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Comic Book art

5 Week Online Course | Wednesdays, April 10 – May 8, 2019 | Instructor: Phillip Sevy

Comic Book Art Icon

Introduction to Digital Inking and Finishing

Making your work look professional is the best way to get noticed!

A comic cannot just be told with words, the art has a responsibility to convey setting and mood just as much as any dialogue balloon or caption box. Creating that art, and making it look finished for a publisher, is a learned skill that this course provides!

You’ll receive in-depth instruction from expert Phillip Levy (Tomb Raider, Witchblade) on how to refine your penciling work and learn what is expected for “finished” digital art at a professional level. This course examines these methods and provides experienced instruction on how to achieve that professional look.

We’ll cover the pros and cons to digital art, what type of hardware and programs you’ll need, and how to go about setting up a digital workflow. After that, we’ll talk about how to use digital tools to refine and create finished, publish-ready work. You’ll learn about methods and workflows for drawing comics digitally using Clip Studio Paint (formerly Manga Studio), Photoshop, and Sketchup.

While the focus of the course is comic art, the most valuable aspect of 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.

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  • Details
  • Instructor
  • FAQs
  • Requirements
  • Testimonials
  • Meets one night a week between 9:30 and 11:30 pm EST, for five weeks.
  • You will work with professional comic book artist Phillip Sevy.
  • You will pencil a finished 3-page story and finished penciled 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 techniques to help you create a finished comic page ready to ink or color and show to editors for review.
  • You’ll have frequent opportunities for Q and 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.

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 RahsanEkedal) as well as contributing to Witchblade 185 (the final issue of the landmark series).

Phillip completed a 12-issue run on the 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 on Comixology and his creator-owned oneshotParadox is now available in stores, as is his sci-fi miniseries Triage through Dark Horse, which was writen, drawn, inked AND colored by Phillip (with letters by Frank Cvetkovic).

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. But this course is based on the methodology taught in the Introduction to Comics Art course, so you must have taken that course to take this one. 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.

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 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 Advanced Comic Art class meets once a week for 5 weeks. It meets between 9:00 pm EST and 11:00 pm EST. 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 their classmates online!

Learning about comic storytelling 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 in all of our courses. 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 and so on.

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!

What do I do after the class?

Once the course is over, you’ll have a greater foundation of understanding on how 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, a traditional grid format, or even as complex as free form layouts that accentuate the action of every panel.

The boundaries of visual storytelling are only expanded when artists push themselves and their art to experiment with the medium. A way to continue working on your storytelling methods and receive instruction and feedback is through the Creator’s Workshop.

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.

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.


To participate in our live online sessions you will need:

  • A computer or mobile device that meets Go To Meeting’s minimum requirements
  • to agree to the terms included in Comics Experience’s User Agreement.
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Headphones/ear buds with microphone (optional, but strongly suggested)
  • A mind like a sponge!

Carl Peterson

“Breaking into the comic book industry is tough. You have to be better than the next guys (and there are a lot of them) and you have to know the right people inside the industry. As part of my attempts to break in, I’ve taken several classes that helped build my art skills. But in addition to expert art instruction, the Comics Experience pencilling class gave me insight on how to get my art in front of the right eyes.

Over six weeks, professional penciller Robert Atkins taught my fellow students and me how to pencil a clear, entertaining story on a deadline. He covered all the essential processes, from interpreting a script to thumb-nailing to finishing a page. And Robert was great at tailoring the class to the interests and abilities of his students. He regularly critiqued each student’s art, offering suggestions on how to improve his/her personal storytelling and technique.

And even though the bulk of the class was focused on art (rightly so), the most useful part for me was the discussion on how to network. Meeting editors, presenting original concepts to publishers and making the most of conventions were a few of the topics Robert discussed during the class. Even after learning all this, it’s clear that getting a pencilling gig requires skill, persistence and lots of thick skin, but thanks to this class, at least I can see the path.

I would encourage anyone who is serious about pencilling comics professionally to take the Comics Experience pencilling class. Between the art instruction and the industry insight, I know you’ll learn something useful.”