If you are interested in comics, here is where you can have a lot of furi. Once you get the "feel" of light on form, and learn the way light operates, you can add light and realism to your humorous drawings.
Suppose you have drawn a sphere in its normal effect of light and shadow. Now begin to add forms to the surface of the sphere. You do not have to finish the sphere first, but for a change draw some bumps on it. This principle was presented in my earlier book, Fun With a Pencil, but in line only. Here we attempt to add the living qualities of light and shadow.
Light can be handled just as seriously on comic forms as on any other, for form is form, and light defines it. The sphere in the left-hand upper comer of page 99 and the drawing next to it show the plan of drawing such forms attached to the ball. Invent your forms as you wish, so long as you duplicate them on each side of the face, You can gain a lot of experience in lighting form if you get some modeler's clay or plasticine and build up some of these forms on a ball. Then set the model up in light, and draw the light and shadow as they appear. This will help you achieve a very convincing solidity in your drawings, and also develop your structural sense. Any competent artist should be able to model forms that he has drawn often, for drawing and modeling have such an affinity that to be able to do the one almost assures the ability to do the other.
In the deeply rounded forms, like the nose, or the smiling cheek, we are pretty sure to have some reflected light which causes the "hump" at the edge of the shadow, Note that the darks come in the depressions—the deeper, the darker. We watch for the largest and brightest areas of light on the forehead — on a bald head, on the cranium. A big nose catches a lot of light, and fat cheeks do also. The chin, if protruding, will catcb its share in most lightings. We can make a chin come forward or rcccde by the way it is lighted, especially in a front view.
On pages 100 and 101 I have given you the outline construction of some characters I have drawn. You can go on building such heads indefinitely, arriving at different personalities by varying the fonns you attach to the ball. I personally enjoy doing these things, and it is amazing how such fooling around helps you in seriously drawing heads. The lighting principle may be applied to the whole figure as shown on pages 103 to 105.
Comic drawing is a field in itself. Most comic artists stick to outline only, for the sake of simplicity. However, these artists also may never have studied the possibilities of lighting on the figures. Of course, when the drawings are to be reproduced in small size, there are difficulties involved. But if a grainy board and a very black pencil are used it is not necessary to use halftone reproduction. On such hoard the pencil may also be used in combination with pen line.
For relaxation and real fun, there is nothing in drawing to compare with this type of creative-ness. The little wooden or plastic manikins available at most art dealers can help out a great deal for poses and action.
In comic drawing the construction and proportion will be mostly your own. Sometimes the more incorrect they appear, the funnier it makes tile drawing. If the wrinkles in the clothes are a problem, get up and look at yourself in a mirror. Make a mental note of what happens in a sleeve or trouser leg.
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