Can you help me de­pict a comic-book ex­plo­sion with more force and im­pact please?

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation Artist Q & A -

Costas Bor­gas, US

PJ replies

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.

July 2015

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.

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