Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Dispatch from CCS Summer Workshop!

Just a quickie as we're on our lunch break at the Center for Cartoon Studies summer workshop, the first of three this summer --

This group for the cartooning workshop is terrific; about 20 students, ages 13 to adult, and all into what they're doing. This is a remarkably focused group, too, so I've staggered today's exercises (all timed, to the stopwatch) to keep them drawing and cumulatively building upon each exercise to arrive at a few of the drawing skills they'll need for the Wednesday and Thursday intensive session with Robyn, Alec and Aaron (see last post).

This morning we tackled a three-panel, rotating comic drawing exercise, arriving at group (pairs) scripting of the completed three-panel comics with the clear goal of making the group laugh via the 'performance' reading of each comic. So, 20 short comic stories done by 11 AM!

We're now midway through a composite creature/character design exercise I cooked up last year that works well with almost every age group: each student builds a composite critter out of four timed (7 minute) sessions, taking a component from a randomly-chosen photo of a real world animal/plant/object from reference I provide. After the four rounds (each time working from a new reference source, thus a new animal/plant/object), they have an original 'composite critter' which they then refine via two or three stages of drawing -- reproportioning the elements, arriving at a character or creature they can comfortably draw and redraw.

After this lunch break, we'll be using those drawings to have each student sculpt a little Sculpy miniature of their creature, and using those as a reference point, rotate the creature/character in space and thus end up with a simple character sheet, with at least three views of their character from three different angles.

Then, on to the cover and splash page design and mockup exercises -- a full day ahead!

I'm sticking around after dinner, too, to show the group a pretty eclectic collection of short films and cartoons, the evening's entertainment -- then, off for home. Whew.

So, there you have it -- the short order CCS Tuesday Summer Comics Workshop overview. Three more days to go -- and lots of drawing and comics yet to be created from scratch!

Gotta run -- afternoon session begins in 20 minutes... and I've got my own lunch to eat...