One of my hobbies (well my main hobby actually) is re-drawing covers from the silver-age and trying to make them as close as I can to the originals.  I draw by eye only - no tracing allowed. One of the ways I make sure not to cheat is that I draw my covers approximately double the size of the originals. I draw them on A3 paper (16.53 inches by 11.69 inches).  It's a great hobby and I have a large collection of pencils, black artist pens (Faber Castell) and coloured fibre tipped felt pens.  I'm interested in constructive comments - I'm not posting these to get unadulterated praise. Does anyone else have the same hobby?

This particular one is a work in progress - no inking yet, I'm still working on the pencil outlines.

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And here's one I finished a couple of weeks ago.  I loved this particular cover - I remember buying this comic in the late 60s.

That's a pretty cool hobby, Steve.

Thanks for sharing.

Artists through the ages have copied the paintings of earlier artists they admired. It's a good way to see how they did what they did and why they took a particular approach. It also can show how anatomy comes together--and where it didn't do so well.

It's fairly common in Europe for art students to go into a museum and set up next to a masterpiece and try to copy it onto their own canvas. I've seen it several times there.

I think it's a cool way to spend time with comics you enjoy and get something out of the deal!

Do you do any structuring, as in laying out the underlying stick figures and circles and then fleshing them out, as the original artist would have done? Or are you using more of a grid concept, where you copy a segment and try to match the proportions and angles?

-- MSA

I definitely use more of a grid concept, copying the cover segment by segment. I have tried the other way (as outlined in Stan Lee's great book - How To Draw Comics-the Marvel Way) but I always return to the segment copying. It must work better for me.

Here's an example - this is my copy of Tyrannus, being a segment of X-Men #34.

My favourite person to draw is Spider Man - his costume is very straightforward and easy to copy.  Added to this he has no cape - I often find capes hard to draw.  Here's the one I'm most pleased with.

Wow, what a great way to enjoy your comics. And all that Silver Age goodness shows great taste!

I remember buying that Plastic Man issue, too. I don't know if that particular issue was compelling to the Li'l Capn (very possible), or if it was simply the only issue of Plastic Man distributed to my area (also very possible), but for years and years it was the only issue of that run I owned. (I have them all, now, thanks to the Internet.) Man, great memories.

I think I've mentioned before that great artists like John Buscema and Joe Kubert said they learned to draw from copying newspaper strips drawn by the likes of Hal Foster, Alex Raymond and Burne Hogarth. We all stand on the shoulders of giants.

I love that Plastic Man cover!.Good work, Steve W!

I learned a lot from How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, but like anything, it's not for everybody. Have you tried Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards? It's an approach to drawing that might be beneficial. Take a look around at the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain website.

Wow, have looked at the reviews on Amazon for "Drawing on the Right side Of The Brain" by Betty Edwards, and it sounds really useful and interesting. Have bought a used copy from eBay for £3.00. Let you know what I think when the book arrives.  Thanks for the tipoff.

"I think I've mentioned before that great artists like John Buscema and Joe Kubert said they learned to draw from copying newspaper strips drawn by the likes of Hal Foster, Alex Raymond and Burne Hogarth."

Joe Staton used to trace Chester Gould's Dick Tracy when he was a kid, now he draws it for a living.

(I used to trace Dick Tracy, too, but I never went any further than that.)

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