The drama and the atmosphere you can get from drawing in black and white are amazing. There is a quality within these that reminds me of my original drafts. 

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is what kind of ambience you want to show. I love black and white illustrations to me moody and angsty. The characters in the illustrations I draw are full of regret, revenge and lust. They crave attention and will not get stopped until they get what they want, even if it means hurting other people. 

See, I love that kind of patterns when I draw black & white illustrations.

...but it doesn't mean you have to follow that pattern. After all, manga is all black and white and chapters illustrations can be as happy as you like.

First, think of the composition. Before getting started, you will need to draw out the lines for your characters and your background

I'm sure you're used to drawing straight away your character/s, but I can assure you that if you plan your illustration ahead, you will get a so much better drawing in the end.

However, instinct is powerful when you draw as well. Do not dismiss it if you don't want to use composition straight away. 

Contrast between the man on the left and the two women on the right - instability against structure.

Equal roles for each character (except one) divided in a central line.

Again, composition will help you immensely if you're thinking about drawing a kick-ass illustration. 

Consider the illustration and what the composition and colours mean:

- The character is central, showing her flowy dress, that could easily be made of water;

- The flow of the water is clearly shown as descending, from a darker blue to a lighter one, suggesting foam;

- The hair needs to follow the movement as well;

- There is slow but obvious movement of the arm so that the illustration doesn't appear too passive. 

The composition needs to meet the feeling (not the other way around: a picture that conveys feelings is more important than a picture that shows only a string of technicals skills).

Power and insight, looking directly at you. She has control over her clothing and even the blank space behind her.

Lust and desire and inviting the audience in. Everything suggests their next move, & allow the audience to imagine it...

© CF Smith, manga & illustrations - All Rights Reserved