Can you help me depict a comic-book explosion with more force and impact please?
Costas Borgas, US
Ideally, an explosion should dominate the panel or page that you’re drawing, and often the explosion panel will be the largest on a page. Picking a zero point for the explosion (the point an explosion radiates out from) on the bottom of the panel means you have a large amount of space to show the energies bursting out. I’ll radiate blast waves of power out from the zero point. These primary forces help me get a sense of the broad shape of the explosion. I’ll add random arcs of debris shooting out beyond the limits of the blast. The arc gives the impression of movement and, importantly, shows the impact of gravity.
Behind these primary forces I’ll add further zigzags of blast forces, weaved together more tightly. These secondary forces help give a bit of dimensionality to an explosion. I’ll start detailing here any clouds of ash that the explosion may be throwing off, too. Remember that everything is radiating out of the zero point. Usually I’ll ink the forces with a pen so the details can be as tight as possible – the tighter these forces appear, the larger the sense of scale.
Finally, I’ll add focus lines from the panel borders pointing towards the blast radius. This will help make the explosion appear brighter.
Here I’ve added a little white digital splatter to add texture to the blast, and enhance the feel of a explosion taking place on the water. Despite inking traditionally, I will often use the Focus Ruler in Manga Studio to rapidly add focus lines to a drawing.