Comics Crash Course
Drawing with Feeling
Telling stories is all about taking your audience on an emotional journey. But how can a drawing communicate that a character is sad or angry? Today you will learn a variety of ways to make your drawings express emotions, which will make them more interesting. Have you ever heard the term "emanata" before? By the end of the day, you'll be creating them flawlessly. Your stories will never be the same.
what you’ll need
- A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
- Pens, crayons, markers, or colored pencils
- Plenty of blank paper (can be blank, lined, or graph paper)
- A printer (optional)
Ask About Today
What are some of the different ways people (or characters) can express their emotions, feelings, moods, and sensations without using words?
What is the most distinctive facial expression made by each of us in our family? Can you imitate it? What does it communicate?
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
Pure Joy at Comic Con
Before we start drawing... want to check out the Justice League Batmobile? Let's pay a visit to the biggest celebration of comics in the world: Comic Con in San Diego! Jett and Analei from DC Kids take us behind the scenes. Just think, all these amazing characters and creations started out as a few shapes on a page.
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
Expression Sketching with Jarrett
Yesterday's activities helped equip you with the tools you need to draw anything and everything you can think of, and now we'll learn about making your drawings express emotions.
In today's visit with Jarrett, you'll explore "the six main means of expression": (1) eyes, (2) eyebrows, (3) mouth, (4) wrinkles, (5) posture, and (6) "emanata."
Feel free to draw along with the video, or pause it to practice as you go!
For younger explorers
Creating Benny and Penny
Meet the creator of Benny and Penny to see how he goes from a simple idea to whole toon book.
What do you want your drawings to communicate? Make a list of some emotions, feelings, moods, and sensations - like frustration. Then draw characters using the "six main means of expression" to capture them. Show them to a family member and see if they can correctly guess what you are seeking to show.If you're having trouble, this video will get you unstuck!
Get Emotional with Jen de Oliveira
Read comics by author-illustrator Jen de Oliveira, paying special attention to how she uses "the six main means of expression." Jen says the two most important things about drawing are:
1. Have fun.
2. Keep trying new things.
She also says, "Don't forget: The great thing about drawing is, if a picture didn't turn out the way you wanted, you can always make more!"
Learn from the Marvel Masters
Read free Marvel comics online, including Black Panther, X-Men, the Avengers, Moon Girl, Spiderman, and more! Pay attention to how the illustrators use characters' facial expressions and postures to convey emotions like surprise, anger, curiosity, and fear.
For younger explorers
Adventures with Benny and Penny
Let's see what adventures Benny and Penny get into today!
Grab your list of emotions, feelings, moods, and sensations and find a mirror. See if you can use your eyes, eyebrows, mouth, and posture to express those emotions from your drawings. (Bonus: Take a picture of each emotion and draw it!)
You can also make this into a game with a family member or friend! Take turns using your eyes, eyebrows, mouth, and posture to express an emotion, and see if the other person can guess what it is.
Share your feelings! We'd love to see your most expressive face. Ask a parent to email a photo to us or share it on Instagram or Twitter by tagging @CampKinda.
Avengers vs. Justice League Workout
Do you want to build the strength of a superhero? We’ve got you covered! Try this workout, which pits the DC and Marvel universes against one another. Which team will you join?
more to explore
Drawings from a Different Jarrett
Want to see another author-illustrator named Jarrett demonstrate how to use expressions? Check out this video from author-illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka.
Creators in Their Own Words
What makes comics so powerful? Let's hear directly from some creators and educators who shared their own responses to that question.
Meet Ozy and Millie
Cartoonist and illustrator Dana Simpson drew the award-winning "Ozy and Millie" comic strip series for 10 years. There's a lot of emotion in there! Visit the online archive to read the comics and get to know this troublesome pair.