I have been a big fan of Skillshare since I first discovered it a few years ago. It's a fun place to go for inspiration, although I do find that I watch more classes than I actively participate in. It was Christine Fleming's series of classes on Skillshare that first gave me the idea that I could actually write or illustrate my own children's picture book. I have watched her class on picture book writing and illustration and any time she posts new illustration classes I'm always interested to hear what she has to say.
So over the holidays I joined a two-week Drawing Comics Challenge to go along with Christine's class "Drawing Comics: Storytelling with Words and Pictures." The challenge was to create a one page comic of a childhood memory. As expected, I didn't make it all the way through the challenge over the two week period. I knew that the holidays would get in the way, but I thought it was worth doing even if I had to do it on my own schedule. It turns out my schedule is more in line with the two month track and I'm still working on my comic. But, I have had a lot of fun going through the steps of designing the layout and then choosing which moments to illustrate and how to frame them to best tell the story.
One Page Comic Process
The first step was to choose a childhood memory. I chose to base my comic on a memory of a close encounter I had with an alligator while fishing with my grandpa. The second step was to write down what happened in the memory and choose only the parts of the story that are most important since those parts will become the panels of your comic.
Next the panels were laid out based on the content that will be needed using the story as a guide.
With the layout and story all mapped out it was time to move forward with sketching. I did several thumbnail sketches to try to determine what illustrations would go in each panel. This thumbnail was my favorite:
Once I was happy with the content of the panels in my thumbnails I moved forward with doing a full-sized sketch with my panels drawn on 8.5 x 11 in paper.
The last steps of the project are to do a refined sketch and then ink and color if you would like to. I haven't gotten to those yet and I obviously still need to add my text, but stay tuned. I'll post the finished product soon. If this looks like fun, head over to Skillshare and take Christine Fleming's class to learn her process for making your own one page comic.