Monday, September 12, 2016

Project 4 - Character Comic 1 - Character's Normal

Establish the Character’s “normal”

Choose a character or characters to introduce to your reader in a 4 to 6-page comic. Using deliberate shots, background details, character actions, and exposition, establish the “normal” world in which that character lives, and the relationships they have with other characters. Somewhere in the story, the character’s “normal” world should be disrupted by an event that sets a future plot in motion.

Comic 1 is due 10/4

Project 2 – Comic Project Presentation

Project 2 – Comic Project Presentation

Create a brief 5 to 7-minute presentation about your ideal comic project for the semester. Include sketches, finished art, old drawings, notes, a brief synopsis of the story and characters, and a one to two-sentence elevator pitch for your comic.

Begin your presentation with a title slide that contains artwork and the elevator pitch. Think about the screenplay synopsis for “Back to the Future.”

SCRIPT SYNOPSIS: Eighties teenager Marty McFly is accidentally sent back in time to 1955, inadvertently disrupting his parents’ first meeting and attracting his mother’s romantic interest. Marty must repair the damage to history by rekindling his parents’ romance and – with the help of his eccentric inventor friend Doc Brown – return to 1985.

The rest of the presentation can be organized in whatever way you feel works best, but must include a more detailed story synopsis, character images and descriptions, inspirational images, and a conclusion.

You may include two different potential comic projects for the semester in your presentation, but cannot exceed 7 minutes.

Comic Project Presentation is due 9/13

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Project 8 – “A River Runs Through It” GPAC Collaborative Show

Create a narrative sequence (a comic!) based on the theme of “A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT.”

GPAC Creative position statement:
Smetana: “The Moldau”
Virgil Thomson: “The River”
Schumann: Symphony No. 3 “Rhenish”
The Mississippi created the mid-South. With this concert, we pay tribute to the world’s great rivers, which have shaped human history and inspired musicians for centuries. We open with Smetana’s “The Moldau,” one of the most haunting river pieces ever composed. It conveys the centrality of the river to the Czech composer’s Bohemian national pride. The heart of the program is inspired by the great Mississippi: Virgil Thomson’s infectiously tuneful “The River,” was written for a WPA documentary. Each movement, based on a traditional hymn, depicts the river’s impact on the region. The Rhine, and the life on its banks, courses through every movement of Schumann’s great “Rhenish” Symphony. The program closes with Johann Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz,” a love song to the river that begins its journey in the Black Forest of Germany and flows through the European gems of Budapest and Vienna before emptying into the Black Sea.

Just as the great rivers of the world have inspired the world’s great composers, so many of the world’s great artists have drawn inspiration from music.

The comics created will be used to populate the lobby gallery for the upcoming Germantown Performing Arts season. Utilizing the chosen work of MCA students, GPAC wants to connect their lobby/gallery space to the musical theme of “water” and engage the audience with interesting and evocative imagery for their 2017 season. For example, using our own Mississippi River as a metaphor for water.

-        The goal of the work is to create a thematic metaphor for water or the properties of water. The use of symbology is encouraged to interpret the music and create an engaging image. (see key words and links)
-        The medium is up to you and can be executed utilizing and building on your strengths. The format must be consistent and presented in a unified way.
-        The image must have great visual impact.
-        Flap and present professionally.

17”x22” portrait in black and white or full color with a clean 2” border all the way around – creating a live area of 13”x18.” This should be treated as one large comic page.
- Students working digitally should work at size or larger, reducing the image for print.
- Students working traditionally should work at half size (roughly 11x17) and scanned at 600 dpi or more.
- Students whose work is chosen for exhibition must print out their own pieces to be framed. Epson paper will be provided for digital prints on 17”x22” paper.
- In addition to the illustration, all progress is to be recorded in 5”x9” tan moleskins, to be included in the   show. Progress will also be recorded digitally on a dedicated folder on the server.

9/29         Check Progress on River Comic (Thumbnails should be complete)

10/20      River Comic should be completely penciled

11/8         River Comic is finished!

Ideas and References Links
Key Words:
Floating, raft, wheel boat, Mississippi, Danube, Rhine River, waterfall, water, river, lake, Mightiness of the water – floods, etc.
Water activities (canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and sailing)
Exercise (walking, jogging, running, and biking)
Family time (picnicking, kite flying, and model airplane flying)
Relaxation (reading, painting, meditating)

How to draw a water drop

Drawing Water, Diane Wright

How to Draw Calm Water

Suggested artists:
Vladimir Kush, John Nash, Grant Wood, Maxfield Parrish, Jacek Yerba, Thomas Hart Benton

River Heritage posters:

Project 3 - Character Form (x6)

Prepare a Character Form for each of your main characters. 

