Monday, 10 August 2015

Online Characterisation Workshop: Timing Myself



Things are moving on with my on-line workshop for Craftsy. I have now selected over 100 images from my archive of around 30 children's books, which I will be using to help explain various teaching points as we work our way through the 7 lessons. It's so incredibly useful to have that resource at my fingertips.


All the lessons are now planned in fine detail. The last thing I did was to time it all. I need to aim for each lesson to average out at 15 - 20 minutes. I can have some longer and some shorter: it's very flexible, but that's the target. 

I had no idea how long they'd last to be honest. When I was planning, I just wrote down everything I could think of that I know about character design, then organised it all into 7 categories, and then organised that into logical sequences (each lesson is broken down into 3 sections, which helps a lot with planning).



So, timing... I set the stopwatch on my phone and got started. It takes a bit of getting used to, teaching thin air, but I've done it before, when rehearsing lectures. This time though, I had to draw as I went along, because I have to know how long it takes me to demo everything. I filled sheets and sheets of scrap paper with little characters:


I ran through each section 2 or 3 times (it gets quicker as you improve). Lesson lengths vary from 14 minutes to 26.

As always with my workshops, I could easily fill more time. I can continue to talk all the time I am doing the drawings, which helps, plus I am pretty quick with the sketches. The more demos a class has though, the more time it takes. 



One way I can cut the time is to use pre-drawn sketches instead, though I much prefer to be scribbling away live. I think people like to see that too, watching the process and seeing things emerge. I have had the okay for the timings from my producer now though, so we are going to be fine. 



Most of the sketches I'll be doing are quickies to explain a point, rather than proper drawings, as you can see from the sketch-sheets I created. There is a sneaky trick I can use if I need it though: my producer says, when it comes to more complex drawings which take a bit longer, we can always put in 'jumps', rather than watch the entire process. Clever thinking...

There are going to be 2 cameras filming at all times and I'm told the technical team have all sorts of clever tricks up their sleeve too. It will be so interesting. Getting quite excited now!






4 comments:

Eleanor said...

This is exciting - I have watched several children's books ones on Craftsy: Doreen Mulryan, Eric Johnson, and Shadra Strickland. Seeing someone actually draw/sketch some of it is actually more helpful than only finished work, though I know there have to be compromises time-wsie. It shows me there is no magic, just skill and practice and imagination. It's therefore more inspiring than 'here's one I made earlier'! But I'm looking forward to yours now definitely!

Pilgrim said...

How exciting for us and you! Love Craftsy classes: Paul Heaston, Marc Taro Holmes, Shari Blaukopf, and Steven Reddy.
Great organization and presentation of content. Such a bonus to have communication with instructors and ongoing access, to review.
Good price, too.

Lynne the Pencil said...

Cheers guys. Yes, the classes are very well put together so I am looking forward to joining the ranks. It should be an exciting experience too, as it is will be a far more involved set-up than any filming I've done before. A proper film studio!

مصراوى توب said...


Thank you for this effort


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