Some Drawing Class Results

I haven’t posted anything on my drawing classes for a while. That’s because most of the time I’m doing sketches or trying new things out (technique and working material related).

Many of the assignments we get are comic/picture book orientated, since these are the professor’s main preferences (he’s a comic artist). The first two semesters he likes to go on an excursion around the globe with us…Well at least in our sketchbooks 😉

Perhaps you remember my version of Harald, which I tried drawing digitally (by now I learned a lot). He is one of four characters with some given attributes I had to design. The basic plot for the whole semester is that these characters (and some professors/other students) go on a loooong trip. Everyone is heading east by the way. After a long train ride the group arrives in Odessa, a town in Ukraine, where a monumental stairway awaits to be conquered. Poor Harald sits in a wheelchair (given attribute) and accidentally someone lets him fall while going up the stairs! Here is my version of what happens next (format and panel number was given, western reading direction):


"Hey guys! Who's holding the wheelchair?!" These are Harald's last words before the shocking experience... Oh, and his brakes mysteriously broke 😉

Here's a close-up of the first panel.

This drawing exercise is supposed to make us find the best shots (like in story boards/movies) to depict Harald’s falling down the stairs. The trickiest part was to get by with only four panels! Action scenes in movies require a lot of different shots in order to create a feeling of speed. With only four panels one has to give some sort of an establishing shot, the action and the outcome. These are a lot of aspects to show on only two pages! As you can see I cheated just a little bit in the second panel by adding a tiny extra panel 🙂

Reverse Story Board

Here is a tip our drawing professor gave us concerning comics/manga:

If you want to improve your panels in a way that you show action more dramatically and/or well-placed, you should study some movies. Since every movie starts with a story board (basically a comic) you get a nice perspective on what’s possible and what works well for the artist (director). If you need some action panels analyze heavy action movies, if you need romance check out the sentimental section, and so on.

Here is a concrete exercise you can do (suggested by our professor): “The Reverse Story Board”

  • Pick a movie you like
  • Find an interesting part no longer than 2 minutes(action scenes are often full of cuts and exciting camera shots and scenes)
  • Now try to copy all scenes in your own story board including movement-arrows and notes on the camera work, zooms, special effects, music etc.
  • Don’t forget to use movie story board standards: all images in one and the same format (since screens don’t change their formats either), very clear drawing style, show only the key frames etc.

Here is an example for you: These are two pages of my “Resident Evil” reverse story board I made one year ago. It’s the part where Milla Jovovich is chased by the undead dogs 🙂

resident evil storyboard part 1

resident evil storyboard part 2

I used only black and grey markers (and a tiny bit sepia, too). There are notes on the technical stuff under the images and story relevant ones (including music and SFX) on the right. Notice that this is the European story board standard.