ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Alex Ross

Updated on September 5, 2007

The master comic book artist

This lens isn't just for fans of Alex Ross, but for artists who wish to learn from him. Alex Ross is an amazing artist. He is also kind enough to share his process through his books, magazine articles and vidoes.  While I admire him for his ability, I revere him for his generosity.



A misconception about Alex Ross is that he has a photorealistic style. He does use photographs for reference, but he does not slavishly copy them;he slavishly improves upon them. The proportions and measurements he uses to improve the photos were learned by studying "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth," by Andrew Loomis.

Take note of the following images:

The image on the left was drawn by Andrew Loomis, which describes in detail the measurements for an ideal male, and the image on the right is a character study of Superman by Alex Ross. Notice how in this image, or any other for that matter, that Alex Ross renders, his heroes are drawn with the idealistic proportions set forth in Andrew Loomis' books.

Andrew Loomis and the books that influenced Alex Ross

Unfortunately Andrew Loomis' books are out of print. They are, however, considered the gold standard in figure drawing instruction. If you can track down his books, you will find that they are worth the effort and expense.

A little more about Andrew Loomis

Many artists have a hard time explaining how it is they do what they do. Andrew Loomis did not have that problem. In addition to the helpful diagrams and examples in his books, is an engaging, almost chatty writing style.

Here are a few quotes from "Figure Drawing For All it's Worth" that I especially love:

"May I confess that two weeks after entering art school, I was advised to go back home? That experience has made me much more tolerant of an inauspicious beginning than I might otherwise have been, and it has given me additional incentive in teaching."

"Every artist will do 'good ones' and 'bad ones.' The bad will have to be thrown out and done over. The artist should, of course, make a critical analysis to determine why a drawing is bad; usually he will be forced to go back to fundamentals, for bad drawing springs from basic faults as surely as good drawing springs from basic merits."

"I not only assume that my reader is interested in drawing but that he wishes from his toes up to become an efficient and self-supporting craftsman. I assume that the desire to express yourself with pen and pencil is not only urgent but amost undeniable, and that you feel you must do something about it. I feel that talent means little unless coupled with an insatiable desire to give an excellent personal demonstration of ability. I feel also that talent must be in company with a capacity for unlimited effort, which provides the power that eventually hurdles the difficulties that would frustrate lukewarm enthusiasm."

If you can only buy one Alex Ross book, buy this one

This book is biographical in nature. It is limited to his DC work, but it talks about his development, has original artwork, and shows his process for planning comics and painting them.

Alex Ross in his own words

Alex Ross in action

Watching these videos is not a substitute for studying Alex Ross' tutorials in his books, especially "Mythology." Still, you can pick up little tips on how he sets up his pallet, what brush sizes he uses, and how he moves around the painting surface.

Who am I kidding? It's impossible to buy just one Alex Ross book

Recent Alex Ross projects

The paint is still drying on these books. Alex Ross painted over Doug Braithwaite's pencil drawings for a striking collaboration of comic book art.

P.S. If you buy something from this page...

... you'll automatically be making a donation to The Acumen Fund, working to solve global poverty.

Share your stories, sightings, thoughts, rants, raves...

Are you in the Alex Ross Fan Club?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      thank you for the lens on Alex Ross. Do you know if he uses smooth or vellum Bristol paper?

    • GannonBeck profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @mojoCNYartist: I think he is mostly doing covers and commissions these days. To my knowledge the last thing he did sequentials on was "Justice." He painted over someone else's pencil work, but realized it really didn't save him as much time as he thought it might. I'd love to see him try a traditional style. His book "Rough Justice" has some pitches in there that show that approach and it looked great.

    • mojoCNYartist profile image


      6 years ago from CNY

      Love his work. But I don't think I've seen anything from him recently.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A very solid lens on Ross. I love his comic book work and would love to see him on a monthly comic, though I doubt it will ever happen due to the time it takes to create his pieces.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      For your Alex Ross Fans

      PHX comics has recently placed a 1 time auction on ebay of an Alex Ross Collection. If there are Alex Ross fans that you know would like to add this to their collection or start their collection could you send them to the link below:

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This page has a lot of useful info on the guy, thanks. Anyway, I did a tribute piece about 10 years ago for KC and placed it on my spanking new (and spare) blogspot page. I'll add more artwork when I get the time to feeling "empowered" again...Cheers, Roby


    • coreyweb profile image


      11 years ago

      This guy is amazing, and so is your lens about him. I think you're right - it is impossible to buy just one.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)