Draw a Comic from your Daily Life | Yana Knight | Skillshare

Draw a Comic from your Daily Life

Yana Knight, Story of Yana

Draw a Comic from your Daily Life

Yana Knight, Story of Yana

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11 Lessons (46m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Books for Inspiration

    • 4. Exercise: hippo

    • 5. Exercise: blind shark

    • 6. Exercise: Parrot

    • 7. What happened in the last 24hrs?

    • 8. Story 1: Skiing on pizza boxes

    • 9. Story 2: Shepherd’s pie meets shark

    • 10. Adding Colour

    • 11. Over to you! Project and further ideas

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About This Class

Would you like to draw comics and stories but don't know where to even start? How about starting with your life? Anything that happens in our day to day lives, good or bad, seemingly boring or exciting, any discoveries, ideas, events, characters, situations, no matter how small — all provide perfect material that can be transformed into comics and stories. In this class I want to show you some ways of transforming such experiences, encounters, observations into comics, cartoons and stories and how much can be learnt in this process about yourself, your life and your creativity.

This class is for any level, even if you've never picked up a pencil in your life (quite rare as pencils are hard to avoid and so if you have managed, please tell me how!) or a super experienced artist looking for new ideas..

We'll start with a few fun and simple drawing exercises, including drawing without looking at the paper, drawing with your eyes closed, timed drawing etc. During this warm up I'll also give you a few helpful tips and techniques so you can easily jump into the cartoon part of this experience.

Then we'll turn to creating a short, simply drawn cartoon, frame by frame, based on your daily experiences with a healthy portion of humour, imagination and a few surprising twists and turns. I'll be guiding you through this part, and creating alongside. Advance warning: this part will involve lots of laughter!

You'll leave this class with a bunch of drawings and a short cartoon story which can get you started on this highly addictive adventure and who knows, maybe even bring about some unexpected changes in daily life... Join in and welcome!!!


Meet Your Teacher

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Yana Knight

Story of Yana



Hi, I'm Yana

a multidisciplinary artist and educator living and working in Brussels, Belgium. My work is in the collection of the Museum of Spontaneous Art in Brussels, the Russian Cultural Centre of Belgium and has been featured in the Dutch Design Week. I'm an associate member at the NYC Society of Illustrators and a member of National Cartoonists Society.



My work is inspired by the ordinary and extraordinary experience of living a life, often with a playful, humorous and absurd streak. It emphasises experimentation and diverse materials, from traditional oils and watercolours to crushed autumn leaves and chocolate sweets wrappers.



