Here is a tip our drawing professor gave us concerning comics/manga:
If you want to improve your panels in a way that you show action more dramatically and/or well-placed, you should study some movies. Since every movie starts with a story board (basically a comic) you get a nice perspective on what’s possible and what works well for the artist (director). If you need some action panels analyze heavy action movies, if you need romance check out the sentimental section, and so on.
Here is a concrete exercise you can do (suggested by our professor): “The Reverse Story Board”
- Pick a movie you like
- Find an interesting part no longer than 2 minutes(action scenes are often full of cuts and exciting camera shots and scenes)
- Now try to copy all scenes in your own story board including movement-arrows and notes on the camera work, zooms, special effects, music etc.
- Don’t forget to use movie story board standards: all images in one and the same format (since screens don’t change their formats either), very clear drawing style, show only the key frames etc.
Here is an example for you: These are two pages of my “Resident Evil” reverse story board I made one year ago. It’s the part where Milla Jovovich is chased by the undead dogs 🙂
I used only black and grey markers (and a tiny bit sepia, too). There are notes on the technical stuff under the images and story relevant ones (including music and SFX) on the right. Notice that this is the European story board standard.