Fundamentals of Graphic Novel Creation - Pro Tips






In this course students will complete one to two comic pages based off of a story of their choice using the principles learned in class.  These pages will be completed using knowledge gained from critiques and demos given by the instructor in class.  This course will begin with drawing a clothed figure model in theatrical fantasy themed costume to learn drawing fundamentals of anatomy and perspective.  The instructor will also give demos on how to draw from memory and demonstrate how to incorporate these principles of life drawing into character design.  Students will learn the different mediums available for creating comics and how to utilize photoshop as an ink and color tool. The second half of the course will enable students to create their own scripts and turn them into a panel based off of a thumbs.  Then the students will work to improve the flow of their scripts and thumbs as the class works together to carry their work from a rough draft into a final product.  Each student will work on their own independent project and will get personalized instruction as to how to improve their project. Through completing the assigned tasks students will gain a better understanding of what it takes to be a professional artist working in entertainment design and comics.



Throughout the workshop the instructor will provide a list of resources students can take advantage of if they are interested

in pursuing sequential art and will also answer any industry specific questions.





Sequential Art and the Graphic Novel -


“ An Introduciton to the fundamentals of Comic book Pencilling and Sequential storytelling “


Week 1 - Students will draw from the model, and be encouraged to create a character based off of their life drawings of said model. The model will be dressed in a theatrical fantasy themed costume and students will be encouraged to stylize and I will go around and give individual feedback on drawing fundamentals, anatomy, perspective etc. This section of the class will last 1-1.5 hours. I will then give a two hour demo on how to draw from the memory and show how you incorporate the principles of life drawing into character design. 


Week 2 - The first hour we will again draw from the model. During the second half,  I will give a demo on how to break a script, and execute thumbnails based on the said script. I will encourage students to follow along with me and I will have them draw from the model during remainder of the class. Homework will include breaking down a script of the Poem “ Ozymandias” into a thumbnail and then to translate that thumbnail into a comic book page — again during the figure drawing phase I will go around and emphasize what students are doing right and what they should consider working on based on each individual students strengths and weaknesses as a draftsman —


Week 3 - We will begin class by going into an in-depth critique of each students work where we will offer CONSTRUCTIVE feedback on each persons page and I will give suggestions on how each student can elevate their work. We will then draw from the model again incorporating principles of figure drawing and perspective into the discussion. 


Week 4 - We will go over different mediums used in creating comics. and I will specifically be doing a demo to show how photoshop can be used as a powerful inking and coloring tool. I will go into the different hot keys you can utilize in photoshop and I will color in a figure as part of the demo. This will take up the bulk of the class, no model will be on hand for this session. I will then have students as homework go and select a story or script they wish to break down into a page. 



Week 5 - We will begin breaking down our respective scripts as a class and then I will do a demo where I draw a panel based off of a thumbnail I have completed. During the phase where we break down our scripts and thumb out our pages I will have the students tack their thumbs up on the wall at the end of class and we will go over each translation of said students script and give constructive critique to enhance the flow of each persons script. Home work will be to rough out the page and character sheet or pages  each student has elected to do for the course. 


Week 6 - We will begin class by tacking our roughs up on the wall and again giving a constructive critique of each persons rough. We will then break off and spend the remainder of class working on each persons individual pages. I will go around and assist the students in terms of providing direction and giving individual advice based on the progress of each student up to that point. Homework - Students will be encouraged to complete as much of their pages and/or character sheets as possible. 



Week 7 - Students will have some time in class to complete their pages. During the second half of class we will go through each others completed pages in a critique and offer a last round of constructive feedback based on each students individual work. Students will then be allowed to take their completed pages home along with a packet of literature provided by me on the fundamentals of graphic novel creation along with a greater understanding of what is required to do comics and concept art as a profession. 



Materials - Mechanical pencil, a pad of 11x17 bristol board, ruler, tape, flat drawing surface, and a sketch pad, kneaded eraser, drafting eraser, and charcoals for figure drawing


Fall II 2019


Fall II Saturday Afternoon Class

Instructor: James Beihl 

Time:  Saturdays, 2 - 5 PM

Start Date: November 23rd, 2019

Class Length: 4 weeks

Price: $255.00 (Model fee included. Prices are adjusted for late registrants)

Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Class size: 4-8

**Please check the class calendar for holiday closings and class schedules