How to Draw and Shade Comic Book Style Arms and Anatomy | Robert Marzullo | Skillshare

How to Draw and Shade Comic Book Style Arms and Anatomy

Robert Marzullo, Online instructor of Figure Drawing and Comic Art

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3 Lessons (1h 4m) View My Notes
    • 1. How to Draw and Shade Muscular Arms Comic Book Style Pose 1

    • 2. How to Draw and Shade Muscular Arms Comic Book Style Pose 2

    • 3. How to Draw and Shade Muscular Arms Comic Book Style Pose 3

19 students are watching this class

About This Class

In this class I will walk you through my process of drawing and shading 3 arm poses step by step in a comic art style. I have lots of students that always seem to struggle with this part of their process. Cross hatching can be a tricky subject so I created these lessons to explain it in more detail.

By the end of this class you will have a greater understanding of how to draw and shade the arm poses you see below. This lesson doesn't just apply to arms. This is just the study but these techniques apply to almost everything.




Learn how to draw the forms, refine the anatomy and then shade and render. It is fun and with some practice you will be amazed at what you can do! ;)

I hope to see your work soon!

Robert A. Marzullo

Ram Studios Comics


1. How to Draw and Shade Muscular Arms Comic Book Style Pose 1: Welcome back everyone. My name is Robert Marzullo from Ram Studio Comics. Today's lesson, we're going to be studying some different comic book style arm poses, and we're going to render those out. Let's go ahead and get started. This one's going to be a little bit more intermediate to advanced. If you haven't watched my How to Improve Your Figure Drawing, it's probably a good place to start. But you'll get a bit of that or the information that within that. But we are going to focus a little bit more on the rendering, so I'm going to skip ahead. I will do the scalable structure and the cylinders, but I'm going to do these quite quickly and not explain as much of that and then get right into showing you how to construct more the anatomy and mainly the rendering is the purpose that I really wanted to address in this one. Essentially what you want to do is a couple of things. Even at this stage, you want to try not to make your poses too straight up and down. If you notice, I've got just a little bit of bends going here. Even though this is a basic arm pose, I just think it's helpful to not really get in the habit of always doing these straight up and down poses because the arm and the body just doesn't really work that way. Let's go ahead and get some knuckles here. We'll just do somewhat of a clenched fist, one finger over of the distance there. One thing I always like to do is try to incorporate as much variance, for instance, even a basic clenched fist. There is the bones from the hand. We will see that the elbow is right here, not off to the very edge of the arm and we'll say that the triceps is back here, a bicep here. One thing I'd like to take note of when drawing the shoulder is that it's obviously larger. The arm does this thing where it starts larger, tapers in, gets larger again, tapers in, gets larger again, and actually tapers other way for the hand. That is just a basic concept of what it looks like, but it's good to take note of certain things like that. Likewise, I think it's helpful to notice that the shoulder comes inward at an angle, it does not line straight up and down with the upper part of the arm. Also, if you were to draw the shoulder off to the side, does this shape, something like that. That is another thing where, again, paying special attention to little things like that will help you to reconstruct the arm more consistently. Now, this is going to be a stylized representation, as I said before, it's a comic book style. It's not going to be entirely accurate, but there needs to be enough consistency with real anatomy to just make it read well, to make sure that people don't look at it and go, what exactly is that or why is the anatomy is so incorrect on that drawing, so you definitely want to stylize your work. But then I think you also want to study anatomy quite often so that you have some basis of a reality to your work. That's just my opinion of it, but take it as you will. But that's how I see it anyways. The thing I want to showcase here is, shoulder just has a little bit of a tilt away from the upper part of the arm and that the forearm changes direction and points off this way more. It's like the upper parts coming down this way, the forearm starts to shift and point out this way. Let's say that this is enough to start working in and getting some of our finer anatomy in place. Let me go ahead and copy this. It just so we have a few stages of the work and you can see it take shape. I think that's always helpful even in your own rendition just to do this so that you can really gauge where you're and what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, things like that. Let's go ahead and softer races down and we'll draw on the anatomy a little bit more clearly and then we'll get to adding shadows and rendering. We're going to do a few of these arm poses so that you get a better understanding of how to approach a few different various poses. Now I can get in here and think a little bit more detail about the way I'm picturing the forms and where I want these to go. Big thing that I do with drawing anatomy is I just try to remember where it starts and where it ends and go from there. I think the elbow actually wouldn't even be to the very edge from this particular angle. Again, it is stylized, but I'm still trying to think a little bit about what I know about real anatomy, how this muscle swings around those something like this was a couple of these muscles that point or wrap around and point towards the wrist. These two meet together behind the elbow and overlap. That's really it. I mean, I'm not going to make this entirely accurate and worry about everything be imperfect. Because that's the beauty of comics and things like that is that you can let style be your guide in certain scenarios and really have fun with things. That's what I think really interests people anyways, is they get attracted to the way that you make the style choices and that's what keeps them coming back. I'll just add these little bits and pieces here and there to detail it and make it look a little bit more textured even at this stage. The other thing about the triceps is that the one side and the outside of the arm is higher. Then this side is much larger and wraps around the arm, so I'll get that in place. It also points kind of towards this muscle, like that, meets