Learning to draw women


Random headshots. I draw a lot of women because I spent all of high school and half of college learning to draw superheroes: young, white, impossibly fit males. I spent the second half of college diversifying: drawing fat, gaunt, middle-aged, elderly, etc. But I still to this day draw fairly masculine women. I do best drawing a girl next door. It’s when I have to draw, for want of a better term, classic comic book females, that I can’t imbue the character with some spirit. You’d think, being caricatures, they’d be a lot easier to draw than the more distinguished next-door type who has personality before raw sensuality.

I’m about 50-50 with middle-aged women, depending on how they look, and I can draw elderly women fairly well. But it’s all just practice, practice.

One problem is I draw very sharp lines, carving into the paper. I work from the wrist. That’s fine for angular Joe Jockstrap, but it’s completely antithetical to the subtle variations of curve in a woman’s facial features. So much of drawing women in classic comic book pen and ink is knowing what NOT to put in, finding that thin line where they resemble real human beings rather than blow-up dolls or featureless aliens.

Adam Hughes I ain’t.