Digital Comics Club: Week 4

Drawing… With Style!

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If you’ve been following along, you’ll have lots and lots of ideas for characters by now. The next thing to consider is the style you’ll draw them in!

Think of some ways that you could draw an eye:

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Is one better than another? No! They’re just different styles of drawing.

Now think of a really well known character – we’ll use Wonder Woman as an example. Most people can imagine a version of her in their heads, but what is it about her that makes her distinctly Wonder Woman?

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The answer is her character design!

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No human features, but still Wonder Woman!

She has recogniseable features –  her tiara, her gauntlets, the lasso of truth, the stars that adorn her outfit, as well as a colour scheme of red, blue, and gold. The drawings above (by Darwyn Cooke, Bilquis Evely, and Marguerite Sauvage) show us that she can be drawn in completely different styles, but we can still tell that she’s Wonder Woman.

How can we tell? The trick is to balance detail with shapes and colours. Bilquis Evely’s drawing has no colour but lots of detail. Marguerite Sauvage and Darwyn Cooke’s drawings have less detail, but distinct colours and shapes (while still being totally different from each other). Style is a magical thing!

What details can you add or take away from your characters, while still making sure they look like that character?

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The above images (unless otherwise stated) are by Rebecca Horner.

Digital Comics Club: Week 3

Let’s Make Some Characters!

There are a million billion different ways to come up with characters. Here are two of those million billion ways!

First up is an exercise we use called Person, Object, Place. All you have to do is choose one from each of the columns below, then draw that character! Easy peasy. You can get someone else to choose for you for an added challenge. You could also make your own list of people, objects, and places, then pick the options out of a hat!

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This exercise also works well for coming up with stories, which we will be talking more about in the upcoming weeks. What would a ballet dancer be doing with a frying pan on Mars? Why is a footballer at an airport holding a rubber duck? The stranger the combination, the better!

 

Animals + …Food?

Our second exercise takes inspiration from the foodimals of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 – a masterclass in pun-based character design with gems such as cucumbirdy, shrimpanzee, hippotatomus, and many more! Again, choose one from each of the columns below, and COMBINE them into a strange new creature!

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Here are some we made earlier. What do you think their pun names would be?

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The above images are from Dundee Comic Creative Space’s ‘Let’s Make Comics’. Artwork by Rebecca Horner.

Digital Comics Club: Week 2

Here at DCCS, we follow the ABCD of drawing – Any Body Can Draw! All you need is something to draw with, and something to draw on. Do you need to already be a master comics artist like Jack Kirby, Bill Watterson, or Uderzo (RIP)? No! Every great artist started somewhere. So, without further ado…

 

Let’s Draw!

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Can’t find a ruler? You can make one by folding a piece of paper lengthways 3 or 4 times. This happens in workshops more often than you might think.

 

Start Simple

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You can use basic shapes and lines to make all kinds of characters!

Here’s a challenge – think about what your character is feeling. Are they happy, sad, confused? How can different facial features help to emphasise their personality? Have a go at making:

A friendly character

An evil character

A stylish alien character*

If you need some inspiration, you can use our selection of facial features below!

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*Maybe your alien could have multiple eyes/noses/mouths!
The above images are from Dundee Comic Creative Space’s ‘Let’s Make Comics’. Artwork by Rebecca Horner.

Digital Comics Club: Week 1!

And so, it begins! DCCS HQ is closed, and the team are working from home. For our first week, we’re starting with some basics – the bread and butter of comics making, if you will. What goes into a comic? What is it made of? Our DCCS mascots will show you!

 

What Makes a Comic?

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What do you think happened to Hamish above?

Was he being chased by a dinosaur? Was he trying to escape the wrath of an angry sibling? Did he get scared by the sound of the washing machine? Also, more importantly, how did he escape?!

It’s completely up to you! As the artist, you control what is seen and what is left to the imagination. You can also control…

Panel shapes!

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As Caticorn*  points out, panels can be all shapes and sizes! How many panels do you want on a page? Do different shapes work better than others? What could a star panel be used for? Play around with different things, and have fun!

*Caticorn was designed by Sen, one of our young comics makers!
These above images are from Dundee Comic Creative Space’s ‘Let’s Make Comics’. Artwork by Rebecca Horner.

Comics Club Spotlight

We are delighted to be this month’s featured comics club on new website comicsclub.blog

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comicsclub.blog is a site very much after our own hearts here at DCCS:

It is “dedicated to providing ideas and resources to comics clubs around the country, and to anyone who wants to join in with our ongoing project of Helping Awesome Kids Make Awesome Comics.

On this site we’ll be posting regular monthly Comics Challenges – activities and worksheets that can be used by anyone as a spur to getting kids writing, drawing, reading and making.

comicsclub.blog is a project by Neill Cameron and Hannah Sackett, with technical assistance from Sam Hardacre.”

Click on the links for more details!

CLAw reading lists

Literacy charity CLAw have issued a series of Recommended Reading Lists for comics readers. There are three lists for 8-11 year olds, 11-16 year olds, and 16+ year olds.

What is CLAw? From their website:

Comics Literacy Awareness (CLAw) is an exciting new literacy charity formed by a group of passionate and highly experienced trustees from the fields of education and comics.
The mission of CLAw is to dramatically improve the literacy levels of UK children through the medium of comics and graphic novels. CLAw will also aim to raise the profile, image and respectability of comics and graphic novels as both a valid art form and as works of literature.

They are also responsible for appointing Dave Gibbons as the first Comics Laureate to “to act as an ambassador for comics and their potential to improve literacy.”