behind there. A bicep from this angle probably wouldn't be as visible as I've got it here. But again, that's more of a style choice and I want them to look pretty tough, pretty big. I give them this big hulking biceps. That's actually a little bit out of proportion. Some veins in here, and I'll start off for a light with the veins just directional lines at the stage. I'll show you a trick for veins. It's really helpful. It's really basic. Usually it's essentially draw the shadows to the veins and the veins themselves. But at this stage I do draw the veins himself, just trying to get placement and visualize what I want to do with them. Let's go and and take this and move it over. We'll call this our next step here. It is roughly the same size. We can really visualize the progression. Now we'll solve traces again. So now what I want to do is give some shapes of shadows in. All this really is finding a light source in trying to round out the forms a bit further. We'll just say the light source is up here. I'll just call that light source the last. There's really not a lot of tricks that I can explain here other than you just have to really hone your skills, it's like Anatomy. Anatomy isn't something that I would teach you instantaneously. You just have to really keep studying various Anatomy, redrawing it. Obviously, I can draw them with you and help you in that regard and I'll be doing video lessons on that real soon. But it's going to come down to shear studies and practice. The beauty of drawing things is you're really committing them to your memory by drawing them. So you have to just draw them over and over again. Shadows, I think work the same way, but I was saying comics, you're going to stylize when do your own representation of them. So what I would say there is some place where I can start drawing the shadows. The main thing that I can always say to somebody is just don't trace every muscle. What you want do is you want the shapes to be sporadic and organic. You want to try to fight the urge to do the same shape on every muscle, and you want to sometimes pick at it and add little pieces. Let me try to find a spot where I can illustrate that for you. I always have to fight the urge to want to just draw the same shape over and over because it's easy. It's easy to want to go, circle here, circle here, a half circle here, here. Now sudden, you have this very bubbly rounded arm. Now that's okay if that's the style you enjoy and that's what you want then by all means, do that. But the only bad thing is that your arms are everything probably because you'll probably adopt that to most anything that you shade will start to just look very plain or very repetitive. You see I even did it right there with the shoulder. So what I might do here is go, maybe this part of the shoulders a little bit bigger than I originally imagined. Let me pick at it and let me try to change the shape at the same time. Just remember that you can make these incremental changes, that's why you draw it in this outlined version first, because you can see into it a bit further versus I guess you could same do it, even by shading them. I always feel that you can see a little bit more into the work by shading it this way. The other part that I tried to do is look for small openings in the shadows. So say I put a heavier shadow on the back of the arm right here so I leave this opening here. I might make a few little breaks into it, definitely with the veins, I'll probably do that and then I'll shade some line work into there. So you'll see that as I render that out. I'm basically just picking out these little muscles, I'm trying to combine them in some instances because you don't want an overly segmented look I would think, I definitely don't like that in my work. So you have to just find that series of style choices and just little bits and pieces of the shadow, and if you're new to this and you're a little bit more skeptical of making these choices, then a couple of things are. One is just smaller incremental steps. Don't just jump in there and go big shadow, big shadow, big shadow whatever. Small incremental little additions in stepping back and taking a look at it that helps with anything that your new at. Then also just study from life, don't be afraid to grab a picture from life from your favorite artists, really see what they're doing, choices are making, pull from life and then stylize it. You don't want to just copy it from life because then it'll look too realistic for comics probably. But you can definitely stylize it in your own fashion, and really make something cool and unique, and that's ultimately where it all comes from. Whether or not artists say that they look at life. That's where they originally gained perspective from regardless. So that's goes without saying I think, but I'm here to say it, so I'll say. But that's something that I find myself doing and I always find it helpful when I'm having those bad days where I can't draw something as well. It just means I need to re-study, I think so I go back to the reference and I pull from it. Then if I look at other artist's work again, inspiration from it and things like that. Now the veins have actually raised him a little bit too far but what I wanted to point out there is that with the veins, you just basically shade them in, just to the shadow on the vein itself. So you try to imagine the way that the vein would react on the musculature and the way that usually happens, say the veins going across here, it's going to leave a shadow that's going dip in with the recess of the arm or the cut of the muscle. So you just draw that part you have taper off and you just repeat that process. What I will do even without that extra line on the light side, grab a finer eraser here and you can erase just a little bit where that other line is. So you repeat that you do it through the shadows. Yeah, it's really need how that works, so you can use white or an eraser to help you with the veins. Just draw the shadows and the way the shadows would react on the underlying parts of the muscles. I think it's referred to as negative drawing but it's definitely works out really well. On the one side, I'll generally just do tiny little bit just to hint to it, but that's it, I won't draw the entire line going through it. Soon as you do that, it actually flattens it out completely. So I'll just little tiny little tips the lines like that. Then something else I'll do is I say even like the fingers here, I'll do things like this where I put maybe the whole, let's say the light is on this front finger a bit more, so I'll start to the back maybe and maybe this hole pinky but with just a little bit of edge lighting as in shadow. I'll