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Draw Over #4: Jules Rivera Thu, 18 Aug 2011 12:27:42 +0000

This Week’s Artist…

Jules Rivera, writer/artist of the popular new sci-fi webcomic Valkyrie Squadron, is up this week in Draw Over!  Jules submitted four sequential pages from Valkyrie for review.  Watch the recorded critique, and read the review summary below.

Video streaming by Ustream

Page 1

The biggest problem with this pages is that at first glance, I can’t tell where anyone is in relation to one another.  I’m assuming in panel 1, it’s the captain upfront.  I would say this page needs establishing shot to show where everyone is in relation to one another.  Try panel 1 establishing shot, showing where the characters are located in space. (See Page 1, Revised Layout.)

You have an all talking head page, and there are a lot of medium shots.  Make it more interesting by pushing, pulling and panning the camera.

Jules needs to do a diagram to show where all the characters are.  A revised panel one will fix this.

She needs to work on having something in the foreground, middle ground, and background. Her page is a little flat.

Might make panel 4 more of an upshot, again to move the camera and make the page more visually interesting.  Let’s add some more perspective to punch the shots up, and make a bit cooler.

Overall, Jules has a pretty good style, with very clean line work.  Her figure work doesn’t bother me.  Not bad at all.  Anatomy wise, I would focus on the head.  Find the center line forehead plane, and be conscious of perspective.  It’s all geometry.  Her brow on the bottom character gets away from her, and nose is a little low.  Pay attention to girls face in the mask on panel 1, and then compare to page 2…

Page 2

In Panel 1 here,  her face gets pulled up.  Jules is tricking herself that the eyes are going to be in the same place from this perspective as they were on page 1.  Pay attention to the geometry of it.  Her face got pushed up too far.  She tricked herself with the goggles.

I like the layouts on this page, no complaints.

Not 100 percent sure what was going on in the bottom left panels, but like the beat.

Good expression on the characters.  Good face in panel 2.  Like the odd shaped panel, I think it livens it up.

Page 3

Biggest problem with this page is that we  don’t know where the bots are coming from.  She needs to let us know where they are coming from, what direction.

Panel 4 – Right here, she drew the helmet and then drew the face into the helmet.  Don’t do that.  Draw through, draw the head first, then draw the helmet.  The character needs a lot more cranium, so the helmet will need to be bigger.  Good nose though.  Tough angle, but looks good.  The pitch of the eyes a tad off.  Let the figure dictate the costume.  She’s missing a little bit of a shoulder.

PRO TIP: Always construct figure first, then put the stuff on it.

Panel 3 – It looks like they’re running.  Wouldn’t mind a few speedlines.  (I’m a sucker for diagonal panels.)

Going to establish what I would do with the top half of the page.

Let’s have some scale.  If you focus on a pincher in the foreground of the first panel, you’ll anchor the transition in the second.

Add a shadow.

Not sure why so much space between borders.  Shrink it up, simple as that.

Page 4

Panel 1 -3 have a beat going.  Based on a perception of how people run, you’re missing some dynamism.  I hate when people are scared away from doing story telling tricks.  Panel 1 I’d put one of the characters closer to the camera, to get some depth and perspective.  Jules has them running straight up and down like Forest Gump.  Bend ’em foreward a little, even though they’re in a space suit, they should be hauling ass.

Panel 2 – We see she hits the door in panel 3, so let’s have her arm reared back in panel 2.

Panel 3- Let’s have her leaning a little more in panel 3 for more impact.  All about the gesture, move leg back.  Dislodge the panel, just like she dislodged the door.  Don’t let anyone tell you not to do panel tricks like that.

There’s another Really wide panel gap on this page.  Jules is missing a chance to blow the figure in panel 4 and make it super cool.  Let’s steal some of that real estate.

It’s a good camera angle in panel 4, I’d crop in on it a bit more, and really pump up how big the front leg is.  Force the perspective even more.  Really good with the pose, but let’s pumpt it up, Travis Charet style.  I’m assuming these girls aren’t complete wimps.

Panel 5 is fine.  Maybe consider adding some different decals to their helmets to help differentiate the girls.  Color will help distinguish them, but do it in the art work.

Panel 6- Here’s a trick for drawing eyes…Try drawing them with the side of your pencil.  There’s a fluid ness, especial with drawing female eyes that drawing that way gives you.

