For our April comics challenge, we’re joining in with a fun challenge set by the inimitable Sarah McIntyre! Sarah is currently the writer-and-illustrator-in-residence at Booktrust, and they are running a fantastic competition called Pictures First where you can make a drawing and then have that drawing turned into a short story or poem by a Famous Writer Person! And you can enter this competition in the funnest way imaginable… by DRAWING UNICORNS.
You can read all about the competition over on Booktrust’s blog! Here Sarah shows step-by-step how to draw her character Dumpling the Unicorn:
And here’s Sarah explaining what she wants to see in your drawings!
I don’t just want to see ordinary pretty pictures of a unicorn with flowers and rainbows. Your picture needs to spark a story, and you have to give the writer lots of visual clues, interesting and unusual unexplained details they can use to inspire their story. And there needs to be some DRAMA, your unicorn is in some sort of peril, or caught up in a situation that makes the viewer think, HEY WAIT, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE??
This can be anything from danger (hanging off a ledge on Mt Everest, battling in a fighter jet) to embarrassment (suddenly appearing in front of the class in only polka-dot knickers, farting in a lift).
The people who win the competition will be thinking of several things:
- WHERE is your unicorn? Is it deep-sea diving? At a chip shop? On Mars?
- What’s it standing on? Concrete? Lava? Moon craters? Broken crockery? Or is it falling from some great height?
- How big is your unicorn? Is it tiny enough to live in a matchbox? The size of a pony? Or enormous like Godzilla? How can you show that in the picture?
- Mood? Different colours can influence the mood of your picture. A yellow background might make it look cheerful and sunny – or possibly toxic. A spotch of red or hot pink can make something stand out so we notice it.
- Is your unicorn wearing anything? It might be wearing anything from basic bows or a horse blanket to a full Marie Antoinette costume or a sparkly disco suit. It’s mane and tail might be styled. Or not.
- Who else? Are there other characters in the picture? A group of elves in a forest will suggest a very different setting to, say, a group of school children on a football pitch, workers on a construction site, or a Jurassic lake full of dinosaurs.
- Expression? Does your unicorn look angry? Embarrassed? Worried? Over-caffeinated? Strangely chilled out, considering the dire circumstances?