Lecture 3: Sketching Stories

Presenter: Favian Ee

We all love stories. We enjoy listening to and telling stories. When we sketch, our drawings tell stories of the places, people, and sights we have seen. Our sketches are like snapshots of a moment in time. But what if our sketches could tell more than what we have seen at one point in time? What if they could describe an experience over a period of time? In order to do that, we need to show the passage of time in our sketches. That is what sequential art allows us to do.

Sequential art takes may forms, but perhaps the most familiar one to us would be comics. Comics are basically a series of drawings that tell a story. This can be applied to the urban sketching context to describe anything from something interesting that happened in one place over a few minutes to snapshots of what we have seen and experienced over the course of a day or a trip. I have used sequential art and journal sketching to document several overseas trips and local sketchwalks, and it has allowed me to tell stories of my experiences in very engaging ways.

This lecture will present some tools which you can use to tell your stories and show you some ways in which it can be done, such as:

  • How to tell a story using a series of drawings.
  • Creating a character and using it to tell your story.
  • Basic rules of communication and sequential art storytelling

Unlike sketching a scene, which is more akin to photography, sequential art has more similarities to film. I find that sequential art, with its ability to show the passage of time, allows me to tell stories in ways that a single sketch cannot. I hope that learning this will add a valuable new tool to your sketching toolkit, which will help you tell your stories in new and exciting ways.


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