13~17 year olds - Create Your Own Graphic Novel Summer School

About the course

Let your imagination run wild in creating a graphic novel that captures your story in your own words and images.

This course will cover the techniques and skills needed to create a graphic novel. Each day you will learn about a different stage in the novel making process, with the opportunity to trial different techniques both traditionally and digitally. You will learn how to design, compose, and colour a short story with the opportunity to experiment with Adobe Photoshop to create your finished graphic novel.

Course outline

  • Day 1 - You will learn how to create a dynamic short story using visual, audible and written resources followed by planning/ writing an exciting and dynamic script for your comic. You will then learn how to construct a character using traditional techniques on paper, and then transferring them to a digital platform. You will design 3 versions of your character on paper, experimenting with shape, volume, and posing then transfer your preferred design onto photoshop where you will learn the basic tools for digital illustration.
  • Day 2 - You will learn how to structure a comic page. You will look at panel layouts, different types of gutters or ways to divide your action, composition, how to add speech bubbles in the appropriate places, and sound effects. You will then thumbnail your comic on paper, transfer it onto photoshop and add text to your pages using the text tool.
  • Day 3 - You will have the opportunity to experiment further within photoshop and learn how to choose the appropriate brush for your comic, and how to adjust your brush to create appropriate effects in your story. You will then start inking your pages and adding detail.
  • Day 4 - You will learn how to choose a suitable colour pallet for your comic. You will look at limited colours, symbolic colours, and create your own colour pallet for your graphic novel. You will then learn about the colouring process to achieve a fully rendered page starting with flat colours, moving into patterns and finishing with textures.
  • Day 5 - You will learn about the different types of background that can be used in graphic novels and how they are effective. You will then use the day to add backgrounds to your comic pages using multiple tools in photoshop like gradients, and overlays. You will also have the opportunity to finish off any of the previous elements that you didn’t finish or would like to improve on. Once your pages are complete you will then use all the skills you have learnt to create the front and back cover of your comic.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, you will leave with a short graphic novel of your own design and have the knowledge to create graphic novels independently.

Course dates

Monday 08 August to Friday 12 August 2022, 09:30-15:30

Course cost 


Contact us

If you wish to discuss this or any other creative art short course please contact the short course team on 01707 285327 or ad-shortcourses@herts.ac.uk

Important information


Signing in is from 9.20am and 9.25am each day in the Art Gallery and the summer workshops will start at 9.30. We finish at 15.30pm. You will need to be picked up promptly at 15.30pm, again from the Art Gallery. Parents and carers, if you have any problems and think that you may be late, please let us know by calling 01707 285327.

Where to find us

For directions of the campus site, please follow the link below where you can download a map of the College Lane Campus:


Drop Off/Collection

The drop off point is the Art Gallery, and you can find this by our wayfinding app here. We suggest you park in one the bays around the nearby Lindop Building for drop off. You can drop off anytime between 9.20am and 9.25am. Collection is promptly at 15.30. nb There is a strict 30-minute limit to free parking. If you are over this time, we suggest paying for a 1-hour car park ticket to avoid a fine from our external parking providers.

The Programme

We have an exciting programme of activities planned. You will find out more about art and design courses and you will be meet practising artists and designers.  Each group will have an assistant art tutor with them for the whole time you are here, and you will meet them on your first morning.  They can help you with any concerns you have while you are here.


Parents/Guardians: When registering, please enrol with your own details. There is a field on the enrolment paperwork where you can enter your son or daughter's name and age.

Emergency Contact

We need contact numbers so we can contact parents/carers at any time.  These details need to be confirmed on the form attached to the email. Should you need to contact us please phone the Short Course Office on 01707 285327. It is very important that we know in advance if you cannot for any reason be collected on time at the end of the day.


Wear suitable and comfortable clothes as you may get messy and dirty (that is what art is all about!).  An overall, apron or large shirt would be ideal.

Food & Drink

You will need to bring your own packed lunch. Water will be available during breaks and lunchtime. 

Materials to bring along

All materials needed for all the summer schools will be provided by the University.


If you need to bring any medication with you, please make sure it is clearly labelled with your child’s name and any instructions. These can be administered by us provided the medical permission form enclosed has been signed by a parent or carer and handed in on arrival on your first day.                                                             



Start DateEnd DateDay and TimeCostLink
08/08/202212/08/2022Monday to Friday 09:30 - 15:30£200.00Apply online