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~ Marek ~

Make Your Own Character on Sunday Morning

Objectives:

  • Learn how your favorite professional artists draw
  • Create your own character from found body parts (cartoons, of course!)

Here’s how Andrew Wales teaches his elementary-age students to observe and explore the Sunday comics pages in their local newspaper:

  1. Flip through the Sunday comics pages.  Notice which strips catch your eye.  What about them attracts your attention?  (Look at composition, shape, color, line weight, subject matter, etc.)
  2. Pick a body part of one of the characters you noticed in step 1.  It could be an eye, an ear, a nose, a mouth, a hand, or another body part.  (Most artists like to start with the eyes, or another part of the face.)
  3. Draw that body part on a blank piece of paper.  Draw only that one part; don’t draw the rest of the character! 
  4. Pick a part from a different character in a different strip. 
  5. Add that part to the part you drew in step 3.
  6. Wander around the comics page in this way, assembling parts until your new character comes together.  It won’t look anything like the characters in the comics page, but it will look somewhat familiar because you borrowed all those parts.  You’ll learn a lot from each artist whose work you copy.  In fact, you might want to write down where each part came from, so you can explain your choices later!
  7. Develop your character, with a name, a “back-story”, a setting, other characters, and so on.  You can make this first drawing into a poster or a splash page.
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