Drawing the same characters over and over again while keeping their looks consistent is a challenge any comic artist has to face. This problem is the same for any comic artist whether their comics are 10 pages or 150. Keeping characters consistent is difficult and can cause problems between pages such as a character’s bag switching shoulders between pages for no apparent reason, or hairstyles changing between panels without warning. These types of inconsistencies can ruin a reader’s immersion in the fantasy of the comic, and can make the artist look very inexperienced.
The easy way to solve this problem is to create a detailed character sheet for each character involved in the comic. These are simple to draw out and are invaluable in helping to keep the characters looking the same between pages.
There are two types of character sheets that the artist can make, an expressions sheet and a purely character based sheet.
A purely character based sheet consists of a full body front, back and side view of the character in a basic pose, and some detailed shots of the front, side and back of the head, as well as any close up detail sketches of clothing or accessories. Simple pure character based sheets can be a full body front view, a side and back view of the head and some sketches of accessories. The layout and contents of this type of sheet can vary depending on the artist. The more detail that is put into the sheet, the more accurate the future drawings of the character will be.
An expressions sheet should accompany the purely character based sheet. It should show all the different expressions that the character makes, which can then be used in the future to make sure that the character’s expressions are consistent. Expression sheets are not drawn by all artists, but can be very useful in that they portray the character’s emotions and their personality.
Character sheets are intended as guidelines to help keep the characters looking the same throughout the comic. They help artists to keep track of what everyone looks like and how they react in different situations.
The basic character sheet that an artist absolutely must have in order to retain character consistency is the basic version of the purely character based sheet. A front pose, a side view of the head and some close ups of the accessories. The most wonderful thing about character sheets is that the format and the way they look is entirely up to the artist. If you are stuck for ideas on how to lay them out just have a look online, there are hundreds of varieties of character sheets around to look at and get ideas from.
Character sheets are invaluable, as any decent comic artist will tell you. They are a must for any artist. The only downside to creating them is the time it takes to draw them out. They can be very time consuming and boring, because you have to depict all the information accurately. They are wonderfully handy aids for any comic artist and well worth the effort to create them!
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