Aug 11, 2010

Dead guys again

There are some dead guys in the story I'm currently working on, but these are more prospective, since the next story has a principal character who is a corpse. I feel like it's necessary for anyone interested in drawing fantasy or horror to know how to draw a good corpse, since it's surprising how often they pop up in stories.

Dead or decayed bodies are an interesting challenge as an artist. When you're drawing living figures, you can really play with shapes since flesh, muscle, and fat vary so much person to person. However, when you break that down and you're relying more on the skeleton and less on the soft tissue, the focus has to change. Unless you're the Elephant Man, your skeleton and skull probably looks just about the same as anybody else. Gesture gives way to texture and the form naturally takes on more angularity. Once the structure of the skull or skeleton is established you can start adding on uneven layers of the remaining flesh. It's all very gruesome and interesting to think about.

This applies also to zombies and the undead in general.

A fun fact about corpses is that the hair and nails continue to grow for a few days after death.

These guys work in a quarry, or they used to, I guess. They mostly just lie around rotting these days.

Next time I'll draw some baby deer or whatever.


  1. This subject brought up a silly problem in one of my classes. We're stressed to use reference as much as possible, but my friend's story involved a charred corpse, and she wasn't going to go out of her way to find pictures of burnt-to-death people!

  2. I've been loving the dead dude drawings. Great stuff.
    I was unsure about the hair/nail growth after death so I looked it up.

    Sadly it's the body dehydrating/shrinking away from the nails and hair.

    Your answer is far cooler and creepier though.

  3. This is in keeping with the podiobook Ive been listening to called, "Toothless" by J. P. Moore about an army of supernatural undead destroying the world in the middle ages all about a zombie night Templar who can't talk.

  4. If you start drawing baby deer corpses, don't be surprised when your name ends up on the terrorist watch list.

    I'm just sayin...

  5. hey ! i just discovered your work through "picture book report" and man, this is really nice ! i'm totaly inspired by your colors and the way you got to make disapear the line sometimes... just magical haha ^^ !