A little introspection helps
At this point I was down and felt I didn’t want to continue with learning to draw. Instead of giving up I asked myself three questions:
- Why was I learning to draw?
- What was the comic about?
The answers were easy – to start a webcomic and a webcomic about bears doing people stuff. So this made me ask the third most important question:
- Why not learn to draw bears moving and doing human stuff?
Great! Sounds like a plan! But there was one problem, there aren’t any tutorials or learning resources about drawing bears. So why not learn how to draw people and from there, draw bears. Sweet! Thanks inner me!!! Sometimes you’re alright!
Learning to draw people!
So then the next question, where to begin? Well, there is a sub-reddit for that! No seriously! It’s called /r/learntodraw/ and in the community info page are links to some useful resources.
The most important I found was the book Fun With A Pencil by Andrew Loomis. A free pdf version (along with all Loomis’ books no longer in print) is provided online. While it is a bit outdated (it was written in the late 1930’s!), the techniques are timeless.
I followed the Loomis book for the first 60 pages. Then to reinforce what I learned in this book I went through a number of online videos about figure drawing etc. A few of my favourite ones are listed in the resources page. Then I drew, and drew and drew. I didn’t just draw, I set myself three challenges:
- Draw 100 figures (male and female, not faces) in different poses
- Draw 100 faces and heads with different expressions
- Draw 100 bears doing different things
I used a number of references obtained from Pinterest and Google as my guide. At this point I was able to design the characters for the webcomic. It took me some time, but I got there.
You can see some of my early 100 bear sketches here.
Starting the webcomic
Now I was ready to make my webcomic! Well not really. I finally was able to draw and design my characters, but I didn’t have a clue about making a webcomic! Then I came across a coursera course: How to Make a Comic Book (Project-Centered Course).
While it is project centered, submitting your project for critique was allowed only for paying members. However, the videos are available for free. It contains a lot of great and useful information, so I followed through the course and did the assignments, although I never submitted them (up to the point where you are supposed to print and bind the finished product).
The creators of the course also have a great webpage (http://www.makingcomics.com/) with invaluable information regarding comic creation, from getting an idea to even legal stuff.