Saturday, January 24, 2015

Comics workshop with The Animation Chamber

The early evening scheduling of this comics workshop by Dubai's The Animation Chamber was very helpful in ensuring I would get to Maraya Art Centre in minimal time, given how thick traffic to Sharjah tends to later. The program plan was also perfect for me, since it focused on character design and strip development rather than drawing; I already took a course in comic drawing previously.

The workshop consisted of several short timer-limited exercises, beginning with a warm-up: each participant drawing one consecutive panel of blank strips being passed around in each turn.

Then came each participant's individual assignment: random selection of three descriptors each for two characters, prototyping each character, and reducing them to easily-drawn essentials repeated in different poses. It was a little tricky for me at first, as I only trained in the drawing of human faces, but I eventually adapted some of those techniques and kludged up something halfway decent.

After a much-needed break, we chose names for our characters (in my case, "Greta" for my wise hippo supermodel, and "Wilhelm" for my psychotic turtle psychotherapist) and got down to the final stretch of comic production: plot conception, storyboard planning, bordering, sketching and drawing. I was familiar with the idea of the one-page foldout format, but I had never actually created a comic using it, and was pleased with the result achieved in the limited time we were allotted. It was a fun workshop, considering how the 3 hours flew by, and I even got some practice in for my drawing hand after a long time.

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