Q&A: mus­cles

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents - Katie Phelps, Eng­land

An­swer

PJ replies

the sim­ple so­lu­tion is to think of cloth­ing as another layer of skin over the body. So the first step is to have a good un­der­stand­ing (okay, sim­ple-ish) of the char­ac­ter’s ba­sic anatomy that you wish to con­vey.

in the case of our su­per­hero the Judge, his physique is gran­ite-like but not ‘cut’. in other words, he’s mus­cu­lar but un­less he’s ex­ert­ing him­self in some man­ner, it’s more re­laxed mus­cle.

once i’ve roughed out the fig­ure that i want to draw, i be­gin to add the fab­ric around that. of­ten that means tak­ing in to ac­count the kind of ma­te­rial the out­fit is made from, as well as any de­sign el­e­ments on the suit. while most su­per­hero out­fits don’t tend to wrin­kle, it can add a note of re­al­ism to an out­fit. and as a sim­ple rule, you’d ex­pect to see wrin­kles around the parts of the body that are com­pressed to­gether. of course, where wrin­kles are com­press­ing there’s usu­ally a cor­re­spond­ing stretch­ing tak­ing place op­po­site that com­pres­sion, and how much wrin­kling oc­curs de­pends on the kind of ma­te­rial.

once i’ve es­tab­lished the out­line of the ma­te­rial and where it’s folded, i can be­gin the ren­der­ing process. ren­der­ing de­pends largely on what the ma­te­rial and colour of the fab­ric is, as well as the en­vi­ron­ment the char­ac­ter finds them­selves in. leather ma­te­rial takes a lot of deep shad­ows and spec­u­lar high­lights, while fab­ric will have a lot of sub­tle feath­er­ing. when ren­der­ing though, it’s im­por­tant to fol­low the curves of the un­der­ly­ing mus­cle struc­ture, so even where con­trast­ing fab­rics meet there’s a con­sis­tency on dis­play.

Even in this sketch, you can see that the out­fit sits on top of the body rather than be­ing vac­uum sealed to it.

Light feath­er­ing moulded to the shape of the un­der­ly­ing mus­cle, as well as creases, help show he’s wear­ing cloth­ing rather

than body paint.

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