How to Draw Black and White Comics

Written by philippa jones
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How to Draw Black and White Comics
Create your own comic style to interest readers. (Comic book / Graphic Novel Scene image by Wingnut Designs from

Take advantage of your artistic flair by designing your own black and white comics. It is an alternative way to develop your drawing skills, while creating a source of entertainment for other people. To get started and get inspired, read comics in order to gain an understanding of how they are put together. Then, you can put pen to paper and begin scribbling ideas down.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Comic books
  • Ruler

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  1. 1

    Read a variety of other comics, and write a list about what you like about each of their styles and characteristics. This way you can develop your own ideas without copying from others.

  2. 2

    Practice drawing three-dimensional shapes, and shadowing effects before you get started. Do not jump straight in by trying to draw a comic without practice, otherwise the shapes will be distorted and incorrectly proportioned. Focus your attention on boxes, cylinders, hands or feet, for example, so you are not distracted by all the other details your image contains. Perfect each feature one at a time.

  3. 3

    Control how you use your pencil by using different width lines, curves, angles and forms. Your comic will benefit from a varied approach and this is an exercise to enhance this.

  4. 4

    Outline a storyboard for your comic. First, identify your key characters and draw what they look like. Then, build a short story around the characters and their setting. Start small by writing 10 sentences that collectively creates a clear story, and make sure it includes your characters.

  5. 5

    Test out your drawing style and characters by drawing your superhero in different position. Get used to the shape of its body so it can be easily replicated, and then identified by the reader of the comic. Begin by drawing a stickman and building the superhero's shape around this.

  6. 6

    Plan the comic strip. Draw 10 boxes measuring 3-by-3 inches on blank paper. They do not have to be neat at this stage. Write next to each one the corresponding sentence from the story you created in Step 4.

  7. 7

    Roughly fill in each box with the scene you want to portray, relating to the sentence next to it. For example, if the story starts with, "Superhero falls through a ceiling and squashes an elephant," illustrate this using the outline of a building, a flattened elephant and the superhero.

  8. 8

    Add comic wording or graphics to explain the story outlined in your strip. To show that the superhero fell from the sky, for example, use long dashes coming from the top of the storyboard box, and pointing down to the superhero. Then, include a big star shape containing to word "OUCH!" next to the superhero's bum.

  9. 9

    Continue filling each box of the storyboard until the strip is complete. Review the content, text, graphics and format of each box until you are happy with it. Make amendments as you go.

  10. 10

    Draw out the comic strip. Use half a blank page of paper for each box. Copy the rough versions you completed in Step 8.

  11. 11

    Add shading, pattern and shadows using a black pen. To show light, leave white areas against filled-in black areas. Conversely, shade black to show shadows in a particular area.

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