Marvel Draw! is a series where host Brian Crosby shows viewers how to draw some of the most iconic heroes in the Marvel family, and in honor of Spider-Man’s 60th anniversary as well as the announcement of “Beyond Amazing” an exhibit celebrating this iconic character coming to the Comic-Con Museum this summer, he came out to Wondercon to show panel-goers how to draw the iconic web-slinger’s bust.
Crosby starts by talking a bit about himself and his professional career, including work for Walt Disney Imagineering before making the jump to Marvel as a story consultant before landing where he is now as Director of Themed Entertainment Development. He then transitions into drawing Spider-Man. Just a warning, there will be a lot of photos in this recap.
Starting with the head Crosby goes into detail on what techniques would best work for comic drawing as well as some art history about the medium. Turns out certain kinds of blue color pencil don’t show up in photocopies, so artists don’t need to erase their trace/guidelines.
Throughout the panel Crosby allowed those in attendance to ask questions at any point. When asked toward the end of the panel on how to start out in the drawing world Crosby said “If all you can draw are stick figures, that’s fine. Stick figures are where it all starts.” Throughout the panel Crosby answers other questions in the same vein.
Moving on from the head to draw out the shoulders, neck, and eyes Crosby advised us on how he approaches eyes in general “learn to draw eyes in the middle of the head & not too high.” More specifically he goes into his process for the eyes on the mask. Think clothing irons for reference “Trust me, it won’t look weird” he reassures the panel. Due to the perspective of the piece, only one full eye is drawn.
The panel takes a brief beat to talk about just how unique comics are as a medium. Crosby sums it up nicely by saying “in comics every artist has their own take” on these iconic characters. It allows for all sorts of interpretations of design.
Getting back to the drawing, Crosby finishes up the outer outline of the eyes and begins moving forward with probably one of the more iconic indicators of Spider-Man’s mask, the webs.
For the webs themselves, the audience was advised to have the web arches point toward the center of the face to provide the iconic spiderweb look. If one was to have the arches arc away from the center, it would appear more flower-like. Crosby remarks that he experiences “a little bit of zen drawing all the arches.”
As he was finishing up the webbing, more questions were asked as well as some discourse over what color Spidey’s suit actually is. In regards to other Spider-People Crosby notes that Miles’s suit is a bit more difficult especially when it comes to coloring. He remarks that it’s easier to do a black line over a red suit vs a red line over a black suit.
With the outline being finished, the next step is to bring out the lines and shading. Crosby talks a bit about how he learned shading (you don’t have to buy expensive posable figures) through his action figures and art theory talk about perspective, and how using basic shapes are the fundamentals of drawing.
As he is finishing up the piece, Crosby makes mention that he wasn’t quite done yet. He says something along the lines of what is Spider-Man without his signature Spidey-Sense? So as the final touch, Crosby adds some Spidey-Sense lines to wrap up his time and to give the audience more time to ask questions. Some aspiring illustrators asked questions about portfolios and advice on specific techniques.
As the panel began to wind down to a close Crosby reiterated that the exhibit “Beyond Amazing” is coming to the Comic-Con Museum in San Diego on July 1st. With that the panel drew to a close. Marvel Draw! is available on Youtube on the Marvel HQ page. Thanks to Marvel and Brian Crosby for a fun and informative panel!