Education


Newtown Middle School's Day Of Art Draws Up Comic Inspiration

Published: March 01, 2018 at 12:00 am

Print

Cartoonist and comic book creator Matt Ryan of Free Lunch Comics showed students how to draw different elements in cartoons like character's facial features and gestures. (Bee Photo, Silber)
Cartoonist and comic book creator Matt Ryan of Free Lunch Comics showed students how to draw different elements in cartoons like character's facial features and gestures. (Bee Photo, Silber)
Pictured from left are seventh grade art enrichment students Eva Barricelli and Allie Kost working on their comic titled The Sneaky Samurai Take On The World during the Newtown Middle School's Day of Art on February 16. (Bee Photo, Silber)
Pictured from left are seventh grade art enrichment students Eva Barricelli and Allie Kost working on their comic titled The Sneaky Samurai Take On The World during the Newtown Middle School's Day of Art on February 16. (Bee Photo, Silber)
Matt Ryan of Free Lunch Comics provided an illustration workshop in the Newtown Middle School's cafeteria for 44 students that participated in the Day of Art in-school field trip on Friday. (Bee Photo, Silber)
Matt Ryan of Free Lunch Comics provided an illustration workshop in the Newtown Middle School's cafeteria for 44 students that participated in the Day of Art in-school field trip on Friday. (Bee Photo, Silber)

The Newtown Middle School supported students' artistic development with a special Day of Art on February 16. The in-school field trip provided an illustration workshop with cartoonist and comic book creator Matt Ryan of Free Lunch Comics for 44 students in seventh and eighth grade in the school's cafeteria.


Mr Ryan taught the students a variety of lessons on how to craft comic book elements, demonstrating by drawing different cartoons on an easel's large sketchpad. He showed how to transform a simple stick figure into a fully developed character and explained the value of implementing facial features and gestures.


If the artist builds the character's body gesture first, he said, it will prevent the art from "falling off the page" and not having enough room for the full design.


Mr Ryan also engaged with the audience and asked for crowd participation to help define features of popular comic characters, like Batman and the Joker, then demonstrate them.


An important tip he emphasized, too, was that "mistakes are good" and are part of every artist's method for developing a final product.


The process of making art is not about being perfect, he assured, it is about being able to identify a problem in the design and know why they dislike it in order to fix it.


"Let the artwork come out of you and be patient," Mr Ryan said.


The workshop with Mr Ryan was sponsored by the NMS PTA through the NMS PTA Grant.


Comic Creators


For the second portion of the NMS's Day of Art, 24 students in the seventh grade art enrichment class were given the opportunity to exclusively work on honing their comic book skills the remainder of the school day.


They received more insight from art teachers Leigh Anne Coles and Kristen Ladue, as well as from reading and language arts coordinator Nadia Papalia.


Ms Papalia went over the concept of storylines and how they can be broken down into five steps: setting, motive, conflict, climax, and resolution.


Afterward, students were able to begin working independently or with a partner to design a one-page comic with six panels.


Art enrichment students Eva Barricelli and Allie Kost partnered up for their comic and were eager to begin their design that was originally being titled The Sneaky Samurai Take On The World.


At a table across the room, Melissa Schnee worked independently on her comic that she explained was a play on words from the saying "Do or don't; there is no try," while Melissa Tagliarini started by creating her comic's setting to take place on a rainy day in New York City in the year 2070.


Students participating in the Day of Art gained insight and inspiration for their work by referencing from the large assortment of comics donated to the school from Cave Comics in Newtown.


The comics the students create, Ms Coles said, will be submitted to the school's award-winning literary magazine, Opus Optima, which is entirely written and illustrated by the students.

Change Text Size:

This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
50% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2