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1. Welcome!: Hello and feel very welcome in this class on drawing comics from our daily lives. Here we're going to talk about how to transform things that happen to you every day. The idea is that discoveries, your observations, the characters you come across, how to take all that, that happens, just day-to-day situations and transform it into art. How that can become material for us to play with. And we're going to approach the super playful way. So we're going to start with some exercises drawing hippos and parrots and a blind chart. And then we're gonna move on to doing a couple of simple stories that come from stuff that just kind of happens in our daily reality, stuff that we notice and what you're going to see, how we can take it further. So it's a super playful class. You don't need any prerequisites really or any fancy materials. You can just jump in, have fun and play and see where the story takes us. And the fun thing is that is the inspiration for the things we're going to be making for the stories. Just going to come from our everyday lives and that's something that everybody has. So there really is no special requirements except for being a bit of attention to things that happened to you. And so if you have a pencil and if you have a few sheets of paper, jumpin and let's play. 2. Materials: Okay, so we just start with the materials and let's have a look what we have for the class. Well, we don't need any fancy things, of course. So I would suggest using obviously some kind of paper to draw on. Personally, I'm going to use for this class. They cancel that the 300 grams, but it doesn't have to be that thick at all, especially if you're not using watercolor, then just don't worry about it at all. But I'm going to just use it because I kinda like the texture of the paper and it's a nice format. Of course, the other option would be just to use a sketchbook, which is what I normally actually use. This kind of Sketchbook. Super simple, you know, it's really nothing too fancy. This is to show you an example. So I have my own work. So basically, that's what I normally use for my own purposes, as easy to port to carry out for us. It's kind of handy. And for the brainstorming part, we're going to use an actually for the drawing if you prefer it also we could, we could use just a standard normal lines paper which I really like action. So here we can jot down all of our brainstorm on this site, for example. And here we can already start drawing if you like this kind of texture. If it appeals to you, if you prefer just something claim then yeah, old watercolor paper will do just fine. And the other thing is, of course, we're going to need his pants. And again, I don't use anything particularly fancy here just to meet girls or unique thing. And I have them in different sizes. So like 0.60.8 and have really tiny 1.500. So if we find that details and that's really it, acute not gonna need anything more fancy than that except for we're going to need a timer. But that you can use the one that comes with your phone. Of course, I'm going to use the one that comes on my iPad. So this one here because I'm filming on my findings. And alternatively, as an alternative option for supplies, we could also use some water colors. So to show you mine, I'm using this kind of water brush and things to not have to carry water, especially from working outside in the garden like I am now. But otherwise, you don't need the watercolors either. So you could actually potentially do it just with the lined paper, notebook and a few of these paths. The other thing that I want to suggest to you all say is a notebook, which I'm going to talk about a little bit more. But this is just again, a plain, simple notebook list to carry around with you more than anything. And to jot down your ideas, observations, things that happen, things you notice, basically recording tool of some sort. So you're just carry that with like a pen. Sorry, Let's move on. 3. Books for Inspiration: And then additional show you two other books that really I find very inspiring. So this one is making comics by Linda very short of my heroes. And what the work I did with kind of loosely based on similar approach. So this includes having which talks about it as a daily diary that you keep 20 minutes a day. And I have my own sort of modified version of this, but it's sort of based off of these ideas. And the way she talks about that, there are many variations. So you're going to have any ways that you can keep your daily diary instead of the my longest, none of them are shorter. And but the one that I kind of I'm going I'm going to show you something that works for me. So it's a little bit different from this, but it was a hugely inspiring book for me anyway. And the other one is the, this one, the cartooning book. That's another one that I talked about, the lessons. Because if for quick drawings, for a tiny drawings for kind of exercises with cartooning. Super invaluable ready. Yeah, these are just a couple of books that will inspire naked. And then just for you to see a few of my own sketches. So this basically this is the style that I yet I've been doing and they're the best fit. So you have got a quick sketches every day. I don't spend a lot time on this at all actually. So just a few minutes on each. And sometimes it follows a story, somebody who doesn't, like in this case here, from one day it actually follow it actual story. Whereas here I just kind of a collection. A few things that happened that day saying here. So so yeah, that's just for you to see what options are available. And I didn't use it to them in worklist. So for example, if you look at my previous drawings some time ago, they would just pen on paper. And I still prefer actually sometimes doing it that way. But recently, you know, things evolve. So I have been doing them in watercolors. 