February 26, 2012

I can’t wait for someone to ask me about my weekend. Single, middle-aged me finally has a truly interesting answer: “My weekend? Oh, it was great. I spent it drawing assassin porn.”

The continuing quest to find myself has taken me to a series of weekend cartooning workshops. We divide our time between learning about character and story development, and drawing. The drawing part involves sketching two live naked models, a hunky male and a lithesome female. Their poses ranged from 30 seconds to eight minutes.

Since this is about the comics, our goal is to capture gesture and motion. Action figures! Our models begin by posing in the buff. Gradually, they add props and clothes so that we can experience the layering of emotional content.

The workshop is called “Dynamic Comic Book Illustration: From Anatomy to Panel Composition.” We are scheduled to meet at the Art Students League of New York over four weekends — Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m.  to 4:30 p.m. Our studio is at the League’s West 57th Street funky headquarters, right across the street from Carnegie Hall. Greg Follender is our terrific teacher, storyteller and artist.

Our first workshop met two weekends ago and this weekend is our second. Two more to go in March and there’s still room, if anyone wants to join us. My classmates are a nerdy bunch that loves chatting about comic books, action figures and LARP (live action role-playing) — they’re teaching me a new culture. We range in age from 21 to 55 (me). My people!

As you know, I dream of writing some sort of graphic novel-ish book. A few months ago, I finally churned out a  crappy first draft for a novel. So this workshop is a critical next step, the next bird — bird by bird.    :)

Here’s a peek into my sketch pad. I usually detest drawing but I am loving it now:

Capturing motion is different from drawing still life models. I could do this all day.

In class, someone referred to our work as “assassin porn.” Such fun.

If you’d like to read more, here are some links:

** How about you — any classes or projects that you’re dreaming about? Would love to hear about them. Please do share your ideas with us! Writing about them will help make them more real for you. It’s all about the magic of owning your words.  :)