Comics: Marvel to Manga – NEW FOR Autumn 2019


Comics, graphic novels and Manga illustration:  Develop your comic book drawing and graphic design skills learning different visual narrative styles from Marvel to Manga. Using British, European, American and Japanese Manga as inspiration you will create your own comic book Superhero characters, graphic novel environments, stories and Manga styles.

Learn about the development of iconic comic book characters – from the original Superman, the rise of Marvel to the sophistication of Watchmen and The Dark Knight returns.

Skills learnt on this course can be applied to manga, superhero, graphic novels and underground comics. 

Suitable for adult beginners, improvers & intermediate artists.
Everyone is welcome.
Evening course



Most materials included

Day: 6 x Mon evening
Time: 6.30 – 9pm
Paul Pickford

Autumn 2019

Dates to be confirmed

Contact me for details

  • Essential Items to bring

    1. 2B and 4B pencils
    2. Plastic eraser
    3. Fine black marker pen
    4. Paint brushes
      Round: size 4, 8 and 12

    Drawing paper

    1. A3 Watercolour pad:
      Windsor + Newton, Cotman or Daler Rowney, Aquafine
    2. A5 Sketchbook/notebook

    All other materials provided for you

    Optional items to bring
    Baby wipes (hand cleansing tissues)
    Wear old clothes or bring an apron

  • Evening course:
    6 x Monday eve
    6.30 – 9pm

    Paul Pickford

    Beginner, improver, intermediate, adults

    Group Size
    Min 6 – Max 10

    Course includes tea, coffee & biscuits. Please provide your own lunch on full day courses,workshops and classes.

  • No testimonials just yet! 
    Be the first – it’s going to be excellent as Paul is an outstanding illustrator and tutor.

    Diaries from all previous courses



What can I expect

Drawing Skills
Learn traditional comic book drawing skills, penciling and brush abilities to draw, shade and fully render characters, situations and environments. Learn to draw dynamic figures, using reference images, composition and layout together with page structure for effective storytelling.

The techniques of comic book creators
Learn from key comic creators, how their work developed the comic art form, and how to apply this to your own work. Explore the iconic characters of American 1930’s and 1940’s, the dynamic cinematic Superheroes of the 1960’s and 1970’s, and the sophisticated European graphic novels and current explosion of Japanese Manga today.

Colour and Painting techniques
Learn how the early comic printing process left creators with a limited colour palette and how to use this as an advantage to tell dynamic visual stories in your comic Superhero and Manga creations.

Character creation
From looking at the work of other comic creators and iconic characters, you will learn the process of how to develop your own character and comic book universe.

Choose this course if you’re interested in learning how to draw and design in the popular comic book Superhero and Manga genres


“I have seen my technique improve and my confidence grow under the tutelage of Paul Pickford. He is passionate about his subject and is keen that all students are able to fulfill their potential at whatever level they come into the class . He is particularly encouraging to beginners but can help seasoned members of the group to develop challenging and exciting avenues of technique.
Steve J


Course structure

Class 1
Supermen and Wonder women | in the opening session we will look at drawing and shading figures, giving them super heroic proportions, a range of expressions and creating model sheets.

Class 2
Anthropomorphism | in this session we will look at the use of animal qualities to create characters and how you can make this work to create your own visual shorthand.

Class 3
Stories and settings | here we will look at creating appropriate environments for your characters and how to successfully build a comic book world.

Class 4
Heroes and villains |  for characters to be challenged they need effective opposition whether that is in the form of an opposing character or threatening situation, in this week we’ll look at how to do that most appropriately for your creation.

Class 5
Dynamic colour | how to create an effective colour palette for your characters and their environment and also how to use it to create depth and further drive narrative.

Class 6
Lettering | how to create sound effects and how best to use speech, thought, caption boxes to enhance an essentially visual medium.

Reading List
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“Firstly it was a very supportive and relaxed environment.  Brian was very positive about your work.  I feel very enthusiastic about continuing my art outside the class.”
Chris B

“A very enjoyable experience where I learned so much.  Brian is a great tutor and the environment is inspiring.  I’ve learnt how to structure drawings but also how to find my own style.”
Chris C

“Extremely informative and challenging.  The textures exercise was particularly good fun. 
Stephen C

Choosing the right course

Courses are grouped into 4 strands, each with a different focus. 
Create your own patchwork of courses depending on your interest and availability. 
There is no specific starting point.


Fundamental building blocks applicable to all art styles


Materials + techniques to fall in love with


Stand out – learn to develop a strong artistic voice.


Ongoing development away from formal courses

Pinterest: Visit my Pinterest boards for added inspiration. Why not follow me.

Calendar: View all Course dates and Events.

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