How much does a comic book weigh

Line Weight: when to vary it and why?

Line Weight: when to vary it and why?24 Jan. 2015
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Salgood SamSubscribe 438 721

In my art class this is a

In my art class this is a question that comes up a lot. It's a key aspect of many linear illustration traditions including comics art, as well as older forms of art that inform them. A lot of artists starting out wonder about what to use it for and when. And it common for the unorganized, haphazard accidental use of it to give our work a less polished feeling.

That's not all good or bad, in my own work i like a bit of organic noise, messiness. That can in part come from some randomness in my line values. Sometimes I'm much more polished and clean. And part of that is making sure the reasons behind the line weights are very consistent and follow a specific set of style guides, rules. "If when, then this". but in a lot of my more personal or intimate work i relax that, to give it what i think is a bit more of an intimate feeling.

I attempt here to go over some the basic foundational reasoning behind what line weight can do, and how it impacts the work. Let me know in the comments what you think!

Also you'll find more examples of my own work, applying it in different ways here.


In particular look at this examples for some very different approaches. Here, the contour line is very constant. it gives the hand a graphic frame, helping to pop it out of the white background.


Here i've used heavy raw brushy lines, to help give the figure a chunky but still expressive look


This one is an illustration for a neurology science journal, so i used a very clean line, with a fair bit of variation for elegance.


On this car, we have lost line highlights, finer lines in the distance for the front hood, and clean but brushy feeling to try to balance mechanical slick with a bit of warmth.


you can check out more of my art instruction via this site.


And please consider becoming a patron, it'll get you access to my comics, and for a few, even be a way to become a student!


Comments (28)
del sol

When you say the line should be varied in time with the curvature do you mean for example that there should be maybe a pattern to the thickness of the curve? Like at the apex of each curve it is thickest maybe?

Linda Vuorenvirta

Thank you so much for this video! I'm trying to improve on my line weight in illustration and this gave me some solid, actionable advice. :)

Deedra Deremiens

Sooo helpful!!


SUPER useful! Thank you!

Troy Huang

thank you so much!

Man gerz

why yankees, don't use the other side of the paper _?

General Theory


Esha Ferns

Thank you so much it was very helpful ?


so further away skinnier lines ? Basically thats line weight ? Please anyone, i need a basic explanation


Thanks for the tips, can I ask what pen u used in this video?

Madison Barber

Really helpful!! thank you so much :3

Isabel Goss

I love when he throws the pencil and it comes rolling back

del sol

Ohh man yes. This tut is very much appreciated.

Benjamin Frost

This was very helpful. Thank you.

Domo Akira

great video!! line weight changes everything if done right. helped me out on something you'd think a college art student should have known by now lol thanks✌

julio falkenhagen

Hey Sam, many thabks for this tutorial !


Good informative presentation

Andrea Ambrosini

Helpful thank you very much,I'm not an artist so I'm probably wrong, but to me,it looks like that it's not one way to use them,there's not a rule,it's just what do you prefer to point out(depending,in turn, on your style) doesn't it?


your videos are really informative.Thanks for making them.

Jond Blames

that fat mans belly, I will never forget this example at first I didn't get what you were trying to say with it, but i went back and watched carefully and it all clicked. Praise the belly I learned a lot from that.

Sochi Egbune

I'm very young, but I really needed this. THIS is what I've been missing.

MarQos MarQos

Good stuff. Thanks.

Garrett Romain

Great insight, thanks!


Thanks mate! This is a really good explanation of what line weight could express. It helped me a lot.

Claritas Candor

BOEH im too high i cant't understand anything that's happening here


Salgood “amount of meat or mass on the muscle” Sam


Logged in just to like this video!!
this video is the solution for a very recurring problem for me!!


Does this mean you cannot use all of these techniques at the same time? Like, can you portray both the 'meatiness of the arm' and the light source's position in space on the same line?

Comics and Graphic Novel Basics for the Classroom: Graphic Weight!

Comics and Graphic Novel Basics for the Classroom: Graphic Weight!2 Sep. 2020
Comics TeacherSubscribe 438 721

This video for teachers

This video for teachers and students of comics goes over the basics of graphic weight in comics and graphic novels. Follow me for more videos in the "Basics" series that drop each Wednesday morn.

Music by Church.

Comments (0)

How to Make a Webtoon Comic: Line Art

How to Make a Webtoon Comic: Line Art7 Aug. 2019
4 313
Walter OstlieSubscribe 438 721

Line thickness and weight,

Line thickness and weight, composition, panel layout, camera angles, and confidence.

*This is a series in progress and I will update as I go.* Hit subscribe for more in the series!*

Playlist - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDxW3...

A new video in the How to Make Webtoon and Comics series. I go over some tips and guidelines for creating your line work for your comics. This ties in pretty closely with my "Panel Layout and Thumbnailing" video so check that out at https://youtu.be/qOp7cfyhn0g

If you have anything specific you would like me to cover, please let me know in the comments. A very loose playlist is looking something like...

File Setup - https://youtu.be/gRYMdNp1dog

Writing - https://youtu.be/gLEuHyQCCCc

Layout and Thumbnail - https://youtu.be/qOp7cfyhn0g

Line Art - https://youtu.be/xlnuUBEVMtg






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Comments (11)
Don of the Righteous

What are your thoughts on posting comics on YouTube.


This is an amazing video for beginners like me! Thank you so much for this!

tired andsad

I like to think that Walter's hair is an entity of its own.


Wow, this is interesting.

Leon Romero

technicals please. those are super helpfull.

still images is good. whatever is easiest for you. THANKS!

Ethan Brewerton

Loving the Technical Videos!! (who saw that coming?)

That tip about taking your favorite comic artist's page and matching line weights is genius dude! I'd never think to do that! Definitely gonna try it ASAP though!

Phenom Studios

This video couldn't have come at a better time in my life. Whatever type of video this is, keep doing this. You're amazing dude!

Steven Lisefski

Hey man :)... I really like the idea of using English letters. It is something I never heard before. I will have to try it. Also a video that would be good to see is on lettering. Size, word bubble, making room for them. I do lettering but i feel like a wing a lot of it. I am sure I could be doing things better. Anyway kudos on this video.


I like seeing both types of video (vlog and informational) but since I’m making a comic I’m a little more biased for informational ones since I’m all for learning more about comics

Max McWhorter

Technical vids plsssss