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Make a comic and your art will improve

You've probably seen it. Long-running webcomics often show significant improvement in art over time. So much so that their creators sometimes are tempted to go back and redo the old pages.*


Why does creating comics improve your art?


  • New skills: Your story will force you to learn to draw new things, from objects and poses to dynamic movements. For instance, some scenes in Bird show required I learn how to draw a car, or a city scene.

  • Character consistency: A comic story forces you to draw characters that consistently look the same across pages. This is not easy, and I still struggle with this.**

  • Backgrounds: You’ll have to draw lots of backgrounds, which is good practice for drawing or painting landscapes.

  • Pages: Making a comic means drawing tons of pages. This is excellent practice in itself.

  • Motivation: I’ve never really been into doodling or filling sketchbooks. I need a specific purpose, focus, or theme for my art to stay motivated, like a comic. Maybe you’re like me in this regard, maybe you’re not.


See these two pages from Forest Story (2017), my first long-format comic, and compare with two recent pages from Rituals (2023). (Click to enlarge.)



Both comics take place in a forest setting. I hope you agree that my recent work has better line art, backgrounds, colours, character consistency and overall readability.


You may hesitate to start your comic until you have better drawing skills. I say, improvement comes from the process itself. And keep in mind that readers enjoy following your art evolution. Start your journey today!


 
* I understand the temptation, but don’t recommend this. You risk getting stuck in a loop and never finishing your story. Complete your comic and move on to the next project.
** I try to compensate for this by having a clear and unique character design for each character.
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