In summary, there’s good work here.  The problems are a few too many medium shots, a few facial construction anatomy issues, and unnecessary panel gaps.  If Jules fixes those, and pushes and pulls the camera a bit more, she’ll Punch the drama up, and craft some solid pages.

Read more of Jules Rivera’s Valkyrie Squadron and follow her on Twitter @JulesRivera.



Tommy Patterson is the artist on the upcoming Game of Thrones comic book adaptation from Dynamite.  Viewhis online portfolio here, and follow him on Twitter @TommyFPatterson.  And of course, tune in for the nextDraw Over!

If you’re an artist interested in submitting your sequentials for a future Draw Over! column, send an email to

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Draw Over! #3 – Sequentials by Scott Sackett Wed, 06 Jul 2011 10:59:57 +0000

Draw Over! ComixTribe‘s sequential art critique column returns, with an ENHANCED format.  In addition to the side by side comparisons and critique notes, we’ve also supplied a VIDEO of  the critique session, recorded live.

This Week’s Artist…

This week, we have four pages of sequentials by artist Scott Sackett.  Scott submitted a series of sequentials from Brian Bendis’ script for New Avengers #56.  Let’s see how he did!  (Click on the images to see in full size.)


Page 1

As far as overall impressions, I can see a lot of craftsmanship in Scott’s work.  He takes time with backgrounds and details. The effort is there, and he’s clearly putting a lot of time into pages.  Still, there are a number of issues he’ll need to resolve to take his work to the next level.  Let’s look at the pages, starting with this double page spread.

My first impression is that the page could have been framed better. Scott has a great background, a decent mid-ground, but nothing in the foreground. The characters he does have in foreground aren’t scaled properly. As is, the figures in the foreground are too small, and they get a little lost.

I would have moved a character into the extreme foreground, to create a better framing for the page as the whole. It would have framed the page better, and could have saved some time on the details in the background

There’s an anatomy issue with the character running in the mid-ground. Scott has the wrong arm foreward. The way the body works when running is the left arm would meet the left leg.  It makes it more dynamic pose, and it’s correct.

Nice details on the page, though. I like the damage on the vehicles in the background and the guy puking in the background is a good touch.

Page 2

Panel 1 – The action with the kick is pretty decent. Good kick. I like that he was shooting his gun as he got kicked. It’s a decent figure. The head is the main anatomy issue. Scott needs to take more time to construct the head, a running issue I’m seeing in his work. His nose and mouth should be up a little higher.

Panel 2 – There’s a little bit of a jump in storytelling with panels 1-3. I would have had him on his ass, shooting back after the kick, with her diving toward the shield she’ll have in the next panel.

Panel 3 – Fine.

Panel 4 – The framing is fine on this panel. It looks like the car got blown up from the reflection on the shield, so I would have added the car to panel 3.

Panel 5 – Anatomy issues here. Cap doesn’t look very natural, and the woman’s feet sink into the ground. I would have pulled back the camera a bit, and established that she’s on her knees.

Panel 6 – I would have reversed it, so she’s shooting the gun off page, to lead the reader to the next page.

Page 3

Panel 1 – Some of the facial construction problems are showing up again.  Now, I can tell Scott’s been drawing for a long time. He’s confident in his style, and it’s clean. He knows what he’s going after, but I think he skips a step to get to the final result. He’d benefit from taking more time in the construction stage.

In this panel, the guy need’s more of a cranium.  The nose and eyes are set back into the head, only way to do that is early on, construct that wedge.  I also noticed Scott has the teeth follow the lips, and that’s not always the case. You need to understand ellipses and how they work. He let’s the outside of the mouth dictate the inside of the mouth.  Also, his hand is a little big, doesn’t look connected to the body. Basic construction, tubes and cylinders is all it is. You got to draw through, and don’t just stop at panel borders. That’s why I use blue pencils, because it all disappears. Super important- draw through.

As an artist, you learn to draw, and learn to add more and more details.  But then you get to a point where you find yourself stripping everything back down. This is what Scott needs to do. Boil it back down to basic shapes.

Panel 2 – I like the action, pretty good panel. Anatomy of the shoulder is a bit off. Shoulders are harnessed on chest cavity, and attached to the collar bone. His shoulder looks way to big here. Again, draw through, study the anatomy in motion. Look in a mirror, watch a basketball game or wrestling to see how it works.

I like the tilting of the background.

Panel 3 – Can’t tell what’s going on in this panel. Not sold on the expression or what he’s trying to be doing.

