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Session  3 - Figure Drawing and Hai Ku

Whats in the box?

Felt Tips and Gel Pen

  • Sketchbook – 

Please refer back to the previous sessions for the intro to sketch books and the video we saw today of other inspiring sketchbooks.


The main thing I want to say is…make friends with your sketchbook.

I have been using sketchbooks for many years now and they have brought me much comfort and inspiration. 

The key I believe is to make your image and text recording as fluid as possible so that you allow randomisation and juxtapositions to occur and cross fertilise your ‘musings’. 

It is a sponge to absorb all things the good – the bad – and the ugly.

Avoid making it a linear narrative – open it up at random to work in – fill it with the tiny seeds of ideas and allow them to grow and bloom in unexpected ways.

Get into the habit of carrying it around with you – make it your first port of call for something to pass the time instead of scrolling through the iphone or device.

Observe and record through text and image – scribble – colour – rubbings – found objects…etc etc….


  • Manga – 

A Japanese form of simple line graphic illustration – that has a great expressive way of creating characters and emotions.

  • Figure from lines to clothes – 

In the worksheet and session video you will see the stages from stick figure through to fully clothed figure – make sure each stage is as good as it can be before moving on so that you are not carrying through mistakes – the idea is to smooth out and create strong final lines  - by going through the stages.

Proportions ratios are useful for basics but everyone is built differently – always observe well and use your pencil/pen as a quick measure.

  • Layout pad

These are useful for drawing and tracing to develop clean clear images for colouring etc. – But a windowpane and normal paper can work for some quick tracing.

  • Pencil to pen

Always use light strokes for your initial sketch lines – easy to erase later if you need to – use your ink gel pen for your final lines – and felt tips for colouring in. 

  • Lay figure dolls

These can be helpful to quickly gauge how some poses will look but are limited – ask a friend to pose in the action needed – most cartoonist have a large mirror by their desk so they can observe expressions and body shapes as they create characters.

  • Using felt tips – indicate colour cross hatch

Don’t block out with the felt tips – rather indicate colour by colouring in what would be the dark/shaded part of a coat say and then leave the light part white  - the eye and the mind will make up the difference and paint in the rest of the coat for you – experiment with the felt tips to see what they can do – always create a mark making page with any new mark making tool… do it in the sketch book as another reference page

  • Quick face in anime 

Most cartoon characters – it is al about the eyes and the mouth to show expression and in the Japanese tradition you will find that noses are mostly reduced to a quick v shape

Make the eyes nice and big and the mouth very expressive.


  • Hai Ku

This for me is the sketching equivalent for creative text. Using the very easy 5-7-5 syllable method in three lines try and tell and very quick simple story – looking for the key ideas and moods and images to depict the scene.

Session 03 - Bill Cam

HaiKu's from the group...


Something is Wrong, Now.
I cannot Understand, How.
Close my eyes To See.

Listen to MySelf.
Am I breathing, am I dead?
Listen to MySelf.

Stood on the high street.
Daring myself to step OUT.
Miss me cars OR not.

Hello to the dog.
He LOVES me right Now, alot.
Sat down beside Me.

MA Haikus 5 7 5.jpg
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