Action and fight scenes are a key part of comic books, anime, and manga and are part of the reason we just can’t get enough of our favourite titles. There’s just something about seeing capable characters duck it out with dramatic flair. Read on and find out how to draw your own fight scenes.
Set the scene. This is a super important part of your fight scene, so take care to consider where your characters are fighting and what they will be interacting with. Dig up some reference pictures for your background and look at some movie scenes that have a similar vibe. Boxing ring? Think about the ropes and how they could contribute to the scene. Fighting in the kitchen? That coffee mug on the counter can be used as a weapon!
Play with perspective and depth of field. Perspective is the best way to illustrate action and the effects of someone’s action. Is your character getting the life punched out of them? Try to make that clear by drawing them hurtling off into the distance and hitting a wall, or if it’s a sneak attack, use height and hierarchy to illustrate that someone is coming at them from a not-so-obvious angle.
Lines are your best friend. Making use of impact lines helps the viewer to imagine and contextualise the blows that are happening on the page before them. Similarly, speed lines help to provide a sense of movement and create a frenetic and dynamic feeling of how your fight scene is happening. Line effects are incredibly important when you want to add dynamism and suggest speed, but you can also make use of more modern effects like motion blur or subtle variations in tone if the lines are cluttering your drawing.
Plan your figures. Use JustSketchMe to perfect your scene and how you want your characters to interact with one another. Keep the background in mind, or upload your own right onto the app! Download your scene and upload it to your preferred sketching app.
Written by Dante Ludolf