Graphic Novel – 4 panel picturing

Assignment #1    We begin by exploring and identifying character traits – what these folks may look like at work – by profession. Fold a sheet of typing paper into 16 equal rectangles. Write your name on the back. Using a 2B writing pencil draw a border around each rectangle. At the top of each rectangle a different profession “title” such as “Barber”, “Snow Plow Driver”, “Grocery Check Out Clerk” will be written by a classmate. The first rectangle is for you. Write down a profession and pass the paper to your right until each person (additional 15 people) have added a different professional “title” to the top of a rectangle. Once complete return the page to it’s original owner.

Read each profession and draw a portrait (waist up) or that person “on the job”. Use a pencil. Draw only contour lines. No shading. You may add a “prop” or “uniform” details to support the profession – for example, a taxi driver will wear sun glasses, an iron worker will wear a hard hat and overalls, etc.

Fill in the portraits using colored pencil. Mix the colored pencils to provide rich color.

Complete the study by outlining the portraits with a black sharpie.

Assignment #2   Complete a creative writing story with the class – an 8 minute writing exercise using two lists of nouns (thing and place) and a preposition (see white board in class).

Create four panels on the next blank page in your sketchbook. Draw

  • one image in the first panel that begins your story
  • one image in the last panel that ends your story
  • and two additional images that move us through the story in the second and third panels.

Each cell needs to have simple dialogue, a background and foreground. Draw images using contour line (HB, B or 2B pencil). Once you are sure that the four cells are complete fill in each cell completely with colored pencil. Complete the page by outlining and adding details to your drawings.

Lesson inspired by Lynda Barry’s “Syllabus” and Frank Theatre, Mpls, MSAB Art s Learning residency, “FB”.