Part 3: Structures and Stories

Exercise: Point of View


For this exercise you will need a small sketchbook (A5), each page will be a single panel of your P.O.V. narrative.

Make your own P.O.V. record of an event. This can be something as everyday as as making a cup of tea, or waiting at a bus stop, or it could be more a of a story. What is important is that you are drawing the images a you see them from your perspective.

The length of the exercise is up to you, but try to make your record of an event at least 20 drawings long. Depending on the event, you may need to draw quickly, or might have tine to make complete observational drawings. The speed and detail of your drawings can add atmosphere and a sense of time passing and action occurring in your sketchbook.

Once you have completed your record, photocopy and reduce each of your 20 or so drawings so they are about 12cm high x 6cm wide each. At this size you will be able to place them into a nine-panel grid format to see how they work as a page of narrative.

After considering a few different options, I wanted to keep the subject of this exercise quite simple, so I chose the suggested idea of ‘making a cup of tea’. As this would involve using my hands, I took a photo of each step, which I used for reference to draw from. I decided to use a black biro for each of the sketches as I am trying to become more confident in my mark-making/lines and using ink forced me to be more positive with these. The resulting sketches can be seen below.

POV ‘Making a cup of tea (click on image for larger version, opens in new tab)

I felt some of the sketches were more successful than others. I particularly struggled with the shape/angle of the cup, as well as the spoon. The perspective was challenging in all the drawings. For some reason I enjoy trying to draw hands and feet, so I was quite pleased with how the former turned out in most of the sketches.

In terms of depicting a continuous narrative, I thought the series of drawings was fairly successful. Due to the drawings being different in their dimensions, rather than the suggested (simpler!) 12 x 6cm, it was quite tricky to fit them all together neatly.

Overall, I was pleased with my effort, but clearly demonstrated to me once again that I need to continue my observational drawing practice.

Reflections After Tutor Feedback

My tutor highlighted what my thoughts were with regards to narrative sequence in relation to the frame sizes, as well as the dynamics and stages of the tea-making process. After viewing the sequence again, it became to me that I should have planned the layout more in advance as I ended up being quite restricted with this in order to fit in each of the illustrations. The flow of the sequence is not smooth as the viewer has to try and work out which image to look at next.

I felt that the final row has perhaps the most successful layout as it includes a variety of panel sizes, with the three smaller ones clearly depicting a process and the dominant, largest panel showing the final result – a cup of tea.

As suggested by my tutor I have been trying to spend some time everyday drawing an everyday object to improve my hand/eye co-ordination and observation skills. I have since set up an Instagram page: So far I have kept to the habit of doing this each day and I can see the benefits slowly developing.

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