How to Draw and Paint Nostalgic Comics...

Updated: 15 Jan 2019

... in 3 steps:

  1. Pencil drawing
  2. Pen drawing
  3. Painting with markers
How to draw comics in 3 steps


Comic strips, comic books, cartoons, graphic novels, manga, anime and animated films were drawn and some are still drawn in 2D.

Nostalgic comics are characterized by contour lines.

In order to draw & paint nostalgic comics, find an image for the cartoon character you would like to reproduce and follow these steps:

1. Pencil Drawing

The main advantage of drawing with a pencil is the ability to erase and correct mistakes.

Note: It is important NOT to hard pressing down the pencil while drawing, in order to prevent any scars or dents on the drawing paper.

Sketching and modifying until a desired result

Sketching, erasing and adjusting the sketch until it reaches the desired outcome:

Pencil drawing of Mowgli, The Jungle Book

Here is a list of supply you will need for this step: Pencil Drawing Supply Review.

Something to consider:

If this step is too hard, you might want to learn how to draw coloring pages first.

2. Pen Drawing

The second step is to draw with a technical pen on top of the pencil drawing.

Technical pens come with different nib sizes. A smaller nib will be great for small details, while a bigger nib is better for thicker contour lines.

Technical pen sketch, Mowgli, the Jungle Book

It will take around a minute for the pen's ink to dry. Only then, it is safe to gently erase the pencil marks.

With practice, it is possible to draw directly with a pen and disregard step 1.

Mowgli coloring page, the jungle book

The result at this step will be a homemade coloring page.

If you are unfamiliar with drawing pens, you might want to check my guide for recommended drawing pens.

3. Painting with Markers

The last step is using paint markers.

How to pick colors:

The color on the marker's body or cap is not necessarily the color that will show on paper.

It is very useful to create a palette of all the markers' colors in advance:

Palette of colors done with marker pens Marker pens colors palette
Earth colors palette done with marker pens Earth colors palette

After choosing the colors to be used, it is time to paint:

Mowgli comics drawing, the jungle book

Adding background:

Comics drawing of Mowgli, The Jungle Book, Disney 1967 Mowgli comics painting (The Jungle Book, Disney 1967)

What type of paper sheets should you use?

For painting with markers, it is best to use non-absorbent paper sheets.

When painting with a dry medium, like colored pencils or pastels, paper sheets for drawing and sketching should be used.

How to Choose the Right Color

It is possible to use an image-editing program like Adobe Photoshop or and utilize the color picker tool to check for the exact color.

Filling a big area with the chosen color will help to see the correct hue.

Using the color picker for finding the correct color

Then using a marker pen with the same hue and brightness value:

Comics drawing of Naruto Uzumaki Drawing of Sakura, Naruto and Sasuke

Here is a list for recommended marker pens I use.

Example for Drawing & Painting Naruto

Step 1. Drawing with a pencil:

Naruto Uzumaki pencil drawing

Step 2. Drawing with a technical pen:

Naruto Uzumaki technical pen drawing

Step 3. Erasing the pencil marks and coloring with markers:

Comics drawing and painting of Naruto Uzumaki

Painting the Background

Depending on the marker's brand and the type of paper that is being used, it will be, sometimes, hard to reach a smooth texture for a large area.

It is a good practice to divide an area into smaller areas by adding objects like trees.

How to color backgrounds with marker pens

It is recommended to use a paper suitable for markers, especially when using water-based markers.

When using a paper that is made for drawing & sketching, alcohol-based markers will work better than water-based markers.

For drawing clouds, start with the dark areas and use lighter markers on top of the darker areas to gently create a smooth transition from dark to light.

Comics drawing of Lucky Luke Lucky Luke


With practice, anybody can learn to draw & paint.

The pencil-drawing step will be the hardest. Accuracy is the key for likeness.

Drawing with a pen and painting with markers will be easier and fun.

To understand depth when drawing, read about the 15 methods to create the illusion of depth.

For learning to draw and paint online, check out my list for best drawing instructors on YouTube.

If you like comic books, visit my guide for collecting comic books.