Think-It #5: What’s Your Style?

This is different from look and feel because it is more specifically about HOW you might make a visual story, as opposed to WHAT you might tend to put in it.

Take a look at comics and picture books that you like. What style are you most attracted to — more sketchy and loose, or very finished and dense?

Or perhaps do you mix the two?

More dense drawing obviously requires more time, so you might find yourself planning out fewer panels — but spectacular ones.

Looser drawing can go faster, but it also requires really knowing what is important. You don’t want to create something that is muddled or confusing for the reader.

In terms of organization, there are again an infinite number of options. Some writers and artists like to compose a page in a very open way, letting the drawings and text blend into each other. Take the Sandman comics, for example. Many of the pages resemble a painting.

But Charles Schulz drew Peanuts in four little square boxes, so they could be configured in any way in any newspaper. It was simple, but effective.

Think about your style as it relates to your story. If there is a lot of action, you might want to let the pictures jump around more. If it is a very complicated story, you might need a simple layout to keep your reader from getting lost.

Look at many different visual stories — graphic novels, picture books, even paintings on a wall in a museum. The things that pull you in probably intersect with your own storytelling style.

And don’t be afraid to mix styles, if it gets your story across!


From Think-It, Write-It, Draw-It by Betsy Streeter and Bridgett Spicer — please like and share

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