Monday, July 16, 2012

COMIX CLASS - Character design 101

This class was the token crowd pleaser, you know that everyone loves drawing characters, it's the best part! But boy, those kids were making me pull teeth to get them to stop talking about cruddy anime, and  just draw! It was time for me to put on my authoritative teacher hat on and use that voice I haven't had to use since my baby-sitting days. You know the one, your mom uses it when she starts to count to three. Anyway, hopefully I did some good this week and got their little brains thinking about shapes and consistency, which is really all I was going for.

So we started out with a handout about the use of col-erase (or other coloured pencils) to sketch with. They all got a col-erase pencil too, with a few colours to choose from (but mostly red, because that is MY favourite). Then, because I have a gaggle of anime girls, I had a handout that we talked about briefly detailing some anime/manga with good character design. I tried to warn my little ladies about the formulaic nature of manga, and how they need to think outside the box! We'll see if any of it sinks in, I know it took a long time for my manga-phase to peter out.

After the handouts we got down to BIDNIS. I had all my kids take some highlighters and cover a page with BLOBS.

This one I drew to cheer up one of my kids who was feeling a bit bummy after one of the other kids startled him.

Then they all passed to their right and had to make their neighbour's blobs into characters by adding features to the blobs with either markers or pencils or what have you. This is one of my favourite things to do when I'm in a rut, or when I just feel like doodling. It wasn't as popular with the kids as I'd hoped, but it was good for them. Made them stretch their little brains, even if they resented me for the exercise!

Our next activity was to make an exquisite corpse!! This was met with lukewarm enthusiasm, but ended up quite the crowd pleaser. At first all they did was criticize my english pronunciation of "corpse" which I had done on purpose not to be confusing, forgetting, of course, that all of them are currently taking french, and they wouldn't be confused at all.

We were going to make another round of corpses, but the kids had caught a glance of the last handout, and were too excited about what they saw, so we moved on! The last handout was full of ADVENTURE TIME! I found some character turnarounds from the pilot after a quick google image search, and used them as examples so the kids could create their own turnarounds! This was nice for me, I could let the kids talk and draw and not have to be the taskmaster. They just relaxed into it, and all of them created some pretty awesome designs! One of the girls has been reading Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks and drew something based on her favourite character. One of the boys didn't really feel like doing a turnaround, so he just drew his robot character and sidekick and coloured them with highlighters. One of my favourite kids (shh, don't tell them) has a character that is a shape shifting ball of slime, so he decided to draw a turnaround for a bunch of things his slime shifter changes into. like a car and an airplane and a hammer and a boomerang. SO CUTE.

And, due to popular request, Dr. Pop:

I'm losing at least one of my kids because she went off to camp, so there won't be any more appearances of Dr. Pop. But who knows, maybe he'll turn up in a book someday!

Next week I'm going to get the kids initiated into observational drawing! I'm expecting a significant drop in registration for this class, and a general lack of enthusiasm from the kids there, because when your imagination is as wild as theirs, why draw from real life? Also it is pretty difficult to do, but I have plans to break it down into very simple and easy exercises that should be pretty fun. I'm really looking forward to getting them drawing Blind Contours. That should make a pretty good blog post later!

And of course, the plug:

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1 comment:

  1. It took me a long time to get out of my anime/manga phase too! About six years...