Sunday, July 1, 2012

How Batman Kept Me From Going Nuts

I just finished watching Apocalypse Now and it made me feel a little crazy. It's not a bad movie, but being around people on the edge of insanity and those that are full blown nuttier than a squirrel poop (for 2.5 hours) can get to you. So I mustered the strength to do a little sketching (starring Batman) and the more I looked at it, the more I felt I needed to chronicle it and do a little how-to post for fun. At least my how-to, because Batman can be drawn many different ways by many different people. Anyway, I thought I'd share my process.

Step 1: Sketch
This is where I got down the basic gesture through a loose sketch. I used a 2H pencil on recycled rough sketch paper. The key here was to keep my wrist loose. Sometimes I strive for a perfect drawing when I should really focus on the sketch.By the way, the artists whose styles inspired this sketch was Jim Aparo, Jim Lee and Norm Breyfogle.

Step 2: Ink
I continued by throwing some quick ink on to start defining where I want to go. Again, I was trying to stay as loose as possible and not worrying to much about perfection. Here's where I decided where I was going to set the light source and place the shadows later.

Step 3: Rendering
I took my big fat black prismacolor marker and started flooding the dark parts of the drawing. I used to do this with my pentel pocket brush, but you can go through a lot of india ink that way, so I go for the marker instead. I also went back to my ink pen and added in a few more hatches here and there to make the drawing a little more interesting.

Step 4: Tones and Highlights
Here's where the drawing really takes a turn by adding some tones and highlights. I used a cool grey 20% prismacolor marker and then a 50% marker to add in some tones to make Batman more defined. Then I finish the whole thing off by going over the edges on Batman with a white pencil. It really makes the drawing pop and adds some intensity to the ready-for-ass-kicking Batman.

And that's it! I had fun washing Marlon Brando's crazy away with this sketch and I got something off my to-do list (this piece may be appearing in a Batman themed show this month). Let me know what you think and comment away. And if you'd like to purchase this sketch at a future time, keep an eye on my store at Thanks for reading!

Happy sketching,

Dennis (aka tanoshiboy)

Tools Used
2H Pencil
Kneaded Eraser
Fine Faber-Castell pen
Pentel Pocket Brush
Prismacolor Markers
Bogus Recycled Rough Sketch Pad