This includes the following for EACH character:

1. One model sheet. The model sheet should contain the character’s name and basic statistics, show the character in at least 3 poses (front, side, back) and at least 5 expression studies (these may be head only). The model sheet should conform to either an 8.5x11 or 11x17 document for ease of printing.

* Model sheets should show front, side, back, three quarter front, optional - three quarter rear, and 5-10 facial expressions.

* Character’s name, age, occupation, and a brief character description should appear on the model sheet.

2. Fill out the very long questionnaire attached to this syllabus (some questions may not apply to your character, but try to answer as many as you can in depth) It is preferred that you retype the questions and answer them.

3. One 250-word summary of the character

4. Copies of the sketches and writings used to generate the character

Compile one final profile sheet that contains one front view of each of your characters side by side, then duplicate this image and reduce the characters to silhouettes.

9/20         Character Forms for Characters 1 and 2 are due

10/11      Character Forms for Characters 3 and 4 are due

11/1         Character Forms for Characters 5 and 6 are due


Full Name:
- Reason or meaning of name:
- Reason or meaning of name:

Age and appearance (i.e. looks older or younger than age)
Relevant information regarding gender (i.e. identity, preferred pronouns, etc.)
Ethnicity/cultural identity
Eye Color:
- Glasses or contacts:
Type of body/build:
Shape of face:
Distinguishing Marks:
Predominant feature:
Looks like:
Describe their diet:
Describe their sleep habits:
Is character healthy?
- why or why not?


Smokes: What? When and how much?
Drinks: What? When and how much?
Hobbies: What? When and how much?

Type of childhood:
First memory:
Most important childhood event that still affects character: Why?
Socioeconomic Level as a child:
Socioeconomic Level as an adult:

Parent or Parents:
Relationship to them:
Siblings: How many?
Birth order:
Relationship with each:
Children of siblings:

Most at ease when:
Not at ease when:
How character feels about self:
Past failure character would be embarrassed to have people know about: Why?
If granted one wish, what would it be? Why?

Greatest source of strength in character's personality (whether character sees it as such or not):
Greatest source of weakness in character's personality (whether character sees it as such or not):
Character's soft spot:
Is this soft spot obvious to others?
If not, how does character hide it?
Biggest vulnerability:

Leader or Follower?
Optimist or pessimist?
- Why?
Introvert or extrovert?
- Why?
Generous or stingy?
- Why?
Polite or rude?
- Why?
Judgmental or empathetic?
- Why?

Drives and motivations:
Extremely skilled at:
Extremely unskilled at:
Biggest regret:
A minor regret:
Biggest accomplishment:
A minor accomplishment:
Character's darkest secret:
Does anyone else know?
If yes, did character tell them?
If no, how did they find out?
How does the character deal with anger?
How does the character deal with sadness?
How does the character deal with conflict?
How does the character deal with change?
How does the character deal with loss?
What would the character like to change in his/her life?
What frightens this character?
What makes this character happy?

Spiritual or Religious?

One word character would use to describe self:
One paragraph description of how character would describe self:
What does character consider best physical characteristic?
What does character consider worst physical characteristic?
Are these realistic assessments? If not, why not?
How character thinks others perceive him/her:
What four things would character most like to change about self?
- Why?
If any of these changes were made, would character be as happy as s/he thinks?
If not, why not?

How does character relate to others?
How is character perceived by:
- Strangers?
- Friends?
- Spouse/Lover?
First impression:
- Why?
What happens to change this perception?
What do family/friends like most about character?
What do family/friends like least about character?

Immediate goals:
Long range goals:
How does character plan to accomplish these goals?
How will other characters be affected?

Favorite clothing:
- Why?
Least favorite clothing:
- Why?
Other accessories:
Where does character live?
Where does character want to live?
What does character do too much of?
What does character do too little of?
Most prized possession:
- Why?
Person character secretly admires:
- Why?
Person character was most influenced by:
- Why?

Additional Notes on This Character:

Having trouble?
Think about the exercises in visual character design we did in class. Select the most successful to develop into a more fully realized character.

Write for 20 minutes about this character. Who are they? What is their background? What does this character think about first thing in the morning, and just before falling asleep at night? What are this their favorite and least favorite things? Write in the stream-of-consciousness—don't worry about grammar, or spelling, or making complete sentences, just get the ideas down as quickly as you can. Do not stop writing for the entire 20 minutes, even if you think you've run out of things to say.

Review what you have written. Underline or make note of the best parts. Write down five story ideas based on what you wrote. Consider your original drawing. Should the design change, now that you know more about this character?

Next, write an account of a relatively typical day for this character, from waking up to falling back asleep. Make notes of any story ideas that occur to you during this process.