do that, sometimes you will put these little X's to remind yourself it's an shadow, maybe just a little bit as lighting on the front of this knuckle, quite a bit more like that and in this one I'll just do some line work, but with a little bit of shadow to the back. So that's just a way to try to illustrate the light wrapping around like that and that works with anything. So you start with the back of a hand here at a larger bulk of shadow like this, then as you get into these bones of the hand and the vein, you can slowly get smaller with the shadows, we could start larger back here, a little bit less large there and work around it. So again, just a really easy way to illustrate wrapping around that hand a bit. So here you can do a little bit larger shadow and again, you notice, I'm just picking at this larger shadow that was already in place by adding these smaller little shapes. So another way where you can simplify the shading process. I want to add a larger one back here. In fact, I think I'd want to completely larger shadow because this muscle group over here so large. I might end up bringing all this bright up, connecting it, changing that a bit. So always be open to making changes and reevaluating where you're at with it. I might put a shadow here to bring out this bicep even though I'm not going to draw under the chest and all that. But that's another way where you stage the work. You always want to think about how you can use highlights and shadows together to push the forms around. It happens naturally regardless. Again, you'll get that from studying photos, but this is a concept of it where, instead of just the shoal bicep being against the light with a heavy line, we can put another shadow there and all sudden it's got a lot more depth. Let's go ahead and copy this. I'll get rid of the last, we don't need that anymore. Copy and paste this, scale it down you see it's starting to really take form from our basic sketch that we started with. I don't even think I'm going to need the softer races. So I'll just go ahead and start filling this in. So nothing is special here. The only thing I can say here is after you get comfortable with doing your light sources in your shadows and this plane fashion, you can do a few things where you cross hatch into the shadow and you can do bounce light pretty quickly that way, so just keep that in mind. I'm going to illustrate that too much, but I'll just show you right here what I'm talking about. If you were to shade downward with some line work and then cross such, or do whatever you want to do to show varying degrees of that shadow, this is an easy and neat way to do it, because when you come back and color, like this part would probably be darker right here, then when you come back and color, you can really bring that out with the coloring process. So I think that's a little bit more of an advanced thing you want to get really comfortable with just doing basic shadows like we're doing here. Then over time you'll work into that bounce light source and different effects. One thing that you can do to is after you draw it in like this, you can come back with white or the eraser and then do a bit of heads lighting or rim lighting to this back side of the arm. Again, I'm not going to worry about that too much, I want this to be focused a little bit more on the rendering. So after I shade this, and we'll start adding some rendering lines. But I Know also I'm trying to omit a little bit of area where the veins are, just to help push those out. So it just gives the effect that they're a little bit higher than the rest of the anatomy. Lets pull this in. Okay. I'll go ahead and start crosshatching and then rendering and then we can keep picking out these old shadows as we go. So I'll start with the bicep here. I really don't have any rhyme or reason to where I start. I just want to basically let you know when you go round muscles, probably the easiest thing to get started with is tapering the lines from tech that pen as a big one, and then going with the direction of the anatomy. So if you picture the arm wrapping around like this, then maybe that's the direction you want your lines to take. Now this doesn't have to be this way. This again is another series of style choices, and you know if you've studied comics obviously, you'll notice that there's just tons and tons of variation in the way that people do this. That's the beauty of it. The underlying idea is that you're just trying to round out the forms and that you're just trying to shade in further detail and illustrate in further detail the look of the anatomy and whatever it is you're shading. So there's a lot of freedom there. So you can bring the lines in one direction and bring them into another direction. I go with the same tapering line effect, and then every now and then I'll add like a little cross hatch line, one or two or something like that. I try not to get too awfully crazy with it, but it's addicting. It's really fun to do. I find myself sometimes overdoing pieces with it but that's just me. We're all very different. You don't necessarily have to do quite as many lines as I do, and I've definitely seen artists that do a lot more lines than I do. So it's just again, style choices. But you just want to continually go around the form and go, okay, where are these shadows at and where do they taper off? One thing that I find helpful occasionally, I don't do it a lot, but it's something that might help you if you're more of a beginner at this. As you can draw on another layer or sketch lightly on your paper a position where you want these lines to end. So it's almost like you're drawing the shapes of shadows just as a visual guide, and then you start doing your crosshatching. Likewise, the other way to do that is you simply just sketch them in and then erase back. So there's a number of ways to do any of these effects. But that might be something that helps you out versus just kind of going in and adding them. I think I've gotten a little bit better at it where I can kind of just visually do it without adding those lines. But again, that's something where you have to gage where you're at and what your skill level is at the current state. So back here I might just add all of this and line work, kind of shadow like that, and then come up here and add a little bit different line weight. Now the other thing that I tried and always recommend is that if you notice, I went through everything about the same at this current state. You want to be real careful not to do that entirely through your work because I think it flattens out a bit or just ten silicon, a little bit more boring. So one way to address that is to cross hatch every now and