4. Exercise: hippo: So in this first exercise, we're just going to sketch friendly hippo here. But we're not going to look at the paper always getting him. So we're just going to look at the heap and not on the paper. And that liberates your attachment to result. So you don't constantly check, is it correct acids? Is it how I want it to be? You just look at the object on your hand follows the paper. So to achieve this arms, you're going to set my timer for one minute just to give myself some time limit and reduce spent a whole day indulging in this HIPAA because it is tempting. It's crazy. I'm sitting in for one minute and I'm stuffing and I'm not looking at all of my paper. And then I, in some cases, if you want to move your pencil, you could look only then, for example, when you maybe didn't trust it moves. But I'm not going to do it properly. Then the other thing that I'm going to do is try to take my time at are those him? Russia. It's been going on for a minute, but that's plenty of time to get the main shapes and the main sort of distinctive features of the Hippy Caught signals here. But I wanted to get it good to worry too much if you do manage to get everything in. And the results are going to be quite funny. Of course, don't expect a masterpiece here. I'm very ready first, just looking at the shapes. So following his car, for example, my I just fall is the content of whatever is basically what I'm doing and upset. You can hear the timer. We have done. So right now I'm going to reveal the wonderful results. That's basically what the hippopotamus looks like. It's not so bad. I'm gonna put them side-by-side. Going managed to capture quite a few features here. And it looks really funny. And it's definitely not a boring book buttons yet. So there you go. That's the first exercise. Let's move on. 5. Exercise: blind shark: Okay, so for this next one, I'm going to close my eyes and I'm going to draw a shark. And again, I'm going to give myself some time to do this. So I don't see the spent all day ordered to quickly. And actually, I'm gonna give myself 30 seconds for this order. It's not so complicated. And you can draw any object, basically because you're drawing from imagination right now. So it doesn't really matter. You can pick anything you like, but I'm going to draw a shark. So I put my timer on start. And good luck. There we go. That's my start with bicyclist. Bit. Better. Again, it's an exercise. Do you exercise your imagination excellently? Will be surprised how many things we already know how to draw kind of instinctively. But with your eyes closed, you don't have so much control. So funny creatures happen. One interesting, but notice how I have they slow things there, which is supposed to be his fins. I think that they're normally, but I tried to draw them somewhere and because numerically. So it ended up like this, but it's more fun, I think so. Okay, next exercise. 6. Exercise: Parrot: Now this one is one of my favorites, is actually based on an exercise alerts in the book I can leave your reference. 880 is pertinent book. I have a slightly modified and then I really liked this one because it's about drawing the same object over and over again, but in less than a list type. So let's check. I'm just going to divide my page six frames. So something like, and I am going to draw this object which is a pirate. In the beginning. I'm gonna do it in one minute. Then I'm going to reduce 45 seconds, 30 seconds, etcetera, etcetera. So each time I'm going to have to do it quicker and quicker. And again, I'm going to tighten everything we did before. So make sure you she's kind of like a simple logic, I think because if it's too complicated to just kind of blow your mind of it. Okay. So this is the parent's going to Stanford. Yeah. I am setting my timer now. And initially one minute. Okay, it's starts it. And in the first square that so I'm going to do my desk to draw disparity. Karen, look at the paper and the parity. Fewer. Different exercise isn't lettering. And just try to capture kinda like whatever interests me about this parrots because I know I didn't have much time to maybe do everything. So I have to focus on something. And it's cool, of course, if you get out of it already in one minute, it's not an easy task. Two, you can encapsulate all, but I'm just trying to get as well and they can be continued. That's my parents for one minute. Now. I'm going to set it to 45 seconds, and I'm going to do exactly the same parity in less time t here. And you already know even as little time as they had before. So we're going to have to go at the same time. We also know that I know the topic, the subject, and loaded that up. So it might in some sense be easier the second time. I think it is. Okay. I can also see that actually the parent is becoming a bit more interesting. Okay? So, you know, there's something interesting coming out from him now. Okay. Now, I am doing in, in thirty-seconds, maybe getting braver and breathe. So 30-second part. It'll erase. I know I didn't need I don't have much time here. Like so what's what's important is to get in to heat them. Now, I will do 15 seconds. Going from node 15 second, third, He's turned into a crime scene. It's getting tougher and tougher. I will do. It sounds like a static. This is still tell, it's still pretty obvious. Okay, and now for the Kynar, are