Sunday, September 26, 2010

Drawing On Comics Week Four

Borrowing from the inestimable Ivan Brunetti, this week's first exercise in class was to draw as many comic/cartoon characters from memory as they could in fifteen minutes. Here's my relatively weak results. It's a fun exercise but harder than I expected, and the idea here was to show how characters can be recognizable even when they aren't reproduced exactly, and how in comics the visual image of a character is such an important part of who a character is, as well as how characters can accumulate baggage over time. The second exercise was to draw a comic developing a character using as many of these methods of revealing character as possible (I'd come up with most of these before class, but the students actually added a couple I hadn't specified):
1. General Appearance (costuming, facial features, etc)
2. Facial Expressions (Batman always seems to be scowling)
3. Mannerisms (body language, like Beatle Bailey's slouch)
4. Narration (usually third person, but not necessarily)
5. Dialogue (how the character speaks, like Rogues southern drawl)
6. Lettering (an alien's speech might be lettered differently)
7. Thought Bubbles
8. Actions (the character's behavior)
9. Reactions/Interaction (how the character responds to environment or other characters)
10. Reactions of other characters (how other characters respond to a character)
11. Coloring (Asterios Polyp is a good example of this)
12. Framing (how a character is framed within a panel, the adults in Peanuts being shown waist down, for example)
13. Style/line quality (how a character is drawn can make a big difference)


  1. I find it really interesting that a lot of your characters are from newspaper strips and superhero comic books. I don't know any kids that read either of those now. In the future, this exercise will have a lot of cartoon characters and virtually nothing else. That makes me kinda sad.

    Cool idea. Your Cyclops is especially rad.

  2. I am so jealous of your class.
    I am happy to just get a free piece though.
    Atleast slightly content...haha.


  3. my fave's milhouse. that looks like a really fun exercise!

  4. i don't think adults are ever pictured in peanuts at all. they're always off panel.

    muppet babies is an example, though (the striped stockings).


  5. That's a great exercise, I had to do the same. I love your Gargimel. You really captured each character, nicely done.