then, we might add these little cross hatch lines down here where you picture at getting just a little bit darker. The other way is just to use a variety of different lines. So instead of tapering everything identically like I'm still doing here, I want to get a nice one layer of everything. I might use some that are shorter and more abrupt, like right here. Now I generally do these on areas like this where it's a smaller transition of a muscle or something like that. So it kind of like these just these little tips. So they immediately give a different look than what you see up here because of the length of the taper. Likewise, I can just take certain lines and extend them like this, and they're going to look a little bit differently than the ones next to them that aren't quite as elongated and then at the end. Then little cross hatch lines or a little line across this way or whatever. All these things just add a little bit of variation to the existing line works so that it's not so similar through the entire piece. So back here I want this entire bulk of the back of the arm to be in shadow. So I'm going to just go ahead and go right through here and I really don't even have to taper these. So I could make these all kind of solid, and I can even have them get thicker as they come to the back of the arm to illustrate a certain darkness right there, similar right here, but maybe I do taper, I'm just a little bit still want them to get darker to the back right there. I can bring these lines sideways off the line. So this is another thing that I find myself doing a lot where I'll take little lines and I'll just extend the point by bringing lines in the other direction. I feel like it's just another level of finish to basically maybe boring lines by themselves. Like I don't want to just leave them pointed, so I just kind of add some little side lines or line breaks to them I guess. I want this area to be more in shadow, so I'll draw some more lines tapering back that way. Again, I want these little abrupt kind of tips at the back of this. You see, I'm not worried about these matching the direction of those. In fact, that they look that they aren't going in the same direction. Some lines I'll bring sideways off the brake versus going in the same direction. We get some shorter lines right here, and this area, I want to bring some lines up this way to illustrate a bit of shading on the fingers. So even though the rest are fully in shadow, maybe just some lines for a slight shadow. This one right here, and I feel like I need to almost, when I go this far, I need to add shadows to everything or a little bit of rendering to everything. So that's really, again, just a style choice, not necessarily the way that you have to do it. I just feel like it's something I want to add. Then if I was doing the secondary light source, I could cross hatch some thinner lines. Now the thing I will say if you do get into doing the secondary light source like right here, I would make sure that these lines are a different way than these lines up here. I've kind of done that almost instinctively, but that's another way to convey that this is a totally different effect of light or whatever into your drawing and what you have here. So just keep that in mind. But this isn't going to be as much about dual light sources right away. This is more about the rendering style and choices that we might make for shading the arm. So there you have it. I mean, you keep picking at it and changing it obviously, but that's pretty much how it render out this type of arm pose. So let's go ahead and address some other poses and see what we come up with. 2. How to Draw and Shade Muscular Arms Comic Book Style Pose 2: Welcome back. My name is Robert Marzullo Let's go and draw another arm pose and render that out. Let's get the basic pose in place as before. Like I mentioned previously, the best thing to do is just log lots and lots of poses. It's just going to give you the chops to really do this stuff. You're going to start to see different consistencies and different things that are rules or just general. Just consistencies I believe, just things that you're going to notice that the body just continually does. With things like the arm and the hands primarily. They just tend to shift in direction in different proportions as it maneuvers. It's really important to continually study it because one angle may be entirely different than another. Let me just get like a wedge shape here for the hand, knuckles down like this, the thumb wraps around here. I want to keep the hand poses somewhat basic because I really want to focus the attention on the musculature and the rendering of that. The shoulder is just one of those tricky things where it just changes its shape as it comes up and it's always a bit deceiving as far as where to actually point the muscles and things like that. The forearm is another tricky part because what happens is as the hand twist rotates, then these muscles will shift. It's good to keep in mind, we know where they end up pointing towards the back of the thumb. Some end up at the back of the roast here and string down and overlap. It's just tricky. Then what you end up having to do is combine the thought process, know they go this way and end here, they come from behind here and string out. But you end up having to figure out, how much cut and definition you really want to show in each of these poses. You don't want every character to look like an anatomical reference sheet or something like that. You want them to have some softness to areas of the body just so they don't look overly ripped, like everybody's flexing the entire way through of your illustrations. Now for studying like this then, it makes a little more sense to show more of that definition. But when you start to do your storytelling, you just want to tone that back in certain areas. I would say that the real reason behind that as well is that, by doing so, you actually really punch up those needed areas in the storytelling where you want the figure to look just really wrapped and bulky and masculine or whatever. If you have those areas where they're not so defined, then it really helps sell those areas where they are, by contrasts essentially. Let's say that's our rough sketch, you will notice I skipped a few steps as far as explaining the cylinders and all that but hopefully you can see what I did there to get to that. The proportions are still bit off. I guess I should fix that even at this stage. What I'd like to see is a larger form by comparison. Something like that. I tend to draw my characters with bigger hands but I'm going to scale that hand back in relationship to everything here. But one good rule for