As promised, I dug around through my portfolio from back in the day and found a couple sketch-outs of a character I made up. She has no name or backstory, just happened to come to mind. Due to work schedules, I didn’t draw anything new today, so you’ll have to settle for another archive entry from 2002.
For the longest time, I struggled drawing women. So, I did what every other aspiring teenage artist would do; I studied them! Medical anatomy books helped, and I also practiced in the style of a couple of my favorite comic book artists: Michael Turner, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane and J. Scott Campbell. Their figure drawings and muscle structures are superb. I learned a lot just by studying their work and seeing how they did it.
Another thing that helped, especially trying to draw heroic figures both men and women, were fitness magazines. I’m sure to the Barnes and Noble clerk I looked like a pervy little creep buying women’s fitness journals, but they really were for research! I’m also not ashamed to say I made copies of some comic splash pages I liked and traced them as a training tool. It helped to condition my hand and give me a better feel for where curves and shadows should go.
What I use
A kind person sent a message asking what equipment do I use to draw. (Thanks for the question!) I use .07 and .05 lead mechanical pencils. I like Pentel, but the brand isn’t as important as feel to me. I like these mechanicals because they have metal parts and feel heavier and sturdy in my hand. For bigger marks, I use a regular #2 lead pencil, and then I have full graphite pencils for large areas. My only preferences for those are round instead of hex cut, and I prefer solid wood instead of compressed fiber.
I also do not use the erasers on any of those pencils. I use these click erasers exclusively with white refills. The red and black Rotring Tikky you see below has been with me since high school and has seen a lot of work cleaning up my mistakes. The blue one is my back-up in case ol’ “Tikky” breaks down, but she’s been going strong for almost 30 years!
For inks, I haven’t found anything I am partial to necessarily. Sharpies and their equivalents are good, but will fade and brown over time. There are specific art pens with India ink professionals use that won’t fade, but I have found many of them run out of ink quickly or dry up if you don’t use them that often. Plus, they can be expensive. For casual sketching, plain old black markers and ink suit me fine.