...The Question!
Banner: The Question by Tommy Lee Edwards

How to draw the Q? pt. I

...In the JLU / DCAU / Bruce Timm style

Welcome to the VicSage.com drawing corner! Today we'll be learning how to draw the Question in the Justice League Unlimited / DC Animated Universe / Bruce Timm style.

The cornerstone of this style is simplicity, and we find that the Question's faceless head can be drawn in about 10 simple steps with a few consolidations here and there. Let's begin, shall we?

STEP ONE: Start with your basic egg shape, slightly elongated. The Timm style makes use of wide jaws, though the Question has a small head and a thinner jaw than many other JLU characters.

STEP TWO: Square off the bottom of the jaw, using two angles starting a little under two-thirds of the way down the head that come to meet a straight flat line for the chin. The chin line should be about as wide as the Question's mouth would be, if he had one, roughly half the width of the head as a whole, but centered. ERASE the curve of the egg shape that still exists below your new, squared jawline.

STEP THREE: Add some ears. These should be about a quarter of the head in height -- "C" curves that go up and away from the head and then gently slope back down to just above where the squared jawline started.

STEP FOUR: Draw two lines that begin by following the curve of the top of the ear to represent the top ear ridge, and very gently curve them down to rest on either side of the horizontal chin line (But line yours up better than I've lined mine up here).

STEP FIVE: Add an ellipse starting just above the ears that sticks out about two and a half ear widths on either side of the head. This is the rim of the fedora and the thickness you draw it with depends on the angle of the Question's head.

STEP SIX: Draw a half-ellipse connecting the top of the previous ellipse at points on either side of the head with the bottom of the ellipse.

STEP SEVEN: Using gentle (moreso than my scratchy lines here) reverse curves, expand the half-ellipse to meet the big ellipse at its outermost points. ERASE any part of the ellipse that's inside the headshape below the expanded half-ellipse. Also erase the small bit of headshape that's inside the expanded half-ellipse.

STEP EIGHT: Draw two vertical lines from the hat rim ellipse on either side of the headshape, ending just below the top of the headshape. Connect the two with a horizontal line that curves just above the top of the headshape. ERASE the top of the headshape inside the curvy rectangle hatband you just drew.

STEP NINE: Extend the hatband's vertical lines upward about half the distance of the hatline. Connect these extended lines with a long, stretched out, upside-down "W" line.

STEP TEN: Clean up all of your lines and draw in the small details -- the black patches for hair just above the ears, the little hump of cartilage in the ear ("C" curves that start about halfway down the ear, connected at the top, but not the bottom), and the hat fold (like an X separated on its connecting angles and spread an eye-width apart). Drawing clothes might also help -- the shirt starts with a wide curve roughly mimicking that of the original headshape before it was squared, and the collar is made by another wide "W" line which has a higher center vertex; the tie is a pair of diamonds, a small symmetrical one, and a taller one that's most often hidden by the suit; the trenchcoat lines start below the ears and come down to wide points, and the shoulders start part of the way down those lines almost even with the chin.

Now that you've drawn your Question, color it in! Here are some common colors used in the series -- but remember, the brightness of the colors depends on the lighting in the scene:

  • Trenchcoat/Fedora Blue - RGB (R:48 G:58 B:107), HEX: #303a6b
  • Shaded Trenchcoat/Fedora Blue - RGB (R:32 G:34 B:72), HEX: #202248
  • Hatband Blue - RGB (R:32 G:34 B:72), HEX: #202248
  • Shaded Hatband Blue - RGB (R:16 G:16 B:16), HEX: #101010
  • Shirt Orange - RGB (R:156 G:126 B:92), HEX: #9c7e5c
  • Shaded Shirt Orange - RGB (R:121 G:88 B:47), HEX: #79582f
  • Skintone Brown - RGB (R:120 G:102 B:92), HEX: #78665c
  • Shaded Skintone Brown - RGB (R:95 G:72 B:64), HEX: #5f4840