Sunday, February 16, 2014

Manga Art Class One: Getting Started

 “Practice doesn’t make perfect. It makes you really good.”

That’s an awesome quote from one of my young students. And this is the post I promised to write about the art class! :)

The first class with the kids was a lot fun. I’m still trying to get my bearings and see what’s best for them. One thing is for sure, all of these kids are very bright and talented. By the end of class, I realized that I needed to make my next class about more then just the technique of shading--they want to draw manga and I need to add more about the anatomy of manga characters than I had planned.

So here’s the class assignments:


Blind drawings: Draw this lamp in your sketchbook (just the lamp, not the background). But when you draw it, DO NOT look at the paper you are drawing on or use your eraser. Try to draw as many details as you can. (This exercise can work with any object. I chose the lamp because it’s easy to adjust it into different positions.)

Upside-down drawing: Unfortunately I can’t post the picture I used for this exercise because it’s copyrighted. But just Google “chibi anime character line drawing” and you’ll have plenty of options.

After printing the line drawing, turn the picture upside down. The challenge is to look at the upside down picture and then draw it on your paper upside down.
(I had to do this in my art classes. It’s challenging, but it really helps with the hand/eye coordination!)

Manga-ka (The following stuff is very manga art related)

Your favorite food: Draw yourself eating your favorite food. (very simple storytelling)

Introduction to eyes: Copy these eyes.

For the last 30 minutes of class, I had them create a custom cover for their sketchbooks. It’s simple to do: Glue a piece of white card stock to the front, trim off the edges, and then draw whatever you want on the cover. Use your imagination!

Homework: Draw two of your favorite objects.

Next class, we’re going over drawing anime eyes and expressions with eyes in more detail. And a little bit about shading.

This may seem like a lot of stuff, but we did all of this in less than an hour and a half at a very easy pace. I made sure the kids were done before moving on to next thing, and I didn’t rush them. They draw fast!

I can understand why schools don’t give children high quality, professional grade coloring tools (they’re expensive), but I think young students are really missing out when they don’t have the opportunity to give them a try.

For example, I allowed my class to use my Copic markers. When one of the students (who’s in 4th grade,btw) used a Copic marker to color in a drawing she made on the cover of her sketchbook, she was like, “Whoa! Where did you get these markers? They’re GREAT!”

Sure beats those washables.

I also let them use my Prismacolor color pencils with no regrets.

My next class will be in two weeks, so I’m really looking forwards to that and posting the lesson up for anyone who wants to follow along.  ^_^

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