hands is that, the hand is about the size of your face. If you were to open the hand up and put it against your face that's roughly about the same size there and just little things like that help you to quickly look at your poses and think about what's right and what's not. The other thing, the rest generally lines up with the shoulder like that and then you just add the hand on. This isn't the ballpark anyway. We'll go and copy this now. That'll be our rough sketch, our step 1. Something like that. I want to point out to a lot of times when something is not perfect, I don't stress on it too much. I mean, I like to fix as much as I can early sketch stage for sure, it saves time but I also don't let that hinder me from moving forward in any of my work. One thing that I always try to stress to people when I'm talking to them about stuff like this, is done is better than perfect and that's a really hard lesson. It's easy to say but it's a lot harder too mentally grab onto and adopts to your workflow. You got to do it because I can't tell you how many people I've met that do pretty amazing work but they don't complete pieces. Don't think about your work as being perfect and everything has to be just right and all that. That's going to only hold you back. You want to definite self-study and definite get better at what you do daily. But you also have to produce work and that in turn will make you better at what you do. Just be aware of that. I mean, again, I think some of these things are redundant or go without saying. But I've met far too many people that have a hard time with that. I think I struggled with that a lot myself before I got to be a working professional. I just had to jump and start swimming. That was one of the things, sometimes you have to let go of the work and get it done. I'll just remember a quick way to reinforce that thinking, is done is better than perfect. These muscles will tend to go back here and swing around. Again, I could draw them as anatomical illustration and show you the exact way they point off and things like that. But that's not really the purpose of this. It's just to say that, they're more defined back here from a flexing pose. You get a little bit of this one back here. The tricep, you want to remember that it's larger to the one side so I'll probably bring this line up a bit further. The way I always see the tricep is that, it comes back one way and then it tilts back in another way, depending on how defined that character really is, you'll see a little bit of a separation there sometimes, just things like that. Then from here, I always want to draw this muscle up like this because on a relaxed arm down pose, it probably would be from here. This part of the arm is going to take a little more precedents and you're going to usually get like a wrinkle or something back this way, a skin overlap or whatever. Just things like that. You got to remember from these different poses, this stuff like this will actually change quite dramatically. That's what makes the arm so tricky to get right. From here I will probably get a little bit of the roundedness of the hand and then we probably won't see every knuckle from this angle. These get larger as they come towards the camera. Then you get a little bit of the overlap of the hand, the thumb comes up to here. One thing to remember about the knuckles is actually a relationship from the thumb knuckles here to these knuckles there. It's good to keep that in mind because that'll help you place this, a bulge here from the pad part of a thumb and then this will come around and also, just remembering that the thumb obviously reacts independently. The pinkie does as well a little bit but the thumb definitely does. That's what allows it to wrap around the other fingers and make a fist and things like that. You probably won't see the bones from the thumb on a pose like this but some people will illustrate it just because it looks cool. We'll throw that in there, jump on that bandwagon. This is our rough sketch and again, it's probably not perfect. If you were to hold this up to a real arm, I'm sure you'd find some flaws there. But again, done is better than perfect. We'll go and move this over, scale it down so we get some real stay here and make us a copy to progress the work. I'm going to size this down a bit. I'll go ahead and mention it even though I don't want this lesson or series of lessons to be about the software I'm using but I do like to answer people's questions about it. I'm using Sketchbook Pro and awake comps antique on this particular drawing experience but I want this to be as doable for traditional artists as well, that's why I'm not going to make any more references to that but I just want to answer that in case anybody is wondering because I always seem to get those questions by the end of it. But if you don't see the interface, it's because I'm trying to make it as good of an experience for traditional artists as well. Right here, one thing I'm noticing is there's generally the back of the hand you'll see a bone there and you'll see the muscle come up a little bit there another separation to the bone. I just want to get that in a little bit, this looks a little better. Now, I want to just refine this a bit and then I'll get the shapes of shadows in, the other thing is that the hand tapers down pretty thin. That's another thing that I constantly struggle with and I see other artists struggle with so I'll point that out. Make sure that you're continually tapering this till it meets the hand. You don't want it to look like here you see it looks a little too straight as it comes up to the wrist, so make sure that tapers in pretty good. What I want to make sure that I do here is get some of this segmentation or separation in here but I don't want it to be so much where the character just looks overly ridiculous. I'm going to get a little bit of this amusing just thicker line weight to bring certain parts out. But I'm going to make sure not to trace every line. I will also use line separation to help with that so I'll do these little stop and go lines. I think it looks a little more natural, it gives a nice artifact than just this continuous line or on everything. Trying to get some of this shoulder separation so that the deltoid and shoulder muscles separates quite a bit and one of the things to really be okay with when you're studying this stuff is bodybuilders. Look at bodybuilder's photos and really study from visual gain just a ton when it comes to the anatomy. Likewise, the anatomy reference sheets, this medical illustrations, things like that. It's all great reference. Then also couple that with drawing just regular people and I always tell people, I