How to Draw Comic Book Muscles

Written by andrew dewitt
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How to Draw Comic Book Muscles
(Illustrations by Andrew DeWitt)

Drawing muscles well is critical to creating compelling comic book art. Heroes without muscles are boring and simply fail to leap of the page and into our imaginations. The world of comic books is infused with larger than life villains and superheroes and they commonly battle using their intense physical powers. A good working knowledge of how to draw comic book muscles can greatly assist you in creating images that will keep readers turning the page to find out what action-packed sequence is next.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Black ink pen
  • Kneaded eraser

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Draw the parts of the body in cylinders to create a basic frame for the muscles. Draw the torso with a large cylinder. Create the hips with a triangular shape. Add the upper arms and lower arms with smaller, shorter cylinders and make sure the bottom of these cylinders is slightly smaller than the top. Do the same for the leg cylinders as well but make these larger and longer than the arms.

    How to Draw Comic Book Muscles
  2. 2

    Create the muscles with football-shaped ovals that taper to a slight point at each end. Place the shoulder muscle at the top of the upper arm cylinder. Make sure that this overlaps slightly to the upper corner of the torso. Add the bicep with a smaller oval that comes off the bottom of the shoulder muscle. Add 2 small ovals, side by side at the top of the forearm cylinder to create the forearm muscles.

    How to Draw Comic Book Muscles
  3. 3

    Draw the pectoral muscles on the chest with 2 large square-shaped ovals at the top of the chest. Add the abdominal muscles with 3 rows of 2 small side-by-side circular shapes just below the pecs. Add the quadriceps to the upper legs with 2 ovals, side by side that are larger and rounder at the base and thinner at the top. These should look like elongated teardrops.

  4. 4

    Add muscles striations to enhance the drama further in the illustration with several short vertical lines near the base of each muscle. When you ink your illustration, add a thick dark line to the bottom edge of each muscle to create depth.

    How to Draw Comic Book Muscles

Tips and warnings

  • Have a reference photo or diagram of the actual human muscular system handy to make sure you are getting at least the general proportions correct.
  • Don't enlarge muscles too much or the picture will look comical. However, don't keep the entire illustration too realistic or it will lack the "oomph" of a true comic book superhero drawing.

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