Comics Illustration 101: Introduction to Figure Drawing & Anatomy
This intensive course focuses on being able to build from scratch the entire human figure with correct and proportional anatomy without the need for photo reference.
During the course, you’ll build on an established foundation of basic forms to construct your figures. Each week you’ll receive an intense tutorial describing each muscle group of the body and how the muscles are constructed and drawn. You’ll see examples of how the muscles learned can then be applied to various industry methods of drawing such as comics, animation and concept design.
The classes themselves focus on as much information about the human figure as we can pack into six weeks. The demonstrations of each lecture show a method of drawing that anyone with a base understanding of shape and form can then replicate on their own.
Being able to construct a human figure with line art is a necessary skill in creating believable comic stories–lessons learned here still apply to any discipline or industry: comics, animation and illustration alike. Having a full-time professional comic artist as your instructor gives you personal critiques and feedback on your work—and that’s something you don’t get anywhere else!
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- Meets one night a week between 9:30 and 11:30 pm ET, for six weeks.
- You will work with professional comic book artist Phillip Sevy.
- You will pencil a finished 1-page story or a finished illustration focusing on the human figure.
- 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 drawing techniques to help you learn all the muscles of the human body and how to recreate them on your own after the class is done.
- You’ll watch in real time as Phillip draws each part of the body and illustrates how to construct a figure without the need for photo reference.
- You have 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!
Phillip Sevy began his comics career with Heartless Dark, a weekly webcomic he wrote, penciled, inked, and colored. At its conclusion, Phillip attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where he got his MFA in Sequential Art. Working primarily as an artist, he’s had work published by Zenescope, Hic & Hoc Publications, and SCAD as well as featured in a variety of anthologies. After completing the four-issue miniseries The F1rst Hero for Action Lab Entertainment, he was named a runner-up in the 2013 Top Cow Talent Hunt competition.
For Top Cow, he drew the Magdalena short story Adelphia (which appeared in an issue of Witchblade) which led to him drawing the IXth Generation one-shots Athena IX and Poseidon IX and issues 5-8 of The Tithe (with series co-creator Rahsan Ekedal) as well as contributing to Witchblade 185 (the final issue of the landmark series).
Phillip just wrapped up a 12-issue run on the new Tomb Raider ongoing series from Dark Horse Comics, written by Eisner-Award winning writer Mariko Tamaki. His creator-owned miniseries The House (with Drew Zucker) is currently being released on Comixology and his creator-owned oneshot Paradox just wrapped a successful Kickstarter.
Phillip’s worked with a variety of corporate clients doing commercial illustration over the last few years, including AMC Entertainment and the Sundance Channel. When he’s not drawing, he teaches Comics and Sequential Art at Broadview Entertainment Arts University where he’s won awards for Outstanding Faculty and Excellence in Applied Learning.
Do I need to know a whole lot about comics?
Absolutely not. The course is strictly a study on the human figure. The information provided can be applied to any industry or artistic medium. 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. 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 and headphones/ear buds to listen in. A microphone is helpful, but that’s by no means necessary. Ultimately, you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, though we like hearing your voice! Once you’re in your first class, we’re sure you’ll get comfortable very quickly.
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 their classmates online!
Learning about drawing the human figure is great, but do we get any practical industry advice?
Industry advice isn’t the focus of this particular course, but questions on the industry are always welcome. This course has a broader appeal than just comics, so the industry topics will address several professional disciplines.
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 making a rock solid comic book page.
What do I do after the class?
Once the course is over, you’ll have a greater understanding of how to draw the human figure. It is then up to you to continue to draw the figure in your comics, animations or illustrations and put into practice the lectures given during the course.
The homework associated with the class encourges students to draw on a weekly basis, filling their sketchbooks with anatomical studies of the figure. This habit can be continued after class as you refine your understanding of the body and how to move figures around in space.
The Creators Workshop forum is also a fantastic place to refine your work and receive critiques and encouragement from a community of artists and comic professionals.
How do I sign up?
Click on the PayPal button and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions within two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.
There are NO Prerequisites for this course—jump on in! It is open to anyone interested in drawing the human figure in any industry!
This course is one of two pre-requisites for taking Advanced Figure Drawing & Perspective! The second pre-requisite is Introduction to Perspective & Environments, which you can register for here!
To participate in our live online sessions you will need:
“After finishing up the Intro to Figure Drawing class I felt like I should let you know how helpful I found it. I’ve wanted to draw since I was a kid. A considerable amount of art books dominate one of my bookshelves and I can’t tell you how many tutorials I’ve watched online. I felt like if I could just take a class where an instructor walked me through it all I could finally learn. Amazingly, this class had two (Robert and assistant Gannon Beck).
Robert’s wealth of knowledge in regards to both illustration and human anatomy is astounding. Not once was he presented with a question he couldn’t immediately answer. His critiques of our final assignments were amazing and were far more detailed than I expected them to be.”
“I wanted to write to thank you for offering this environment to learn and enhance our skills. This was an intense content course and it was a joy to be a part of the community created. With the active participation on the message boards by everyone and Gannon’s constant input there was a strong learning curve applied for everyone to level up. I entered the class feeling unsure if the content would be at, below or above my current level of development and was amazed at how Robert bridged the gaps of skill level. I can’t say enough about his knowledge level, teaching style and positivity. I was one of the first in line to have him review my portfolio at your NYCC booth last year and he not only gave me great feedback on my shortfalls but helped me focus on how to get to the next level. I feel that this class has been well worth the time effort and money and you have an amazing asset in Mr. Atkins. With this great experience I have signed up for another class as I look forward to continuing my education to become a comic book artist. Thank you again for starting this business and partnering with great professionals. “
“This is by far the best anatomy class I have come across. Not only is Robert a great artist, but he is also an excellent teacher. He knows what level the students are at and teaches accordingly. He communicates with very well. I have had so many questions regarding the muscles of the body and he answered each one of them very clearly, with so much patience. He is just a University of knowledge. Seriously, the best anatomy class ever, hands down.”
“Robert Atkins knows his stuff and he was a great, GREAT teacher! The ‘Intro to Figure Drawing’ class was one of the most amazing educational experiences I’ve had! I was able to jump past a lot of the road blocks that have been bothering me for years. I just got really energized and inspired to do more with my own work. I thank you for putting this all together, helping me feel connected again, and really getting my creative gears turning!”