Panel 4 – Fine, good action. Could have made the girl a bit more dynamic by stretching the torso of the girl, draw her back a bit more.

Panel 5 – I like the framing a lot.

Panel 6- Again, construction problems on the face. Need to find the center line of the eyes. When you’re in doubt, draw a skull. You’ll see her teeth are pretty off, but if you draw the skull it’ll fix the problems with the mouth.

Page 4

Panel 1 – I like the cool perspective in background, but the bodies aren’t titled in same perspective as the background. Give them the same perspective.

Scott needs to study walking, and the body in motion. Need to have the right legs and arms in motion.  Add more gesture. Scott is good at drawing, but needs to spend more time on the form. He’s skipping some steps.  Of course, drawing people walking is one of the hardest things to get down.

Awesome background as usual.  On Page 1 some of the cars were a little distorted, but it appears Scott know what you’re doing with perspective. If you see it something is off…erase it. Erase more! If it’s wrong, fix it! There’s nothing wrong with fixing it. Make it right.  At the end of the day, the reader gets the finished product. So , make it right.

Panel 2- Again, take time to construct the head. Learn the planes of the face, anatomy. Face a bit smooshed.

ARTIST  PRO TIP: When drawing characters with mask, glasses, etc. make sure you construct the head first. Don’t count glasses as a part of construction. Don’t let accessories or mask dictate head or figure. Capes, too, all that stuff. Draw figure first, then draw accessories.


Panel 3 – All basic shapes, it takes seconds, I do it quickly.  Scott’s pretty good at having his people act. But now that these mistakes are being called out, he’ll not make those mistakes again.

Panel 4- Good expression.

Panel 5 – The borders will trick you. He tried to squeeze a hand in there.

Panel 6 – Mouth, teeth, it doesn’t work like that. So, I’ll draw the skull. Teeth would curve differently. Rarely see back teeth, unless at an angle.  In critiques of my own work, I often hear I need to push the eye back into head more when drawn at angles. We all have problems. The Corner of the eye gets hidden by bridge of nose.

In Summary…

With quite a bit more construction of anatomy, Scott would jump several levels.  His final detailing is solid. He’s skipping steps because he doesn’t realize he needs to do them. But once he gets this, his stuff will take a major leap.  I bet most of these problems will be fixed soon.  It’s easily fixable stuff.

Lesson of the day: Don’t skip steps!

Scott is currently working on his first pro gig, a story called “Caged” forViper Comics online anthology Cryptophobia.  Keep up with Scott Sackett’s work at his website,  and follow him on Twitter @ScottSackett.


Tommy Patterson is the artist on the upcoming Game of Thrones comic book adaptation from Dynamite.  View his online portfolio here, and follow him on Twitter @TommyFPatterson.  And of course, tune in for the next Draw Over!

If you’re an artist interested in submitting your sequentials for a future Draw Over! column, send an email to


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Draw Over! #2 – Sequentials by Igor Glushkin Wed, 26 Jan 2011 05:19:56 +0000

Welcome back to another round of Draw Over!, ComixTribe‘s sequential art critique column.

This Week’s Artist…

This week, we have four pages of sequentials by artist Igor Glushkin.  Igor is a graphic designer and illustrator looking to improve his sequential storytelling.  Let’s get right to it!  (Click on the images to see in full size.)

Page 1

Panel 1 – Draw through. Go outside the panel to make sure your body parts are connected. Here the knee is right above the ankle. If that is the case then we would see her rump come into view because she would be crouch walking.

Panel 2 – Nice panel.

Panel 3 – I’m fine with the composition. Maybe add a hint of the figure in the distant window. Again DRAW THROUGH. It will help you see the figure. Construct simple parts first. Use reference even if you are stylized.

Panel 4 – Tighten up the pencils a bit (more on this at the end.)

Panel 5 – Love this panel for some reason. I would have the bottom right building all black with lit windows and the upper left building have SOME surface visible. Just so the figure doesn’t look like she is super long.

Panel 6 – Take the time to study how the mouth wraps around the face. The teeth should be set back into the head. Thick layer of skin covers the teeth.

Page 2

Splash – You need to learn how to defeat perspective. You’ve gotta study up on this.  Check out the Gnomon Workshop. Scott Robertson has a great into to perspective video and Feng Zhu has a video on setting up interesting shots. Print some photos and find the vanishing points so you can translate real life into a formula.