we doing a 5 second fact? So the five separate word is usually the photos don't. But you know, somewhere in between those pairs, there are some really cool characters. Look for the police when I really like the personality of this would have come out probably right, if I just set out to draw the parallel, like I didn't say here, even the time restrictions, you go boring. He is, he sort of got more details. Behavior looks really boring, whereas this one's got personality. Look at his eye, his kind of like angry, maybe he's up to something, something's happening. And even the second one is, in his abstract way, is kind of funky and more interesting as a personality. But I think that this would probably my absolute favorite. That's something you could work with the character in your comic. Someone, somebody you can actually use professionally smelling a comic. So you know, that's a way to discover really fun drawing characters. This, and those are what we did before with the hippo and the shark. It's just a way to find interesting characters in very familiar objects, objects, animals, and it's kind of things. So, okay, let's get on with it now. 7. What happened in the last 24hrs?: K saying this next lesson, we're going to make a kind of a dump from the things that have happened to us in the last 24 months. Let's just have a timeframe because look too long, not too short. And things always happens. So what we're gonna do is we're going to start with a blank fate. And as usual, I suggest setting your timer. And in my case, I'm going to set it to four minutes just to give yourself some time. Okay. I'm upset. And I will just write here the top last three to four hours. And now you just do kind of a brainstorm. So I think about it, what happened? What did you do? And so for me it would be, I went to the shop and I noticed two raters who are actually arguing. Pro healing is some food or somebody stole somebody's house burns, you know, the usual. But I found it very interesting, so I'm going to write it down. Then. I was in the forest. So it's a florist. I'm there. I had a flat tire and I didn't know about it. So somebody stopped means only you have a flat thing and it was a surprise. So write that down. Then I saw horse in the forest and it wasn't a pretty scary. So I think it probably got arrested. And i o say that they watch tail. And let me see what else that I do. We still have some time here. Not to stop completely moving my pen. I'm just going to draw a rose or some random doodle. It helps me think, well, it helps things appear rather I would say. So. So of course, I, the day before, which still you could say 24 hours, I went skiing on pixel books. Now how is it possible? Well, it might not do just to pizza boxes, to the heat. And you can glide on a bit of snow. That's enough. I can show you a photo for inspiration and that one. So there's this one. Then where is that one? And also I that evening I made ship. That's fine. But it wasn't just any shepherds bike actually contain cheapen it. So it was with loan. What does today do? I turned over my compost and I listened and watched since engines flying around, what tickles, the sink. When I was in the forest, something else happened. Something else say so. So I saw a dog with a tin can pull that unchecked admittance. And there was some phrases I overheard, so I'm just going to write them on the Canvas site. And it's one of the whole peace of mind go collecting phrases that I can over here in random places. Like for example, in the florist. And I remember someone saying, I took a train to Paris and another person saying they went and got stitches. And another one I overheard saying something about but she must into it. Now, this is where the notebook that I spoke about a little bit already comes in handy. So you know, this kind of, I'll show you in a minute, this kind of work book where you can't get set up. There you go. This is my time window where you can capture you ideas. And if you just hear something funny, people are saying whatever you just gotta capture quickly, write it out. But this can be found anywhere as markets cues at Destic for that. Anyway, when you have people, you know, public transport forests basically for the price, Would you say, okay, now we good with this, what are we going to do is I will select one thing that sticks out to me and I don't know why it sticks out, but maybe it maybe it's something that like bothered me, got me in some way, interested me. Something I thought you guys material here. I have, I have a feeling about this one. So in this case there's quite a lot and you can actually choose anything. But I do remember having a lot of fun doing this one, for example. So I'm going to circle it and I will start my story from that one. But of course, I could also make like F top three, right? So then I can start three different stories because why not? And something I forgot, I spacetime watched the big bear in the sky. So that's also interesting. Okay. This one, this one I also remember it was really fun to make this something there I'm not sure, mocked. And the other one, I think the rate once again, it kind of got me though some interesting material, Lao-Tzu. So data can be my starting place. And I think the next one we're going to make it this skiing story. Okay. 8. Story 1: Skiing on pizza boxes: Okay, so we're going to choose the skene option here to start with. And then we just go back to this paper that we had. And I'm going to draw six frames on it. So you can, of course divided into how many frames you'd like. But I will do sort of roughly. I'm going to also vary the shapes because it's really boring if the oldest same. So do some of them kind of squares. So when they login, again, doesn't have to be perfect. Just divide your page in some interesting way. So maybe this one, particularly big square. And I see six is kind of, you know, why not eight also. So you could divide it into more or less as you wish or you, so the first one, I'm just going to follow it as it is, as it says here. So we've got this skiing sorry, I'm just going to draw it. Kind of asic was in on Monday. Again. Not difficult to time yourselves. I usually give about two minutes, Clara and drawings, especially if it's a small onset, let you say like 20 minutes, unless you do. And that way you don't end up with thinking of thinking at all about it really. Giving a rough, as you notice, I sketch immediately with a ten so I don't have to worry about erasing pencil or anything like that. There's a chicken bones because why not use the mystics? And I'll leave a photo reference for this so you can see how it can be done just in case you want to make that exact object. And I, it's happening and not very far actually from it at all. In fact, in exactly the same garden. So so some snows, just going to indicate some snow here. And if you have time left, you can do sort of some detail here. Some sort of snowy parts. Somebody that might look a bit electric starting with, and there's some kind of CI. But the important part is the schemed it stopped. So we have, I first taught this is just, let's name it what it is. So now on to the next one. We do the same thing. We set it up for two minutes. Except for this one. I'm going to make myself a different species. So, well, why don't we make yourself a hippopotamus, for example. And it's something we already have withdrawal. So just to not forget about early on, we could just use this one, right? So we go back to the second frame. I set the timer and I'm just going to redo almost the same thing. Except hippopotamuses myself with monkey-like. Well, so because hippopotamus and monkeys, they're not exactly the same sticks and give it similar dress. That may be slightly different angle here. Say they see proposals, likes pizza and maybe that she's coming down. Let me land on anyway. Us big slope. So she's not really in the garden anymore, but some evergreen trees, Something like that. Now for the third one was do a close-up of one of these details. So for example, here we could try and do a character that shut off on something. We don't know why exactly. She's shocked, but let's see. Basically we vary the frame type, so we're just gonna go like really big face here. That this kind of expression of cruising along that was here has changed a bit of a shock. So I don't know why. Maybe we'll find out in the next one. So then we can move on to this next one. And in the next one, well, why don't we just combine the fact that there was a hippopotamus and then she's also skiing. So maybe she sees to have a bottomless right? So we just say maybe it was her neighbor actually still sloping down. And the hippopotamus would come from here. So now that I see to them and they bushing shock. Okay, so the next one, we can send the main character into space. So imagine that this pizza box and got her in space. Kind of a bit lonely doing they're holding on. And maybe she's flying. Who knows? Maybe there is this bear. Remember when we saw we saw a bear and it was on the list. Well, why doesn't c, for example, meeting? You can go. And now in the last one, she could have actually met the better we do. Which is finally noticed him. And maybe she's gonna kinda looks like a capital T. Maybe that means that the bear is going to join on this pizza box. Logan anymore. So let's zoom out and see what we've got here. See this is at least we have a beginning of a story, any of these concerns into something. And the cool thing is that it actually could kind of make sense. So there's a difference, not just different studies, but it also makes sense like as a, as one thing, what happens next and then what happens and then what continues to how it continues. And then we're going to end up here in space. And also how far we've come from the garden into space, you know, kind of miles away. So the guy, that's the first example. 9. Story 2: Shepherd’s pie meets shark: Okay, now let's go back to our list and have a look again. So what was circle that? We did circle the shepherds pie story. So let's just see what we can do there. Again is for you to play with. So we start somewhere at least. All right, so with a timer on, as usual, I'm just going to draw what I remember from my own experience of this situation. So I remember making it to something like that. I'm looking at it goes pretty healthy size, big portion. And then it might have been like this kitchen. Here. I think we're going to do an example where it doesn't really particularly follow anything that most surprising. So, okay, so we started with this a normal first frame. So we're moving on to this second one now. And in this one, well, what if the pie and open in some other setting that we don't know about because it could be anywhere, right? Can't assume that it's an A-flat, for example. So we're going to put them somewhere else. And why can it be horizontal on the book? So you're going to draw something that resembled a bit of boat. And it turns out that indeed she is making the shepherds pie right there on the boat. So we see the character in exactly the same well, sort of similar situation. Except now we realize that she's probably on a boat. And why not? What's the most important thing to make on the boat? Well, turns out shepherd's pipe native. So that's the second frame. Now in the third one, something should happen, right? So why don't we, why don't we actually have a shark appear when I have to do the shark, then they already. So let's do again, I'm booked. And the smell of the pie has attracted someone, right? I was attracted and big and scary. Kinda dolphin like looking shocky. Maybe the shark is nice. Hundreds. And so the goal in the boat is still there. Still fixing her Pi. Now we have a shark. And what are the shark actually notices and has no interest in the Galois it, so I let it go. It's not that tasty, but she wants the pipe. So now we just got. It turns into a dinosaur in self-critical. And she's actually after the pie. Maybe she's already like eating it. And the girl is an absolute disbelief, not because of the shock that because the shocks told the pipe. And you're really trying to cook yourself a good pipe. It's gone and the shark is really evil. Okay, So next, only could have this shark who for example, maybe takes over the boat. Maybe takes over the cookie, right? Because maybe it knows how to kind of still looking. And then go away and think you probably again, not because of the shock, but out of disappointment. And what about the girl herself? Swimming? Somehow, swam away and by magic powers turned into shock. And now we see this little boat. So learn the distance with our other friend, happily cuddling up by the Gaussian anyway. And hey, maybe there's a bear again in the distance, becomes part of the C. Remember we had our list of states. So why don't we turn to that list in case something is interesting there. So I took a train to Paris. They went and got stitches. But you must enjoy it. What about we have a saying? I'm going to go take train to Paris because I noticed that when he got it. So now we have even a bit of talking. Something we overheard somewhere. And it's not even related to the by. So it's much more fun. That's the whole situation right there. 10. Adding Colour: Okay, and lastly, just a quick one with the color option. If you want to put some of your watercolor is our pencils, like I sometimes do. And that's why I drew in that thick paper so I could. So I'm just going to add a few touches of color to this story. But again, you know, not too much and maybe only in some spots. So it's kinda like adding wherever we feel. The color might actually make a difference. And not just for the sake of it. To emphasize the snow, I often do backgrounds to emphasize the character. So we do something like this. And it changes the atmosphere quite a lot. Immediately. See it. It kind of exaggerated, shocked look on her face. The hippopotamus. Oh, we could do her as well. And actually the original one was kind of a purple hippopotamus. So why don't we stick to that was a fun idea. In a red dress. I also want to do the pits of books is kind of important for us. Maybe not the link, the books and we emphasize, and again, I didn't put any water in it. So we have this very funky effect. But I would use the same colors more or less on all of this. So that way they seem a bit kind of unified. And you know that this could have been a dream. She might have been skiing, dreaming about this. And then all of that happens. There are many ways in which history can unfold. Obviously. This is just one of them and the one that kinda came to us because we all sat at the hippopotamus here. And she inspired us. And we'd also spoken about the bear. So all these kind of characters, if I come back to existence here, but of course it doesn't matter. Doesn't mean that they would always come in the way that she even need to do that depends on the story completely. But in our case, that's what happens. So that's what we've got. And if you see it as one whole thing, you can seek million different ways, which is really very exciting and interesting. I think. 11. Over to you! Project and further ideas: Okay, Well, thank you for joining, and now it's over to you. So your project should be something very interesting and exciting, right? As you've learned. And I would love to see obviously what your daily life looks like, what kind of events you'll find interesting what happens, what small, insignificant incidents happen in your life. But also I would love to see you play with different versions of stories. For example, if you vary the number of frames or whether you use watercolors or not, whether you focus on some specific genre of the story. Maybe you very prompt just to see how you play with all these different things that you can kind of introduce into a story to make it more exciting. So I would love to see that and now it's over to you for your project. And in addition to that, just to give you some ideas and ways to kind of expand and take this thing further. Well, you could collect your drawings over time and eventually make it maybe into a book or a comic book or a short story, or is in, or something like that. You could also print it out on products. Imagine if you printed out some wallpaper we just started, that would be quite a fantastic thing to have in your bedroom, I think, or living room. And also, you know, you can print out on different kinds of products like bags, t-shirts, this kind of stuff. And you could even make games out of it. You know, if you print out as cards, you can play games with people with your own life stories. So that could be really fun and it's just some ideas or kind of like how to take it from where we are now. But essentially I just wanted to really see your results. So please feel free to share and comment. And I would love to see what you come up with. Thank you.