Let's Draw Comics

For friends of the San Jose Area Writing Project

  • for all ages, but young children are the best cartoonists!

River Brown

Teacher Consultant & Illustrator



Welcome to a week of fun to dip into. You only need some paper, a pen and your imagination.

On your card draw a frame. Inside the frame is the “LIVE” area – where stuff happens. Outside is just paper.


GET STARTED ON YOUR FIRST SELF-PORTRAIT, using the Ivan Brunatti exercise, adapted here from Lynda Barry’s book, Making Comics.

Figure 1. The big head

Start here. Use the space!

Figure 2. Body shape with lively arms and leg lines

More fun than stick figures!

Figure 3.  Add snowball hands, noodle arms & legs, simple shoes

Draw quickly and don’t erase.

Figure 4.  Use face features, and details that show it's you. Hair, shirt pattern, object...etc.

A few details will remind you it’s you. 🙂

Take another minute to add more detail -- shapes or shading to your sketch.
Ha, ha!  I look funny...

[see photo above]

Got the idea? Ready to play?


Set up several blank cards with frames. Find a song you like that’s about 3 minutes, or use a timer.

  1. On one new card, start with the big head [fig. 1] This time you’ll be drawing yourself as — an astronaut in space. Go!

When your song ends, or 3 minutes are up, show your card to someone, a sibling or parent who is drawing with you, or just someone in your household. Then set it next to you and try the next one.

2. Ready? For 3 minutes, on the next card, draw yourself — turning into an animal. Go! [CLICK the black square to go to page 2]

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

7 responses to “Let's Draw Comics”

  1. I want to try this! I love how you put the audio clips in. Your voice is very calming. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great idea, you are certainly very good at creating charactres with a one minute drawing! Might help my non online students to make a little book, thanks…!


  3. That’s my target audience!


  4. Clever idea! I love the music timer. Maybe I can get my non-artistic (or so she proclaims!) to try this.


  5. Patricia Holloway Avatar
    Patricia Holloway

    Very nice way to focus on creating a character!


  6. That’s great to hear. I’d love your 9 year old’s feedback midweek if he has comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my gosh, this is amazing! My 9 year old loves to draw comics, and we are both at home while school is cancelled. I have been helping him do some practice work in his subject while his school ramps up distance learning, but he has been missing art. (He’s at a school that incorporates art into everything, and he also has elective and after school art classes.) I showed him your post and told him you were doing it all week, and we are stoked to add some art challenges to our “school time” tomorrow. Thank you so much for the simple instructions and the challenges! I will be joining him for the astronaut in space and turning into an animal challenges tomorrow morning, and we look forward to the others.


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