take tons of photos of me, my friends, my family and I turn us into superheroes or shots for storyboards or whatever. It's really important to do that because you get to see how regular people look in these poses and you don't get so caught up and everybody looking here for us and we definitely want that element in our work for sure. But you also want to see the subtle differences or sometimes not so subtle differences of regular jaws to the heroes forms. I think that's a really important lesson that we need to always incorporate into our work and our studies. We'll say that this is close enough to get our shadows in place and we'll just make it easy and we'll do a downward light source like this and I'll start to draw on these shapes, the shadows again. Again, this is just something I just almost guess at or just pretend to know where they might go and especially in the beginning where I'm just trying to figure out the artwork a little bit more. Each stage that I approach the artwork guessing about, how do I want this to look, where do I want this to go direction wise, how much shadow. One thing I will tell you that I try to think about when I'm doing this stuff is percentages. I might say on this particular character, I want about 20 percent of the shot of the character whatever to be in shadow. The reason why I pick a percentage like that is because it's easy for me to remember as I'm working through the artwork. If the upper shoulder was 20 percent shadow from a downward angle, what would that look like? I don't know that's going to work for everybody but that's something that I definitely find myself thinking about. Then like I said, past that, I chip away at these shadows trying to picture that I'm working almost with a piece of clay versus just drawing on paper. Another way that it helps me to think about some 3D perspective as I'm doing this and I just keep picking at it and being really open to changing things if I have to at this stage. A little separation for the muscles in the rest up here. I might thicken the line on the back of the arm a bit. I did it over here already but I'm almost perceiving that the shadows coming down or the lights coming down so I might even thicken up the lines on both sides maybe. If it doesn't look right, then I always say I make those changes and go back. But this is just how I worked through it. It's a little bit on this, a little bit on the trap up here, trapezius I agree on there and the other thing to think about as well is not only, you'll do more of this when you draw the rest of the body and with poses like this, but not only this part creates a shadow, but then it also sometimes creates a drop shadow on the next part. It's good to really think about that. Like a lot of times you'll just catch the shadow from the separation and then this one will be an highlight, that's what brings this forward and this one down. But there's also going to be times where especially in heavy shadowed areas where something cast the shadow all the way down like this shoulder is so big. It's probably going to create a drop shadow onto the lower back right there so just keep that in mind as well. Let's see here. Let's say that's enough shadow here. Let's get a little bit on the hand up here and let's go and get these veins in place or should it be better in the previous step? Again, I'll just draw these and split them off, they start off as basic lines. Sometimes I just sprawl them all over the place and see what works. The main thing I could say veins that tends to make them look more natural is just that they're rounded shapes over top of everything. Just be careful not to do maybe these straight lines everywhere. That's okay because actually I've seen illustrators do a fantastic job with that. It just really depends on your style choice but I think they tend to look a little bit more realistic or cool if they've got the subtle bends as they go around everything. Again, just try to start figuring out the shadows and the way they react on the other objects or other parts of the anatomy. Now, what I'm going to do ordinarily but I'm going to time-lapse this next part where I fill it in just so the lessons don't become so overly long while I'm filling in a large area. Now I'll start to fill in these shapes or shadows and as I do this, I try to add little bits and pieces like I said before. I just really want to stress that because a lot of times we think that the shadows have to be just right or anything that we do has to be just right in our work when really we should always just be thinking about how to make small incremental changes and improvement. I think that goes not only with just any singular aspect of your work but just in general. If you're just always trying to continually improve your work, then you're on the right track. You don't need to do perfection each and every time. You unlike with these shadows, there are little ways that I can just make them better each time so I keep making those small changes and I look for something that could be better like that shape in the wrist that I just changed. When I go to shade I soften up some of the line work. Again, as I start to render here, the main thing that I'm thinking is larger, more tapered lines for larger bulkier muscles like the back of the shoulder and the tricep, smaller more abrupt tapered lines for the smaller muscles in the forearm and the side of the forearm, so that's really all I'm thinking about at this stage and then as I get enough of that in place so I do the single pass over the whole thing of that one concept. Then I go back and I start to change things and add little bits of the line variation because at the end of it I don't want the whole arm to look like it's all shaded with the same thought process or the same type of lines. Then I just put a little bit more style in it. So I guess realistically I'm thinking first like functionality and then I start to think more style based. Then I go back and add really fine lines here and there just to give it another level of shading, a little bit of cross hatching to darken up certain areas of it and then finally go back with white or erase whatever you prefer or whatever works best. Then I add a little bit more highlight into even the shadows. Here I'm just doing one final pass where I check it over and add a little nips and talks to the end artwork. Now we'll head over to the next lesson where we complete our third and final arm pose. 3. How to Draw and Shade Muscular Arms Comic Book Style Pose 3: Okay. So let's go ahead and draw the third arm pulls now. So we'll first define the overall lengths of the arm. This will be from the hand to the elbow, and from the elbow to the shoulder. I'll