How to Draw and Paint Nostalgic Comics...

Updated: 21 May 2018

... in 3 steps:

  1. Pencil sketching
  2. Pen sketching
  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.

1. Pencil Sketching

Pencil sketching is a technique for figurative drawing from observation.

The obvious advantage of pencil sketching is the ability to erase and modify it.

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 the sketch reaches a desired result

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

Pencil sketch of Mowgli, The Jungle Book

2. Technical Pen Sketching

The second step is to draw on the pencil sketch with a Technical pen.

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 dye to dry. Only then, it is safe to gently erase the pencil sketch.

It is possible to sketch directly with a pen, once mastering the art of pencil sketching.

Mowgli coloring page, the jungle book

A technical pen sketch is a kind of coloring page.

Therefore, for homemade coloring pages, one should stop after this step.

3. Painting with Markers

It is best for markers use a suitable paper that does not absorb the dye.

How to pick colors:

The color on the marker 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, the jungle book

Adding background:

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

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 Comics painting of Sakura, Naruto and Sasuke

Example for Drawing and Painting Naruto

Step 1. Sketching with a pencil:

Naruto Uzumaki pencil sketch

Step 2. Sketching with a technical pen:

Naruto Uzumaki technical pen sketch

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

Comics drawing and painting of Naruto Uzumaki Comics painting of Naruto Uzumaki

Painting Comics' Backgrounds

Depending on the marker's brand and the kind 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.

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

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

Comics drawing of Lucky Luke Comics painting of Lucky Luke


Everybody can learn the craft of sketching.

A recommendation: Consider attending a basic course for learning to pencil sketch and to draw anything and everything from observation.