Quick Comic Portraits

I’ve been looking at the work of an artist called Mark Crilley recently.  He’s a comic book artist and storyteller and he does a lot of great YouTube videos.

He draws in a manga style but it’s not too stylised and I think his stuff  looks totally  fabulous.

Here’s an example of his work:

Brody's Ghost 2 Inside 1


Before seeing Mark’s work I didn’t really like black and white (well greyscale really) comic books but his stuff is so good I’ve really got into it.  The above example is from a comic book series he wrote called Brody’s Ghost.

Bridy’s Ghost by Mark Crilley


Anyway last night I was looking on his YouTube channel and I saw a video which shows some of his ink sketch work  which he did some time ago while he was teaching in Taiwan.  It really inspired me to get sketching again.


Now I’ve always found drawing for comic books really hard because I find it really hard to imagine things which don’t exist.  Basically when I draw a figure from my mind it just looks all wrong but if I sketch from life or a photo or TV then it’s better.  I  much prefer drawing from reference.  So I thought I’d do sketch each day from the TV.  Yesterday I was watching a bit of a Sky series called ‘The Last Ship’ and I did a couple of sketches from that.  Here’s the first.

This is a photo of the TV which I just paused so I could sketch:

comic portrait 1 source_web


And here’s the sketch which I did in pencil first and then inked.  Then after I scanned it I coloured it in greyscale.

Comic portrait 1_web


My plan is to do a quick sketch  each day (5 min pencils and 5 minutes inking) and try to get a basic likeness and basic proportions and perspective correct.  In this way I want to build up a catalogue of figure drawings with people in different positions and stances which I can then use when I want to draw from my head rather than from my eyes.

I’m hoping that as I work at it my lines will get better.