The idea is fine. Just need to work on the execution. Study my thumbnails. See how I have perspective even at this size. It’s easier to handle. Now you need to figure out your method of transferring it to full size. Projector, copy machine, over sized inkjet and print out a grid created in photoshop from your thumbnail, these are all options.

Page 3

This page feels a bit less thought out. Maybe you didn’t take the time to really solve all the design aspects you attempted. I want to stress to those reading that it takes MASSIVE amounts of time to draw a page. Sometimes you get yourself into trouble trying to make a page cool. I love the desire to take a page further. Editors harp on it but I love a well designed page that you can still read. You will learn a lot IF you take the time to make it work. Just know that sometimes pages take double what they should. It happens.

Thumbnail, analyze, correct, transfer to the page, UNDERDRAWING (I use blue. When I finish with graphite, it’s like doing one of these draw overs. The different color is like looking at someone else’s drawing.), analyze again, finish.

Panel 1 – I would have shown her landing and the expression. Just so you don’t have so many talking heads back to back.

Panel 2 – Work on those mouths. Leave room for balloons!

Panel 3 – Fits nicely with the redrawn panels. We have a boom, boom, boom and…..

Panel 4 – BOOM! rhythm established. Panel 4 layout is not very well done. With the new layout I think a side angle with speed lines would be dramatic enough. Too over the top kills the coolness of panels 5 and 6.

Panels 5 and 6 – So much action not much room. The splash crowded this page so I think a single panel divided and time lapse kinda thing would get the point across, especially since she is out numbered. Gotta take ’em out quick!

Page 4

Layout is fine on all the panels so I’m going to fix the anatomy with notes.

Panel 1 – Arch the back. Sex appeal, yo!

Panel 2 – Don’t phone in the hands! After the face the hands are second most important part in acting. Her head is set too far back on the shoulders. It comes out at the top of the chest. Draw a circle where the neck starts and that will help place it.

Panel 3 – Kicked in the face not the stomach! Huzzah!

The style used would benefit from being inked by the artist. He leans toward an almost 2d graphic kind of style. It’s cool, but to pull it off he needs to ink it. (Just my opinion.)

That’s all for this week! Thanks again to Igor for submitting these samples.  To view more of Igor’s work, visit his website.  And be sure to follow him on twitter @igordesign23 and watch him develop as a comic artist.  (Writers, I hear he’s looking to collaborate!)

If you’re an artist interested in submitting your sequentials for a future Draw Over! column, send an email to

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Draw Over! #1 – Marvel Samples by Matt Zolman Fri, 31 Dec 2010 10:14:34 +0000

Welcome to the very first installment of Draw Over!

What is Draw Over?

Draw Over! is a new ComixTribe featured column, where a professional comic artist reviews pages of submitted sequential art from the portfolio of a fellow comic artist. Where beneficial, the artist will do “draw overs” by taking a digital blue pencil to the submitted page to illustrates areas for improvement (panel to panel flow, anatomy issues, perspective problems, etc.)  The artist will also provide some general tips for improving the samples.

This Week’s Artist…

The first artist stepping up to bat is Matt Zolman. Matt is a talented graphic and multimedia designer with a lifelong passion for comics. Over the past several years, Matt’s been working hard to improve his skills as a sequential story teller.  Matt is currently working on EPIC, a new super teen comic book series.  Matt was gracious enough to submitted five pages of Marvel samples featuring the Hulk for critique.  Let’s get right to it!  (Click on the images to see in full size.)

The Draw Over! Critique

Page 1

Panel 1 is fine.

Panel 2 I couldn’t really tell what was going on at first. I feel the problem is the foreground. I’m not 100% sure if he caused the crate to fall or not. So I decided the action caused it so I made the pushing of the lever obvious. Either way, I felt pushing in on the guy with the monkey framed the shot better.

Panels 3-5 are fine, but I felt Matt should progress the expressions more to BUILD tension.

Panel 6 I felt the size of the monkey was too large and the flow could be tweaked. I also thought Namor’s pose was weak. Torque the body more. Also focus on the basic shapes before you commit. My pose, though it’s been done before, is a better way to go. That’s why it’s a common pose.

Page 2

Panel 1 I wanted the monkey guy to look like he got knocked on his butt. It also gives us the chance to see where the monkey went and that Namor is still coming.

Panel 2 I’m torquing the body again, and I put the monkey in the foreground. Probably could have taken the time myself to reframe the panel, but I also want a chance to show how little things can really help story telling, even if it’s not the optimal shot. Focus on the basic shapes. Can’t stress this enough. It seems too basic and a waste bit it is 10000% the best route to go.

