Creator’s Corner: Exercises in Cartooning: Week 5

I’m a writer, not an artist. But for the next 6 weeks, I’m going to be a cartoonist.

And you can join me on this journey–not only by seeing what I do, but by completing the exercises I do along with me.

*Note* To see Week 1’s adventures, click here, to see Week 2’s adventures, click here,  to see Week 3’s adventures, click here and to see Week 4’s adventures, click here.

The great cartoonist Ivan Brunetti, also a teacher of comics/cartooning, has a book that publishes his course; it is a 10 week “class” that has a few exercises for each week, some of which I might even use in my own graphic novel class.

I thought it’d be fun–especially since I’m a writer and need to challenge my skills as an artist–to run myself through his course and post each of my exercise on here.  So without further ado…

Exercise 5.1

At the top left corner of your paper, draw a face–adding only a nose and eye, along with an eyebrow above that eye.

Draw the same picture to the right of this one; continue this to the end of the paper.

Then, beneath the row (at the left side of the paper) draw a different eyebrow for that face. To the right of this one, draw a new face with a new eyebrow.  Continue this, every now and then duplicating the same drawing and eyebrow.

Create multiple rows for this (Brunetti had his whole page full but I only filled about 2/3 of the page).

In addition to practicing consistency, something other exercises have done, this exercise also shows how one small change can lead to a dynamic change in emotion.  Take a look at how I changed emotion with just a different eyebrow!

This week had a homework assignment (I don’t know why he differentiates between homework and exercise).  And to be honest, there have been other homework assignments I haven’t done (as a teacher, that seems hypocritical, but this course isn’t for a grade, just for my growth).

The assignment: create a 12, 16 or 24 panel strip, making each panel the same size.

For the story, use your childhood as inspiration, either thinking of a place meaningful to you, a person meaningful to you, or a memorable event.  You can add a caption for the title, but don’t add any other captions; this caption should be handwritten, not type-set.

My title is an homage to the Beach Boys song, and I also added a few images next to it to symbolize what the cartoon reveals about my interests and personality. Here’s mine, using my bedroom (the geek’s sanctuary) as the focus: