Any tips for drawing night scenes in comics?

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Any tips for drawing night scenes in comics?

Postby DungeonmasterJim » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:07 pm

For my webcomic I'm embarking on drawing a story that takes place entirely at night. The characters are in a forest and then a mansion and the only light sources in the whole story are flashlights, a hand held lantern, and the moon. Sometimes I use some cross-hatching around the characters like an aura to separate them from the often flat black backgrounds. So I was wondering if you might have any suggestions.

Here are two samples:

Image

and

Image

Thanks!

DM Jim
DungeonmasterJim
 
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Re: Any tips for drawing night scenes in comics?

Postby Alan Davis » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:00 pm

There’s no simple answer to this Jim.
Personally I don’t like arbitrary glows or white outlines around figures. I try to design the image so that the foreground and background blacks don’t get muddled.
The main issue, as with any storytelling, is what are you trying to show? For clarity a scene might be unrealistically lit by necessity-- Daylight with a black background.
Ultimately, as with any drawing, it isn’t about technique but observation.
In your panel with three full figures there are four light sources so there should be a degree of double lighting and multiple shadows. Also, depending or relative brightness, areas around the figures may be bleached out of detail or in silhouette. Clothing that is black may appear light compared to deep shadows.
Best thing I can advise is to watch some good Film Noir or one of the old Universal Horror movies.

Alan
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Re: Any tips for drawing night scenes in comics?

Postby DungeonmasterJim » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:47 am

Thank you for the prompt reply.

The idea of watching the old Universal horror movies is a suggestion dear to my heart since I love those old movies and have them on video!

I tromped out into the woods behind my parents' house with my brother and his digital camera in tow. Took a few pictures that should help provide some light diffusion.

Thank you for the help!

DM Jim
DungeonmasterJim
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:46 pm
Location: western Massachusetts USA


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