Search form

The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

Accessibility Information

Visit the carle


Making Art Together

Comic Quests

Recently the Art Studio's Fall Intern, Rochelle Malter, a sophomore at Mount Holyoke College, designed a Special Sunday art activity for Museum guests. Below is her report on her experience.

When Diana asked me to design a Special Sunday project for the Art Studio, I was more than a little bit nervous. I love working in the Art Studio as an intern, but I’m a Religion major who doesn’t work on a lot of visual art in her free time. Diana encouraged me to take inspiration from an artform that I find myself drawn to as viewer. I immediately thought of comics and graphic novels! I really appreciate how cartoonists combine a written story with visual elements to create engrossing narratives. So, I decided to design a project based on comics. It was important to me that the project be engaging but not overly complex. I recalled a project I had helped with as an intern at The de Young Museum in San Francisco, which had involved creating multiple scenes on one folded piece of paper and a moveable character. It would be a comic quest!

Guests were invited to fold a blank piece of white paper into different sections to create different scenes for their comic quest. Two sections produces space for two scenes, three sections for three scenes. Drawing a line along the folded creases allows for a more distinct separation of the scenes. Then, guests created different scenes using drawing pencils, black colored pencils, black litho crayons, and black sharpies.

Guests created a variety of scenes: forests, cities, oceans, and outer space were all popular settings. Some guests chose to create one large scene instead of multiple smaller scenes.


Finally, guests were able to design and cut out a moveable character. The character could be based on themselves, someone they knew, a made up person, or an object. Once the character was created and cut out, it could be moved across the different scenes as if it was traveling to different places.


Originally, I envisioned the project in black and white like a traditional comic. However, one guest decided to add some color to the circus she had created and I found that I really liked the way the red and yellow she used stood out and and brightened her project. The following Sunday, when I offered the activity to guests again, I added red, orange, green, and blue colored pencils to drawing tools baskets on the tables.


It was really exciting to see how involved the guests were in the project as well as how they were able to draw inspiration from the basic idea to create many different scenes and characters. Visiting college students created detailed characters, while younger guests worked independently or with an adult on their scenes. Complex or in color, comic quests were lots of fun!




We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 



by Diana MacKenzie

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 at 6:00 am and is filed under By Diana MacKenzie, Internship Program, Drawing, Elementary School, High School, Middle School. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Add a New Comment

Leave a reply

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
To Top