Monday, 27 January 2014

Comic Art Workshop

As part of the recent Epic Adventures season at The Horsebridge, I dipped my toe in the water of teaching. My workshop was on comic art, and 19 of Whitstable's talented under 18 year olds came along. They didn't need much help - I just offered a few suggestions and stepped back. Their resulting work was fantastic, and I feel very proud of them.
The students picked an excerpt from a classic story (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Island of Doctor Moreau, Dracula, Life of Pi, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), and their task was to create a short comic strip based on the text of one of these epic adventures. 

The process was to sketch out the thumbnails, thinking about "camera angles", establishing shots, narrative pacing, how to portray drama, and action. Then work on the tighter pencils, and onto doing the inks. I tried to keep it open to allow their own ideas to come to the fore.

I used "Wally Wood's 22 panels that always work" (see below) to show how the framing of a scene can be used to communicate what the story needs. I love this side of comic art. Its very much like storyboarding for TV and film, and essential to telling a story.

It was a wonderful experience to witness the students bring these stories alive on the page in their own individual ways. I hope they were inspired and continue to do brilliant art in the future.

Heres a photo of some of the finished pieces:

And heres Wally Wood's 22 panels that always work: