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Telling a Story Through Illustration

with Tony Bancroft
4.8 (163)
Disney veteran teaches how create artwork that resonates with your audience, by adding emotion, action and depth!
English, French, 1 more Spanish English, French, 4 more Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese
2+
hours
10
lessons
Beginner to Intermediate
level
Tony Bancroft

Your Instructor

Tony Bancroft is an animator and director, who worked at Disney Studios for 30 years. He co-directed the film Mulan and created characters like Pumbaa, Kronk, & Cogsworth.

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2+
hours
10
lessons
Beginner to Intermediate
level
English, French , 1 more
Languages
  • Spanish
English, French , 4 more
Subtitles
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • German
  • Portuguese

What you’ll learn

  • Tell a whole story clearly in one drawing
  • How to better communicate your thoughts, emotions, and stories visually
  • Think like a professional visual development artist
  • Lead the viewer’s eye to where you want them to look, designing a main focal point for the story
  • Create a sense of depth and dimension in an illustration
  • Choose the best point of view for your artwork with clear framing
  • Draw expressive poses that show personality and mood
  • Create balanced, visually pleasing compositions
  • Learn concepts like overlap, silhouette, linear perspective, values, and more
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Description

It is said that, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ But have you ever tried to illustrate a story scene—worth a thousand words—in one single image? It can be daunting!

Many artists are good at drawing individual characters, but less confident in creating an eye-catching scene that tells an entire story. If this sounds like you, don’t despair!

Professional Disney animator—the creator of Pumbaa and Kronk—Tony Bancroft, is here to help! He’ll teach you key concepts and pro tricks to add interest, depth, emotion and action to your illustrations, grabbing your viewers’ attention and drawing them in.

This value-packed course will give you a solid foundation in visual storytelling, an essential skill for creatives of all kinds, such as hobby artists and pros alike!

You’ll learn how to create a focal point, lead your audience’s eye, design a balanced composition, use perspective, draw expressive poses and so much more! Also, look forward to having a blast with fun assignments, allowing you to practice your new skills as you go! Ready to jump in!?

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Who is this course for

  • Curious beginners interested in learning how the pros work
  • Anyone interested in creating comic strips, graphic novels, animation storyboards, video games or children’s book illustrations
  • Those wanting to communicate story concepts through drawing
  • Artists looking to better express drama and action visually
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This course includes

  • 2+ Hours of on-demand videos
  • 8 Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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Used in course

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What you'll need

  • Just a paper/sketchbook and a pencil
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Lesson Plan

with Tony Bancroft
Expand all sections
00

Visual Storytelling

09:21

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Get to know your awesome teacher, Tony Bancroft, and his background in Disney animation. Tony will give you an overview of what’s in store for you in this fascinating course.

As humans, we understand concepts and communicate best through stories. It’s how our minds work, ever since the cavemen era! A great way to tell stories is visually through drawings, and this course will show you how to do just that!

01

Designing Within a Frame

22:20

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To kick off these lessons, Tony will show you how to use simple elements within a frame to start off your artwork. You’ll learn about the importance of a good, balanced composition, and the dos and don’ts of creating one yourself!

Discover how to design within a frame, use overlap, add depth to your illustration, lead the viewer’s eye and lots more cool stuff to lay the foundations of an engaging illustration!

You’ll get to apply all the cool skills you’ve learned in a fun assignment at the end.

02

Creating a Story Concept

23:58

Learn to draw different horizon lines

Do you find it easier to draw a single character than a whole scene? Well, you are not alone. It can be tricky to know what to do with your character after you create them.

Tony will share some great ways to help you come up with ideas and a structure for your scene, including a background, action, other characters, etc. to tell a compelling story. You’ll learn how to think like a pro!

He’ll teach you simple tricks to avoid inadvertently creating a boring illustration.

03

Point of View

17:40

Learn to create different points of view for illustration

The point of view (POV – angle of the viewer) does a lot to shape the story and help relate to the characters better.

Tony explains the advantages and uses of different POVs and his process for finding the best one. He also teaches the importance of thumbnailing and how to do it effectively.

At the end of this lesson, you’ll get to experiment with different POVs in an illustration of your own! Fun!

04

Creating Depth in a Composition

15:13

Tony Bancroft teaches Visual Storytelling

Do your drawings tend to look ‘flat’ with no depth? Tony shares key tips and tricks for creating a convincing sense of dimension in your artwork, taking it to a professional level. Awesome!!

We live in a world with dimension and depth and need to incorporate those elements in our compositions so they look believable. Tony will teach you exactly how to use scale, overlap, layering and linear perspective to achieve that.

You’ll then get to apply these concepts to an illustration right away to consolidate what you’ve learned.

05

Push your Viewpoint

12:58

Learn how to sketch thumbnails for illustrations

You’ll take your artwork to the next stage in this lesson and learn what ‘Plussing it’ means (industry term). 😉

Tony explains the importance of creating lots of small thumbnails. In his words: ‘DON’T draw something just once. Playing with ideas and reworking them is the key to professional level artwork!’

In this lesson, he’ll take you through the steps to pushing, clarifying, and improving your basic sketch. He’ll also explain his own way of working and why he makes certain design decisions. Fascinating!

06

Focal Point

14:18

Create a focal point in artwork to draw in the viewer

While there are lots of things to consider when creating a composition, the most important one is focal point—where the viewer’s eyes are drawn to.

Believe it or not, you have the power to guide their eyes to the areas of your story illustration that matter most! Tony will reveal industry secrets and tricks that the pros use time and again in their artwork.

He’ll show you how to use directional lines and values, giving lots of examples along the way. Also, you’ll get to play a fun game at the end of the lesson to test your visual reflexes. Yay!

07

Using Poses and Expressions to Tell your Story

18:59

Drawing poses and expressions by Tony Bancroft

A character is often the focal point of an illustration, so getting their pose and expression right is important. Drawing characters is one of Tony’s favorite things to do!

He’ll delve into this fun topic, showing you how poses can communicate different things and giving you lots of examples.

Follow along as he walks you through his process of tweaking and improving various poses. You’ll discover the essential tricks of the trade to help you master this skill!

This lesson is a great balance of fascinating theory and fun practical work. You’re gonna love it!

08

Putting it All Together

09:31

Moby Dick illustration with catfish and mice illustration Tony Bancroft

Now on to putting it all together! In this final lesson, you’ll get to put all the concepts and skills you’ve learned so far into creating one awesome composition! Fun!

Tony will guide you through the steps he goes through, from initial concept to rendered artwork and all the stages in between. He’ll also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various sketches and give advice on what to keep, what not to and why.

09

In Summary

01:24

Tony Bancroft teaches the key concepts of visual storytelling

You’ve come to the end of this course. Well done!

All these skills will serve as a launchpad for you to continue exploring new ideas and concepts in your artwork and help you better communicate your feelings, emotions, and stories visually.

May you brighten the world with your illustrations!

Student Feedback

163 customer reviews & ratings

4.8

Course rating

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5 star
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The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

(Based on 163 reviews)

Most Liked
Helpful Examples 139
Clarity of Instruction 137
Engaging Teacher 133
Showing 10 reviews of
163
reviews & ratings
AM
Amkmam M.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
I've just started doing this course and got so excited that I just had to leave a review already lol I'm already learning a lot, especially about balancing a composition using shapes and using negative and positive space. I always felt like my compositions were off and I didnt know what it was but n
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ow i do. I really loved that you gave examples of different composition concepts. THIS is exactly what I have been searching for online for MONTHS! lol Thank you so much! I cant wait to gain more knowledge and experience from your course and I cant wait to see how my compositions turn out :) Thanks again Tony. This course is definitely worth watching 200%
I recommend it for All levels
5 people found this helpful
Thomas K.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
Tony is a very approachable, engaging, and enthusiastic illustration coach.
I recommend it for Intermediate
2 people found this helpful
PG
Patricia G.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
This course really opened my mind to all of the various ways that I can approach my visual storytelling. Very Inspiring!
I recommend it for Intermediate
2 people found this helpful
AA
Anastasiya A.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
It’s very helpful course! Thank you!
I recommend it for Beginner
1 person found this helpful
AM
Amkmam M.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
I really recommend this course especially if youre wanting to learn more in depth on how you can creating better and stronger composition ideas. These techniques and systems that Tony shares with us is very useful! Im already seeing results in my concepts. I can see all the mistakes from my old comp
+ Show more
ositions lol anyway im super happy with this course :) Thanks again Tony! Looking forward to seeing more wisdom from you soon! :)
I recommend it for All levels
Melike M.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
It's great to see this course now. I will study it immediately. Because my picture book course starts this week, it will be a very good preparation for it. Thank you very much Tony Bancroft :)
I recommend it for Intermediate
Valeshka E.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
He is my favorite. Amazing Teacher
I recommend it for All levels
1 person found this helpful
PG
Patricia G.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
Thank you for this course. Learned a lot about composition and making my drawings looking better
I recommend it for All levels
1 person found this helpful
DB
Daniel B.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
Excellent for beginners, and a good refresher for more experienced artists looking to brush up on the fundamentals.
I recommend it for Beginner
Gesami V.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
Great love it 😍
I recommend it for All levels
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About the Instructor

Tony Bancroft
Animator and Creative Director 2 courses

Tony Bancroft is a 2D animator with over 30 years of experience in the animation industry. He has worked with companies such as Disney, Sony and Warner Brothers. During his 12-year career with Disney Studios, Bancroft helped create and animate Pumbaa, from The Lion King; Kronk, from The Emperor’s New Groove; Cogsworth, from Beauty and the Beast; and Iago, from Aladdin. Bancroft’s most notable accomplishments include being the co-director of Walt Disney’s animated film, Mulan; and animation supervisor of Sony’s Stuart Little 2.


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