Sunday, January 15, 2012

Autobiographical Comic Strips

Students in the 5th- 8th grades have been working on autobiographical comic strips over the past month or so.  We began by looking at the work of artist Heather McAdams. 

Based on the project Heather McAdams created for Spiral Workshop at UIC, Coonley students answered questions and selected a true story based on themes such as an animal encounter they exprienced, something they were afraid of, a moment of triumph, etc.

Next students learned about the word thumbnail sketch and panel, and they began laying out their story into panels (frames) and narration.    Some students wrote before drawing, and others drew the pictures first. Students continued to refine their ideas based on feedback from their peers and teacher, as they worked hard to communicate their story in pictures and words. 

Next, the students moved on to laying out their final panels on illustration board, leaving neat "gutters" (spaces) in between each panel.  They worked to make their drawings more detailed than the thumbnail sketches, and added backgrounds and more facial expressions to tell their story.  We talked about zooming in and out, and getting down to what is essential about each moment.   

Next up, students will learn to ink up their panels, using permanent marker, and building off of the skills they acquired when they practiced contour line drawing.  They will also learn how to shade (create different values) using only lines, and will apply that skill to some panels in their comic.

Next, students completed this worksheet to practice using lines to create value.  The more lines you gather together and the closer the lines are to each other, the darker the value (shade) appears to be. 

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