Introduction to Comic Book Inking & Rendering
You’ll learn all the traditional tools of inking comic art as well as penciling methods to help create a final, polished and professional look to your art. One of the most difficult things to do in comics is abstract the world we live in to a two-dimensional, linear representation. In this course we cover proven methods to create the look of traditional comics and give you room to explore ways to accomplish this in your own personal style.
We provide an in-depth study on how to build your draftsmanship to a professional level, starting from the ground up. While the focus of the course is learning tools and methods of creating line art, the most valuable aspect to the course is having a full-time professional comic artist as your instructor. Each week, class members receive personal critiques and feedback on their work.
The course also offers open discussion and opportunities to ask questions about the comic industry beyond just creating the art. Topics like: how to break in, methods for setting up at conventions, the proper way to show a portfolio to editors and established artists, how to work with editors, and what’s expected of artists are all frequent conversations throughout the course.
You will be able to discuss any questions you have on process, freelance work, and working with writers, and also receive personalized real-time answers from an established comic professional!
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- Meets one night a week between 9:30 and 11:30 pm Eastern Time, for 7 weeks.
- You will work with professional comic book artist Robert Atkins.
- You will pencil a finished 3-page story and ink a finished cover.
- You will keep a sketch thread throughout the course to practice the skills discussed in class and provide a place for further instruction and critiques.
- Course covers penciling and inking techniques to help you create finished comic pages ready to print and show to editors for review.
- You’ll have frequent opportunities for Q & A with the instructor about industry topics beyond creating the artwork, like how to contact editors and how to set up at conventions.
- You’ll also learn about networking and presenting portfolios and how to get the most out of a critique.
- You also get exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum.
- You’ll have access to recordings of any class in the series for the duration of the class and a few weeks after its conclusion—so you never have to miss a class!
- Simply click on the PayPal button and you’re enrolled.
Robert Atkins has established himself in the comic book industry, known for his penciling work on military action in books such as G.I. Joe, Snake Eyes, as well as superhero titles such as Amazing Spider-Man, Venom and Heroes for Hire. After earning his M.F.A. in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2005, Robert immediately started working in comics.
Along with Robert’s comic work, he’s built up a portfolio and clientele of commercial art and product lines including package art for Hasbro: NERF, Star Wars: Black Series action figures, Marvel Legends, and many other toy lines! Robert is also working on video game concept illustration and environments for Playful Games. Anyone that has taken any of Robert’s classes can attest to his sheer passion for artwork and teaching!
Like all of Comics Experience’s instructors, Robert is not just a top professional in his field; he’s also an accomplished teacher as well. After graduating and then teaching at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Robert has also developed an official mentorship program for the school that has placed a number of students in the art industries’ workforce. And now Comics Experience is pleased to be able to pass that working knowledge on to you!
What do I do after the class?
Once the course is over, you’ll have a greater foundation of understanding on how to ink comics and refine your drawing to tell stories visually. It is then up to you to find comic scripts or write stories to continue to push yourself artistically and improve your craft. Comics are a unique artistic medium that can push how stories are told with still images. The art can be as simple as a single image, or as complex as multiple panel pages—all these drawings will incorporate the instruction you’ll receive from this course.
The boundaries of visual storytelling are only expanded when artists push themselves and their art to experiment with the medium. Another way to continue working on your storytelling methods and receive instruction and feedback is through the Creator’s Workshop.
The Creators Workshop forum is a fantastic place to refine your work and receive critiques and encouragement from a community of artists and comic professionals.
Do I need to know a whole lot about comics?
Absolutely not. This course is an entry point, learning the foundations of creating publishable line art. Through the instruction presented in the Introduction to Comic Book Inking & Rendering course, you’ll be ready to move on to the advanced courses offered by Comics Experience to further develop your skills. The class has a quick pace, so if you’re very new, be prepared to work, but one thing we pride ourselves on at Comics Experience is our ability to teach to an individual’s skill level.
