Comic and Graphic Novel Workshops at Portsmouth Library

Thanks to everyone who came along to the workshops at the Central Library in Portsmouth yesterday braving the rain and cold. I had a great time chatting to you about comics and drawing.

Key points:

  • Draw draw draw! Let your sketchbooks be an extension of your thoughts.
  • Ideas are all around you. You just need to keep your eyes and ears open to them. Talking with friends is always a good way to kickstart your imagination.
  • Don't get bogged down in the details. Comics require finished pages, so keep moving forward.
  • Share your work. Print your comics off a home printer or use a photocopier. The best way to break into comics is to make comics.

And as I mentioned, find a comic artist who resonates with you and look -- really look -- at how they layout a page. Where do they place heavy darks? When do they use thin lines? Why do they put the figures where they put them? Sketch out a really dynamic page from a comic you love and try to figure out the decisions that were taken to make the final page.

And most importantly, keep at it. The most important trait an artist can have is not talent, but tenacity. The most talented artist in the world might be a complete unknown because he or she gave up. The people who create the books you read are the ones who've learned to deal with rejection and don't let anything or anyone stop them from creating.

Best of luck to you all and I can't wait to see the comics you produce.


Some useful books:

Comics How-tos -

How To Draw Comics the Marvel Way - Stan Lee and John Buscema
Understanding Comics -  Scott McCloud

Drawing -

How to Think When You Draw - The Etherington Brothers
Drawing the Head and Figure - Jack Hamm

(For figure drawing, there are a lot of books on the market. The best way to find the right book for you is probably to browse the Art section of a bookstore. Everyone learns differently, so if one author's approach doesn't make sense to you, then don't worry, just find another who does.)


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  2. Thank you for hosting this workshop! It seemed like a pretty informative workshop for my son, as he is an absolute fan of comics and graphics. And he wanted to become a comic artist as well so he dragged me to this workshop with him amid my economic dissertation help, but anyways I had fun. He has learned a lot and has been drawing comics since. Good wishes!

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