Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories At Home Art Studio Drawing

Creative Comics

Sara Ottomano

This week, we invite our At Home Art Studio community to explore art inspired by comics. Comics are a fun way to share stories. By creating a sequence of images and combining pictures and text, you can create characters, imagine new places, or tell a story about yourself!

Cartoon drawing with a stick figure taking parts of a square panel apart to turn into a house and sun.

Kate liked the idea of making a cartoon with multiple frames. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be fun! This stick figure person discovered they could use found materials in their own frame to build a new scene. 

Three images of speech and thought bubbles taped next to objects and a cat. An owl pencil holder is saying “Hoo needs a pencil?” the plant is saying “Be-leaf in yourself!” and the cat is thinking “Naptime is great.”

Meg was inspired by the speech and thought bubbles in comics. She decided to add some dialogue around her house for her family to find. For the plant and owl container, she taped the speech bubble to a pencil to hold it in place. Meg also added a thought bubble to the arm of a chair where the cat likes to sleep.  

Two images, one with white paper rectangles on a black background and a paper ant holding a leaf standing on a drawn tree.

To get inspired this week, Sara looked at the pages in her favorite comics. She noticed that each of the pages were organized into rectangles and sometimes other shapes, called panels. After having fun last week making art that moved, she decided to make another artwork where a character moved through the art. Sara began by cutting up a piece of computer paper into rectangles for her panels. Sara had watched a documentary with leaf cutter ants, and thought it would be interesting to follow an ant through its journey back home. 

Two images of a paper ant traveling through different comic panels and taking a hot air balloon to the moon.

Using crayons, she drew a different place on the ant’s journey in each panel, including a tree with leaves, tall grass, a log, and stones. But then she began to wonder whether this ant could go on an imaginary journey into space! She added parts of a hot air balloon, the sky, and the moon. 

Two images of the paper ant holding a leaf and traveling on top of drawn rocks and the moon.

Once she had the settings planned out, she drew her ant on a piece of notebook paper, cut it out, and glued a strip of cardboard to its back so she could move it more easily through the scenes. For the ant to hold onto the cut-paper leaf she made, Sara cut a line into the ant’s head so that the paper could sit in between its antennae.  

After sharing this story with a friend, Sara thought she could keep adding to the story or even change the order of the scenes to make new stories. 

For more ideas on making your own comics, check out these previous blog posts!  

Comic quests with folded paper and moving characters 

Flip books showing characters in motion 

Tunnel books made with layers of paper and a box 

Sequential storytelling using drawing tools and paper 

Storyboarding with stencils and watercolor painting 

We look forward to seeing what you make! 

 

Authors

Sara smiling in front of Art Studio display.

Sara Ottomano

Art Educator since 2016 at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Sara (she/her) is enthusiastic about helping others approach art through exploration and experimentation.