face and body. One thing that blows me away are the shapes and patterns of the face that the author had discovered, which also makes drawing the face much simpler. This is definitely one of the best books for drawing comics and illustrating, and I refer to it all the time.
I could go on for days telling you the best books for drawing comics with the best tutorials, tips, tools, etc. It is important that you Buy into the idea of further research, for These are the methods and Books that will change your life. Be sure to check the links I had provided and judge for yourself. Are there any other books that I had not mentioned that you feel are your favorite? Leave a comment below.