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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2


Exercise 1

I decided to work through this exercise by combining written notes with a digital outcome. I started by printing the comic so that I had a physical copy to look at when making the notes. the first part of the exercise was done in a small notebook, a place I felt comfortable to scribble written ideas.

Dialogue only

Captions only

Third Person


Once I had a few ideas for the captions for this comic, I turned to the second stage of this exercise by switching to digital. To begin, I place the comic into Photoshop so I can draw potential layout options on top of the artwork. I chose to block this space with black so it could be clear to see what elements would be obstructed and whether it worked.

Option one:

Option two:

Option one shows a safe approach with a combination of speech and caption. Option two I incorporated different bubbles to express different dialogue. It was interesting to see the comic in this format, with blocks where text could go without any dialogue being included. Even with the empty bubbles, I got a sense of the conversation and action that would be mentioned.

With these visual ideas for speech, I then moved over to Illustrator where I could work with text easily. I combined both Option one and Two for the use of different bubbles for expression.

Another element I included was the use of making some words bold and italic, a technique I often see in comics when certain actions are being expressed.

Final Text

I realise that in panel 5, the text caption on the top left mentions a cloud left in the sky, yet the box partially covers this. Including the second box that describes the birds made it difficult to better work this text so that the story I was describing was still visible. Perhaps the bird information could have been left out, however, no birds were drawn in other panels, and as an action scene was taking place that would normally scare birds away, they felt important for the impact this sudden crash was having on the environment. Alternatively, there is plenty of action happening in this frame, perhaps leaving it without text would also have been effective for the story. I'm happy to be in a position where I can question the choices made and knowing how I can maybe improve on effective storytelling for the next exercise.

Overall this exercise was more interesting than expected. After looking at the illustrations for some time, my instant feeling was met with a block. I didn't know how I was going to add written narrative, but actually once I had started visualising the scenario, the conversation that would happen between the characters almost felt easy to imagine. With the notes on a separate paper, I became comfortable thinking of different ways to tell the same story. Be it through dialogue or captions, adding a script to existing illustrations was less daunting than I first felt. not only that, but I was surprised to see how much story you could squeeze in to each panel! Once I had chosen the font (CCMEANWHILE) it was a matter of getting the size and spacing correct so that it was readable and fitting!


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