start to kind of block in the wedge shape of the hand. There is a thumb there for the position of that. Let's keep the rest pretty thin and have it taper outwards towards the elbow. So I'm going to skip the cylinder method just a little bit and go right to a little bit more organic shapes just to show that there's really no right or wrong way to do this. As you progress, you'll start to naturally skip the basic steps anyways. So I'll just show it from another approach. The hand, we want to get the back of the hand in right here and then also, just keep remembering that the knuckles are never just straight across and to fight that urge for like a rectangular shape there. The bicep and the tricep, pretty low and pretty large. Tricep is a really big muscle. I'm going to show the separation here, kind of round that out. Again, I'm just fleshing out these forms, even though I'll refine them obviously as we progress. But I just want to show a little bit of the cut that you see in the muscles and kind of place that. I always have the urge to want to draw the tricep like this, but it actually goes back the other direction like this. So this is just one of those things that you start to notice the more and more you study anatomy. It's funny how when you do study this and you study other artists, you'll find that some artists just choose a really incorrect kind of anatomy, but they get so good at drawing it that it still looks believable or it looks all right. Like one thing I like is to scale the hands up kind of large around my characters. I always think it looks a little bit more animated and [inaudible]. Let's just go ahead and copy this and we'll call this our step one, our stage one of the drawing. I really recommend doing this step-by-step and showing your work visually as you create it like this, because it forces you, something about scaling your work down immediately helps you see flaws, just like flipping it from left to right. It just gives you a really quick perspective on stuff. So I really recommend that. So here I'll get these knuckles in here and again, I'm trying to make sure I get a good curvature to omit not drawing them straight up and down. Another thing is that the thumb will generally, from this angle, it will generally meet or end at the second knuckle or second finger, I should say. Just keep that in mind as well. So little place holders like this help you when you're doing these complex pulses. We're going to study hands in more detail in another lesson but I just want to kind of touch on it since we're here. The other thing is that the pinky from this angle will actually start to tilt inward towards the back of the wrist. It's actually quite rounded, the knuckles are quite rounded in the other direction. So it really pays to study hands over and over again because there's just so much dynamically that goes on with the shape of the hands that it just takes some time to really get good at. Then we get this big bone at the back of the wrist here. I want to show that larger bulk and muscle on the back of a form. The elbow, I tend to make it look a little bit more angular even though most pulses when you study it, it'll tend to look more smooth actually from an angle like this. But I always think an angular shot looks a little bit better. Then the pad of a hand will generally be right under that pinky knuckle right there, this back one. Again, some of the veins of the wrist. Again, showing that taper that you get as it meets the upper arm. I tend to draw the bicep a little bit overly rounded and large just because I think it looks cool. So again, that's more of a style choice and an accurate depiction of the way a bicep generally looks. Likewise, with the definition that I put here for the center of the arm and the tricep, kind of overly define that area. Mainly because it's something I think looks cool when you shade it, things like that. So again, more of a style choice. Then you want to get the separation of the fingers in there. I'll start adding more definition to the form here and then we'll go ahead and copy this. We'll call that our Stage 2. Okay. Now we're going softer races down and refine it a bit more. I really love this approach, it's the best way to draw it I would say because it's always like you're pushing the old line work back and then bringing the new line work forward. Yeah, there's a reason why it's a great way to sketch. Even though I'm working digitally here to showcase the artwork, and the process, I always try to emulate as much of a traditional feel. So you would use untraditional method, you'd use a kneaded eraser where I just use a soft airbrush to erase so kind of trying to re-emulate that effect. Here with line weight, I try to really clarify it a bit and add a bit more depth. I always try to think about how much depth I can add just with line weight before I go to any kind of shapes of shadow or rendering. Because the more you can get accurate with just line weight, the better the overall read of the work and then you don't feel compelled to over render to compensate for something else. Essentially, there's a lot that can be done with just line weight, and that's what I try to do here, I try to really make sure that there's a variety of lines in there. Sometimes line breaks are really important as well. So keep that in mind, not always drawing continuous lines around everything. Then obviously, good thick to thin variation and little bits of tiny shadow even in a sense when you're doing this part but not the bigger shapes of shadows yet. But one thing I always recommend to people if they're wanting to get better at line weight is to study works of Disney. Because Disney obviously uses all line weight for their typical animation design and things like that, character design, and it's just fantastically done. It's just really well done and clean. So it's just highly impressive and it shows you how much you can really capture, not only just with that, but with there ability of expressions and that caricature feel that they give to all their stuff, so I always recommend that. I'll use a lot of the thinner line breaks like you see me doing here on the back of the hand, more for texturing. So I'll do that a lot with the veins. I'll have some veins going across the anatomy here of the form, and those tiny little line breaks. Again, they texturize and it's almost another way to help place stuff too that you're unsure of. You can draw it really lightly and with line breaks and get a better visual cue before you commit to it. So that's another sketching technique really. Here I want that nice heavy line on the curve of the bicep just to kind of bring that out further. The shoulder here, same thing, this