The Etherington Bros are well-known as one of the greatest teams of drawing teachers around — their How to Think When You Draw series of books, and their blog, have helped millions of artists learn how to draw essentially everything.
In addition to the free drawing tutorials on their blog, they’ve released a free ebook just for young, beginning artists — How to Think When You Draw Junior. You can download the entire ebook here for free, or read on to get a sample of one of the tutorials.
This is the fifth tutorial in a series of five. For the fourth one, storytelling through character design, click here.
Designing the rest of your comic’s world
Your best art comes from experimenting and playing with a variety of ideas, so it’s worth taking some time to develop the extra characters, items, and environments within your comic story, before you draw them on the final page.
The designs you create as you work out how you want these elements to look are called concept art, which really just means ideas art — drawing different ideas for how something could look until you find the one you like the best.
You may need concept art for characters, objects, vehicles, places, food, animals, or even hairstyles. Even tiny changes can make a big differences — changing the lines on a car, for example, can make it feel faster, slower, newer, older, etc.
Different shapes convey different messages, considering what best fits whatever you’re designing! Sharp angles convey a strong and intimidating feeling. Long flowing lines convey sleekness and speed. And rounder, bouncier lines convey playfulness and friendliness.
You don’t have to draw completely different designs for each idea — sometimes changing just one thing will create a totally new character!
Compare the original character to the other versions, when the eyes, hair style, hair color, lips, brows, jawline, or nose have changed or been mixed and matched.
Remember, the entire PDF of How To Think When You Draw Junior is available here. You can also stay tuned to this blog, as we’ll be posting many more of these quick comics tutorials!