sinosleep wrote:I'm not talking about tracing, I mean setting a cover next to me and drawing it, usually larger, myself. Anytime I try to draw something on my own though I get nothing. I've bought books, but I wind up just copying those as well and not actually learning anything. Anyone else have this problem? Or have had it and have gotten past it?
Honestly, that's not unusual. Everybody that want to draw superheroes starts by copying the work of their 2-3 favorite artists. (The only weird part is that this usually happens when they're 12.
I would suggest going out and getting a general overview book on drawing comics. How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way
is pretty much the Bible in this regard. I would also check out Superheroes: Joe Kubert's Wonderful World of Comics
by Joe Kubert (duh!) or Drawing Dynamic Comics
by Andy Smith. Both of these books are a good way to start to develop a strategy and understand the process. Start sketching and drawing and see what happens. You should also experiment with different pencils, pens, brushes, and other tools to find what you're most comfortable with.
Then, move on to the technical stuff. Try drawing objects from reference. Learn how to draw in perspective. Start mixing that with characters and creating little scenarios and panels.
Then, move on to tightening up on anatomy. Comic-book anatomy operates by different "rules" than real-world anatomy, so I would check out Drawing Cutting Edge Anatomy
by Christopher Hart. I still keep that book around for reference when I'm drawing. Draw a lot of pinups to put this to use.
All the while, you should observe as much as you can. Pay attention to how clothes hang on people's bodies, what styles they wear, etc. Drawing ordinary people is as important as drawing muscular supermen, so drawing convincing clothes is an important skill. Browse some clothing catalogs online.
Next, try to put it all together and draw a page. You will fail miserably. However, that failure is a key step in discovering what areas you need to improve. Doing it a few times, you'll start to discover your strengths as well.
From there, it's all about repetition and experimentation. I've been a serious hobbyist for years and I still try new things -- I just got back from the store, in fact, with a set of Warm Grey markers to play with. Keep your mind open, and the ideas will just come to you. But most of all, remember that this is a slow process. You'll get frustrated and want to give up, but don't let your initial failures stop you.