These courses aren’t about the instructor, and that’s why we keep them small. We have an excellent track record with our students or clients, and it’s our top aim to keep it that way. So, new to comics, just starting to draw the figure? Come on in, we’d love to show you around! Old pro? Let’s sharpen those skills and learn a few new tricks! Everyone’s welcome, and the group learning will help everyone improve.
Do I need to be a computer wiz for the class?
Nope. Not one bit. You need to have high-speed Internet access. We recommend that you have headphones with a microphone to plug into your computer, but that’s by no means necessary. There are call-in options for the phone or you can use regular headphones and your computer mic. Ultimately, you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, though we like hearing your voice!
It’s simple; once you’re in your first class, we’re sure you’ll get comfortable very quickly.
What computer programs do I need for this course?
None are an absolute necessity, however a scanner and editing program like Adobe Photoshop (Elements or full program) are very useful in posting your homework to the course message board so your instructor can critique them. We have had students simply take photos of their work and post that way as well.
When does the class meet and for how long?
The Introduction to Comic Book Inking & Rendering class meets once a week for 7 weeks. It meets between 9:00 and 11:00 pm Eastern Time. The course is held live.
What if I miss a class?
Don’t worry if you miss a class. All of our classes are recorded and available to view via streaming link for the duration of the course. And on top of that, you’ll have exclusive access to the Comics Experience message board set up just for the class. You’ll be able to interact with the rest of your class all week long at any time!
If I don’t live in the United States, can I still take the course?
You bet. We’ve had students jump in from Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa. Not Antarctica yet, but give us time! Many of these students have not been able to attend live, and they’ve all been happy to view the recordings and interact with the classmates online!
Learning about comic book inking is great, but do we get any practical industry advice?
You’ll get a LOT of practical industry advice. Networking is one of our main topics, as is behaving like a professional. It’s, simply put, essential for anyone who wants a career in comics. We discuss relationship building and ways to get your foot in the door and where to go to meet the right people.
If I don’t want a career in comics, and just like making comics or even just want to learn more about the art form I love, is this class right for me?
Sure it is! How better to expand your knowledge and understanding of comics than by engaging with creators? And that’s what most of our clients and students are—they’re creators. It’s a great place to learn just for fun if you wish too. We’d love to have you!
How do I sign up?
Click on the PayPal button for this course and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions within two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.
Go ahead and reserve your spot today! Space is limited.
I don’t really want to BE a comic book artist, but I like comic book art. Is this the class for me?
You are under no real pressure to complete the active homework assignments. We encourage that you do because it enhances your own learning. But if you just want to get into the mindset or gain a better understanding of how to look at and evaluate the art you see in your hobby, then jump on in and we think you’ll be astounded by all the thought, preparation, and skill that goes into make a rock-solid comic book page.
What if I miss a class? Can I make it up?
All the classes are recorded and posted for just you and your fellow students to see. You’ll have access to all the class sessions for the entire duration of the class and a few weeks after it ends. If you miss one, you won’t really, because you’ll be able to watch it as soon as the very next day. And if you have any questions from viewing it, you can always post those on the private message board for your instructor to answer.
Prerequisite: None! All are welcome!
To participate in our live online sessions you will need:
- A computer or mobile device that meets Go To Meeting’s minimum requirements
- High-speed Internet access
- Headphones/ear buds with microphone (optional, but strongly suggested)
- A scanner is recommended so that it is easier for you to share your art to get constructive criticism from your classmates and from Robert himself.
- A mind like a sponge!
“I am sure I have told you in the past what a great teacher Robert is, but if you forgot I will tell you again. He is so sincere and pours himself into what he teaches. His passion really comes through. It is motivating and inspiring. He really pulls great things out of people. I was not sure what inking was all about, and have no illusions of a career in that world, but was genuinely surprised at what a singular art form it is. Robert provided a great window into this world, what the art form can and can not do in the world of comics and then jumped right into how it is done. He has mastered this so well and has so many small but game changing techniques he happily shares. I almost felt guilty, some things he shared I am sure took him years to figure out and he just hands them over. You can tell he really wants to see everyone reach their highest potential.”