Back to the drawing school – Weeks 3 and 4

A sketch from the sequence i produced at school on week three
This drawing isn’t of me but it sums up the best part of the last fortnight

It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at Corporate Crayon HQ, so apologies for the delay. I know you are eager to see more drawings of quality emerge from my evenings at The Royal Drawing School. It’s been a real ‘YAY! – BOOOO’ fortnight. The biggest yay being we had our most excellent friends, the Dowlings, come and stay for the weekend so no time for drawing practice or blog writing. I’ve had no time to draw for fun either as I have been wrestling HTML coding whilst designing some email newsletters for a client.

Drawing my first sequence

I forgot to check the class Dropbox before last week’s class and so failed to bring to class my notes on Isabel from week one, which meant I had to make up some stuff tonight. We created our first drawing sequences which although challenging, was more fun than I thought it would be. It was a very natural progression from last week’s exercise of drawing the beginning, middle and end scenes of a film posed by Tom and Lydia. This week, we used the story of how and why we came to be on the course. I heard Isabel’s story on Week One. I can barely remember what someone tells me half an hour previous, so without notes I was doomed to falsely recreating Isabel’s true reasons for attendance.

The smaller the better, I find

I have discovered that I love drawing on small pieces of paper. Really small pieces – an eighth of a sheet of A4. We had six of these panels and given five minutes per sketch. We first drew the end of the story:

This is an excellent likeness to Isabel entering the classroom 4 weeks ago. I’m already there, at the table. Sitting in the middle…

We then sketched a drawing for the very beginning of the story:

The first panel shows Isabel working at the British Museum
I remember that Isabel has a cool job. She is a curator in the drawing room at The British Museum.

Then a drawing to illustrate the middle of the story:

Isabel doodles during her lunch break
How I imagine Isabel spends her lunch hours. OR, I’ve just cut to a scene of Brian May taking a break from teaching music in a local school.

I am feeling more confident with my quick scribble sketches. The more I do, the more I let go of this feeling that my drawings must be perfect from the very first sketch. Of course, this is far from the goal of what a ‘sketch’ is seeking to achieve.

We had three pieces of paper left and we used these to fill in the gaps between the beginning, middle and end.

Here is my final collection of drawings:

isabel's story of getting to drawing-school

This is the story of Isabel, the Doodle Queen! Beano, here I come!!

The homework challenge

I don’t usually share my homework with you, but this week it was interesting, I learnt a lot and I found the result fairly amusing.

We were given a simple stickman drawing. Here’s mine:

A simple sketch of two stickmen is the catalyst for my homework
I had to turn this one scene into a sequence of 12.

My challenge is create a sequence of 12 drawings. The first and last drawings to be an exact replica of this drawing except I can split the text between the first and last drawing. The drawings in between must tell a story but I cannot use words, add more characters, take characters away, zoom in or add to the scene.



Emotional stick people

this is a 12 drawing sequence depicting the emotions of a stick couple
The highs and lows of a stick couple.

It was fun drawing these little scenes because it made me think about simple facial expressions and how to draw them. We really can and do say so much wth our faces and gestures and the richness of this type of communication translates so well into comic book style drawings.

Getting personal

We move swiftly to week four at the drawing school now. We take our experience of drawing sequences this week and apply to our story that means something to us. Tasked with taking in a photo that means something, I was torn between these two:

Two photos of Henry and Evie being incredibly sweet with each other. Ahhhhhh

Why these photos? Well one of my many worries about having children so very close to one another is how they would get along together. These photos capture two moments of joyous love between them. On the left I think Evie is just six months old. This is the age Henry actually noticed her, I think, and began taking an interest in what she does. The second photo was taken on holiday in June this year. Evie was not yet walking independently and it was very sweet watching her big brother carefully guide her towards the water so she could experience the sea on her toes for the very first time. That or he saw a massive shark and thought “this is my chance to get rid of her!!”

I chose the second photo because I could remember more about it as was much more recent than the first. We talked about our photos in small groups and we asked one another many questions about our photos which helped jog one’s memory about all that happened at that moment.

Turning a memory into a sequence of drawings

Using these prompts, we took 16 small piece of paper and was given just 30 minutes to draw out our memory in scenes. After putting our drawings together in a sequence, we were permitted to add a few words to string the story together.

Here’s my final drawing, in it’s rawest format:

An 8 page sequence of family on the beach on holiday
This is the story of our first family holiday abroad. The first evening we were there, we took the kids for an evening walk along the beach. It’s was idyllic…until we had to leave the beach.
a sequence of eight drawings depicting Evie's strive for freedom
The kids did NOT want to leave. Evie got so upset, we let her crawl up the promenade. Thought she would turn around at some point, see how far away we were and freak.


Development, 5 weeks in

I’ve done a few evening courses in my adult years. Some were short, like this one and others took me years. What stands out for me and this course is how well it is paced. Nothing is arbitrary and everything we practice in one lesson is revisited and expanded in the next. It feels like it flows as one continuous chain of learning rather than ten building blocks just stacked on top of one another.

If you have an interest in graphic novels, comics, story-telling, drawing or even just getting your brain working in an entirely new way, I’d highly recommend looking into this course.

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