How To Draw The Liefeld Way
I picked up the new Hawk and Dove #1 at my local comic shop out of curiosity, hearing that it had sold out. I knew nothing about Hawk and Dove and nothing about the artist. At one point while reading I looked up and thought, “Is this for real?” I’ve never before seen a comic book drawn in quite that way before…
I had heard the name Rob Liefeld before, but I had never read anything by him. He was a big artist in the 1990s, one of the founders of Image Comics… That’s all I really knew. But as I read Hawk and Dove I learned a few things about his particular style of drawing, a style that has sold a lot of comics, but also invited a lot of ridicule.
1. Faces aren’t symmetrical
Don’t worry if eyes, noses, or even jaw lines aren’t even. Draw a square, put an upside-down triangle under it, and throw some eyes, a nose, and a mouth on it. Remember, crooked eyes = crooked glasses. Ever heard of drawing guidelines to know where to put the facial features? Forget about it.
2. Upside-down mouths are edgy
First, this is supposed to be a different character than the one above, but all men generally look the same, anyway. The lesson here is that if you draw a mouth upside-down, it’s automatically edgier. See what happens if you turn the mouth around?
3. Fill the mouth with teeth
Sure, humans are supposed to have only 32 teeth, but these are super humans, so it follows that they’ll have more teeth than a regular person. Keep drawing teeth until the mouth is all filled up. Also, all teeth are the same size and shape.
4. You should only see half of the iris
5. Women are totally different
One thing to remember when drawing female characters is that they need enough room for a baby to come out, so make sure there is plenty of room in the crotch region. Dove has an extra-wide vagina, one so wide that she wouldn’t be able to actually run. Have you ever seen a dove run in real life? They’re birds. They kind of waddle. So… there’s that.
Non-Hawk & Dove bonus: Pouches! And Big Guns!
Fanny packs, with only one pouch, are so lame. A belt full of little pouches is utilitarian and the sign of a true superhero. Add in a little man-purse (or two!) if you’re feeling adventurous. Also, guns that are ridiculously huge. The bigger, the better.
You know, I have to admit that I went through four years of art school, had to draw naked people, had my work ripped up in front of the class… and I can’t do any better. So at least you have to give Rob Liefeld some respect for being able to make a living with his work. If you’re looking for a laugh (he’s come a long way from his early work), check out The 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings.