Fleur-De-Lis Academy's Visual Arts Classes
New! Comics Creation
This course meets for two hours each week over an 8-week session starting March 14th. Students in grades 6-12 are welcome. Focus is on development of characters, narratives, and fully inked and colored comic book pages. The instructor, Grant Johnson, has many years of experience working with students to bring comic books to life, as well as professional experience as a comic book inker.
Projects will be finalized so they can be printed and/or shared online, as students prefer.
Class meets Wednesdays, 6-8pm.
CURRENT CLASS SESSION: COMIC CREATION
Class meets Wednesday from 6p.m. to 8p.m., for 8 weeks.
Starts March 14, 2018 (no class April 4 due to Spring Break)
Instructor: Grant Johnson
Enrollment limit – 8 students
Class meets Monday or Wednesday from 6p.m. to 8p.m., for 8 weeks – a total of 16
hours. First class is Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
Description: Comics are among the most popular and richly varied of visual art forms. Their
importance in contemporary culture continues to grow, and the young people who will become
tomorrow's comics artists have a wider range of influences and models to draw from than ever
This course will encourage aspiring comics artists in three main areas of development: visual
aspects of character and environment design; narrative - including structure, dramatic progression,
and character development; and the complex, rhythmic 'camerawork' of panel and page design.
These larger concerns will be supported by technical skills-building, including drawing from live
models to gain familiarity with anatomical proportion and body movement (we are fortunate to
have permission to draw the advanced Fleur-De-Lis Dancers in their studio from time to time);
exercises to increase confidence with pencilling, inking, and coloring; and presentations by the
instructor to expand knowledge of how to select and use appropriate paper, pencils, pens,
In addition, the course will emphasize collaboration, which is central to most practical comics-
making. Students will work together on quick one-to- two page projects and will have the option
to collaborate on more extended visual narratives. The instructor will point students towards
established comics creators and graphic works of merit that may provide inspiration and useful
[It is best to have most of these for the first session, but students can definitely get
started with a few pencils and the paper pads.]
All of these items are available at Artist and Craftsman Supply or the Preston Art Center in
Louisville. You can also get them at Amazon or other online art supply sellers.
A set of dip pen nibs and holders for drawing/sketching with ink. Speedball's sketching or
cartooning sets are good choices.
A pad of Bristol Paper, size 16” X 20”. This is a smooth-surface, heavyweight paper commonly used for original comic pages.
A 9”X 12” spiral bound sketchbook. Should have perforated pages for easy removal.
Graphite drawing pencils rated 6H, 4H, 2H, and HB. These are harder pencils that will
make lighter marks. They are used for preliminary sketches and underdrawings that are
inked and colored over to make final comics pages.
A couple of Ebony brand pencils. Darker for drawings that are not going to be inked
A bottle of Black India Ink. Higgins is a common brand, but any brand will do.
A plastic triangle with 30/60/90 degree angles. At least 12” inches long on the longest side,
no longer than 18” on the longest side.
A cork-backed metal ruler at least 12” long, and no longer than 18”.
A #11 X-acto knife and replacement blades.
A white plastic eraser.
A kneaded eraser.
A box to carry all of these items to and from class.
If students have a smartphone, it can be helpful to bring that to class so we can look up reference
images as needed.
As the course progresses, students may be asked to get some other materials, such as watercolors,
gouaches, or markers for coloring. Those recommendations will depend on progress, and on
individual students' styles and interests.