Panel 3 I thought it was time to push the camera in and punch up the drama. Matt sticks with medium rage shots a bit too much.

Panel 4 is OK

I thought there was too big of a jump in time so I added a panel.

Panel 5 Monkey man is walking up on Namor and Namor is recovering.

Panel 6 Now Namor springs into a back hand.

Panel 7 is fine. Not sure whose hands, but good craftsmanship and spot blacks.

Page 3

Panel 1 is pretty cool.

Panel 2 Hulk’s pose isn’t natural enough for me. Focus on how I connect the hip into the back. The back needs to lean back so naturally a leg should slide under him to balance.

Panel 3 I tinkered with the pose and switched legs. You swing toward the leg in front.

Panel 4 is fine. Reference some water. Even though you are toony you should still reference stuff like this.

Panel 5 Hulk seems thin front to back. Also pay attention to the muscles when you move. You kinda drew the peck as tho the arms are down but he is lifting. They stretch up. Also spot some blacks. Make it an ominous situation

Page 4

Panel 1 is fine. Nice acting.

Panel 2 I posed Hulk a bit more dynamically. Focus on my shapes and how I connect them. It’s really easy once you make yourself do this first.

Panel 3 I feel the need to make the hand grabbing the Hulks leg look like it’s strong enough to pull him through the floor.

Panel 4 Wasn’t a fan of the view so a swung the camera around to kill the symmetry. Pushing Hulk to one sidelLeaves room for a cool sound effect.

Panel 5 Who is the guy standing? Looks like Namor. Isn’t he pulling Hulk through the floor? If it’s another underwater dude then add him in. I changed the angle to get some reaction to what JUST happened. “WHOA!”

Panel 6 Slight mod to Namor. Wanted more gesture and flow for being pulled through the water. Draw a “Line of Action” And make the characters work around it. Changed how Hulk’s head is connected for the same reason. Practice and study gesture a bit more. You probably know most everything to fix issues like these, you just forget you know them. I know I do all the time. Keep everything simple and follow the basic rules of drawing. It’ll make the detailing seem way way easier if you have a proper framework to build on.

Page 5

Panel 1 I really like the layout in panel one. I tweaked Namor’s figure to match a sweeping gesture of the punch. Hulk pose was mostly ok but the forms of the arms got away from you. SIMPLE SHAPES FIRST, then draw them muscles! (Lol.)

Panel 2 I flipped it to keep the eye flowing. It may break the 180 rule so you might flip panel one just in case it bothers you.

Panel 3 Hulk didn’t look like he got punched, so I torqued his body so we felt the punch. Also Namor’s legs needed to be swapped. When you run or punch it’s right arm forward, left leg forward and vice-versa.

Panel 4 is fine. Great acting again.

Panel 5 Really love the layout of this. Letting us breath as readers. Simple shapes just to show how I build up.

Analysis & Recommendations

I know Matt is a bit further along than this and he served as the guinea pig for Draw Over! I don’t know the script, so without words it’s hard to get the full story. No mater how awesome a story teller is, without words some things just don’t make sense. That being said, I think Matt as with most artists close to being pro or semi-pro (myself included) tend to make things harder than they should be. Also, simple things like leaving room for balloons comes with time. Once you see a sweet arm or leg covered by a balloon, you’ll start thinking about where they go.

Matt’s style is easy on the eyes and not cluttered at all. He does however need to think about activating the negative space. Colors can do it, but so can spotting blacks. The last panel on page 5 is a great example of activating the negative space. Not much actual drawing but it feels alive and visually looks great. I suggest Matt take a sharpie and break his drawing down into basic shapes and see where he can improve. Easy to do and you SEE your own work better.

Finally, he needs to push and pull the camera in and out. Page 5, he does this well. Pages 2-4 were kinda lacking camera work. Check out Adam Kubert and Greg Capullo for camera masters.

Thanks to Matt for going first. Follow him on twitter @MattZolman and watch him grow as an artists. I have no doubt he will. I’d guess a couple more years and he’ll be able to think about doing this for a living. Maybe sooner, depending on how much time he has available to put in. Really that’s all is boils down to, using your time to STUDY as you go.

See you next time!

– Tommy Patterson

If you’re an artist interested in submitting your sequentials for a future Draw Over! column, send an email to

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Hello world. This my website! Mon, 18 Aug 1997 14:42:03 +0000 Hello world. This my website!