I wanted to try something different today and so asked my son for any suggestions on what I should draw. He came up with the idea of Black Panther from the Marvel comics. Considering Black Panther was such a hit character in this year’s Captain America movie, I’m not surprised my son chose him.
I’ve been pushing myself recently and in the middle of trying to draw this guy I suddenly decided I would add colour as well. It probably had more to do with how badly I think the sketch was going that I wanted some way of redeeming the drawing!
The reference image was one from marvel.com and featured Black Panther in a ready to pounce pose. As soon as I started sketching I could tell this was going to be challenging. Not only is his pose dynamic but his features are also a mix of human and panther.
I started by trying to fit the pose on the entire canvas, it seemed no matter what I did, his left claw just wouldn’t fit on the page. Two under drawings later and I still couldn’t figure out the pose so I moved on in efforts to actually get this drawing finished.
On to the face, the face is kind of like a mask and a helmet so sort of feels like the mouth and nose is missing. That means most of the expression is in the eyes. I also was trying hard to not make his ears look like Batman.
I must confess I didn’t pay much attention to the necklace and really just wanted to get some more features in so that the sketch didn’t look so bad. At this stage I realised how difficult it is to draw features on such a black costume.
I added lots of black areas and re-did the head and ears because they just didn’t look right. About now was when I knew the shading was beyond my skill level and decided to just let myself go and use the colours that I was seeing in the reference image.
As soon as I added the light blue colour my frown turned upside down and I started to have fun. The jet black colour seemed to breathe life into this character. My crude digital painting skills aside, I thought this might actually turn into something!
Off I went just dabbing here, there and everywhere, small brush sizes and big brush sizes.
In the reference image Black Panther seems to be in some kind of cave and I almost tried to draw that but decided against that because I wanted to leave the contrast between him and the white background.
This drawing might not be quite what I intended at the start but I like how it finished. It was a sketch of two halves: the first was not enough observation and overthinking and the second was just having fun and enjoying drawing!
Reference image: marvel.com