Monday, March 6, 2017

Paolo Rivera's 10 Rules

1. Don't draw, sculpt. No, seriously. All your favorite superhero artists are also great sculptors — it's just that their final artwork is limited to one point of view.

2. Storytelling involves 2 major stages for me:
What does your character know, how do they feel?
What should your reader know, how should they feel?

3. I'm not a writer, but I am trying to be. My favorite nuts and bolt technique (especially when I'm stuck) is not to write, but to ask questions. I feel no pressure asking questions, but the process of answering them often solves larger problems.

4. Composition: Watch your tangents! You should still be able to read your panels from far away, or as a tiny icon on a computer.

5. Composition trumps perspective, Gesture trumps anatomy. (But you should still learn both).

6. Don't make a to-do list, have a calendar where you block out activities. Email and social media too. And keep track of your hours, even if it's depressing.

7. Use models and reference. If you don't know what something looks like, your reader can sense it. If you do, they won't even notice. Be knowledgeable, but invisible.

8. Writers: avoid stage directions. Concentrate on motive, dialogue, emotional beats. Weird, unexpected things happen when you start to put characters on a stage. It can be difficult to predict, so let the penciler handle the logistics.

9. Start small. If you want to paint comics, draw one first. If you want to draw a graphic novel, draw an 8-page story first.

10. Throw crap at the wall. See what sticks. Clean up the mess.

You can view Paolo Rivera's work at: