The Art of Visual Storytelling: How Comics Work | Learn with Smithsonian

Phil Jimenez & The Smithsonian Team

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7 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:26
    • 2. What Makes a Great Story

      6:18
    • 3. Reference

      3:46
    • 4. Drawing

      6:07
    • 5. Visual Storytelling Tactics

      8:42
    • 6. Alternate Script: Drawing

      1:40
    • 7. Conclusion

      1:12
38 students are watching this class

About This Class

What makes a great visual story?

Telling a compelling sequential narrative with words and pictures is a critical skill, whether you want to work in comics, give a compelling visual presentation, or simple create a strong creative connection with an audience.

In this 30-minute class, master writer and artist Phil Jimenez shares his visual storytelling process, honed over two decades working with DC and Marvel Comics. You’ll learn how to:

  • Translate a comic script into a sketch
  • Use references to inform your drawings
  • Communicate action and drama in a panel-by-panel format

This class is perfect for artists, writers, creatives, and everyone who wants to hone their visual storytelling skills — no previous drawing experience required! By the end, you'll be able to identify key elements that make up the best stories, and find the emotional core of a great narrative.

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Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at theSmithsonian is estimated at nearly 138 million, including more than 126 million specimens and artifacts at the National Museum of Natural History. Learn more at www.si.edu.