heavy line weight from the curve of that shoulder, the recess part of the shoulder. The thing that I try to always think about with the shoulder here is just again, not to make it look overlay like a pumpkin and not all the striations are what are called going in the same direction. I try to separate those strips of muscle a bit and move them around so that they're not all end to end pointed to one another because it tends to look really boring and again, almost like a pumpkin or something and I try to fight that urge there. Now we can get in here and let's get our light source in place. Let's go ahead and start doing our shapes of shadows. Remember, in this stage, just to really play around with it, nothing has to be perfect at all or ever, but nothing is perfect. Just play around with it and be open to nips and tucks and adding little pieces and segments here and there, I think will help you build a confidence for and then eventually, like anything else, she'll start to just dropping these large quick shapes. But for a starter, just poke and prod at it at least that's my approach. I'll add that little bit of shadow. I'll put that little bit of curve. Add another little shadow over here. Just of pick at it. Maybe I'll connect the two and add a small one there. I'm never really set in stone as to what I'm doing there. Am just filling out the process. I think this is why it's helpful to draw out the shadows. Because you're looking at it. You're looking through it a bit more than if you were to sit here and sketch all your shadow zone heavily or whatever. Here I'm thinking about, how would the drop shadow of the bicep and shoulder work right there? It would pretty much almost omit that segment of the arm. I'll maybe show a little bit of divide to the bicep there loose shadow here. Some of these are probably not what I'd say probably a lot of them aren't entirely accurate, but they're just ways for me to add some style in there as well. After I get the bulk of the basic shadows in, I think more of what I start to do a stylize and just add effects that I think look cool. Like more separation into a certain part of the muscle or the arm and it's just me trying things out. It's not necessarily factual or anything like that. Because a lot of times you don't always have reference for everything that you're drawing here. You just basically have to do a little bit of guesswork and then sometimes you're just in the zone of your drawing. You're just putting stuff down and making decisions on the fly. I think that's all where style comes in. Whenever someone asks me how they developed their style edges always come back with, "It'll happen naturally." You just have to create lots and lots of art and find your style throughout that process. You can also study artists that you admire and see how they do things. All that stuff. A little more separation in the bicep there. One more drop shadow on the back, so again, just still picking at it, finding little areas. Now I'll go in time lapse the next part and we'll fill this in and start rendering. Now we'll start to fill this in and refine it even a bit further. Like I mentioned before, if I find a little areas that could be improved upon, I'm still open to do that. As I'm filling this in, if you pay close attention, you'll notice I still make small changes to the artwork. Just because if I notice a flaw and something I can make a little bit better, I'm still going to change it. I really think that way right up until the very end of the artwork. I might change the curvature of the shadow, the edging of it put a little rounded edge versus a pointed edge, changes the shape of the shadow. A little bit of it looks extremely off to me, things like that. As I shaded in here, I also start to think a little bit more about bounce light, even though we're not going to get into that in this particular set of lessons because I don't want to overload you with a variety of things. Essentially bounce light is very powerful, but it also can be quite confusing if you don't first understand how to lay in your basic shadows. I would say to shade this way for as long as possible. Then once you really feel comfortable with this style of shading, then worry a little bit about bounced light and all the other effects. But too early on I think it can be a little bit confusing. Now to start rendering, I'll make another copy first obviously. As I start to render this, again, it's just the same thing, tapered lines thick to thin trying to vary up the length of the tapered lines and show a little bit of variety to the effect that they give. I think about it like almost like I'm shading but also texturing and I want to read well, I want it to look like it makes sense. If not, then it defeats the purpose, but sometimes style will take precedence and I'll let that take control. But for the most part I tried to look at it like I'm just adding gradients or texture to the anatomy of the structure of what I'm doing. Keep in mind another thing that you can do is hold your artwork back further away or get further away from your artwork as you're doing this and see out how it reads that way. That's always a really important thing to do, especially if you're doing comics that are going to get reduced. It's really important to know that some of this cross hatching or rendering that you're doing is even going to translate well to reduce copy of your artwork. Sometimes you'll find out that when you reduce your artwork for print or whatever you might be doing for the unresolved, that some of that gets lost in the translation and therefore a waste of time. You got to be aware of that as well. Notice I added a little bit of a race marks to the top most part of the hand and the shoulder. Again, that's just a way to convey a glare and also start to add in this small lines here and there just to see if I can add another level of shading to the final result of it. Just adding some finishing touches and this one will be completed. Hopefully this has given you some insight into how you can draw and shade your own comic book style arms. Obviously, there's lots of ways to do this. This is just my particular methods, but I'm hoping this has illustrated it a bit more clearly for you. It'd be approaching more the other body parts next. I hope you'll join me for that. Remember that you get all the art files that you see here. There were created with these video lessons. I welcome you to take those and redraw them and create your own versions and things like that and just ultimately have fun with them and learn what you can. There will be more lessons on the way. I hope to have you back and we'll talk to you soon. Keep drawing, keep having fun, and bye for now.