What about a Free e-book to get you started?

ūüÜď Get your FREE e-book sample by SUBSCRIBING to www.thevioletwest.com¬†


Never Give UP! is a How To... book about 150 pages to be released at the end of this years, with lots of tips and activities to help you start, continue or finish a project, have more ideas, keep you productive and organized.


Subscribe and don't miss a thing.


I would like to share my experience in fighting my ups and downs, and how I got to a method that keeps me creating daily.


I hope this will reduce your time of research and trial and error to search for valuable tips by giving you a sum of actions and activities that I've gathered over the years. 


As my students would say: "Warning comes with homework and positive results from it."

Dialogue with thoughts: Something about me

Something you don't know about me. I love school and homework.


It's back to school time. I loved it when I was a student, then when I became a teacher. I was inspired and then had the opportunity to inspire and again to be inspired, it was always a win-win for me. 


Homework was the best way to teach me discipline and create the habit of practicing immediately what I just had learned. 


It was also a collection of challenges that pushed me forward. 


It taught me to acknowledge work in artWORK. 


Research, writing and executing all those activities became steps of a quest and there was only reward at the end. I became more knowledgeable in the subjects or got used to set daily goals and practice enough to see a quick evolution. 


Diverse activities taught me to select the right classes or to take none at all and become self-taught in some subjects. Because I had the tools that allowed me to quickly search, research and find the right book, tutorial or lesson in books or online, it pushed me forward. 


It taught me that taking action is moving forward.


A new upcoming book (How to...) will be a collection of activities that will help you to start, continue or finish a project and teach you where to get ideas.

Subscribe to new website and you'll get a sample of the new upcoming How to book in your email very soon.



Dialogue with Thoughts: Bad Ideas

18:01 Tuesday ...


Sometimes I just start to listen to all my playlists on shuffle and take random notes of all possible ideas, the ones that look the silliest, or ready to erase are the ones that I pay more attention too.


They can be inverted, transformed and reinvented in the next best idea. The more you let them out, the easier it is to have more and better ones.


Keep those dialogues with your thoughts going and your sketchbooks closer.

Dialogue with thoughts: Fall is near

Working from home allows me to wear comfortable clothes, but it does not mean I do not put the same effort and working hours during the day as other jobs.


I just have the option of sometimes working more hours than a regular job while wearing my pajamas. :D


webcomic, funny, humor, life of an artist, comicbooks, biographic comics, webcomic paperback, artistsquirks, vanessa bettencourt art

So many thoughts become ideas at the end of the day.


I keep my notebook around so I can dialogue with my thoughts and don't forget a thing.


Something I see, something I think, something I need to rethink, a sketch here, a sketch there. Get a little memo pad and keep it in your pocket. Ideas generate ideas and bad ideas generate even better.


Keep those thoughts flowing.

Stay close for news on the next project "Never Give Up!" a How to... book just for you. 


Visit www.thevioletwest.com and subscribe so you won't miss a thing.

Dialogue with thoughts: Notebooks



Notebooks, I can't get enough of them, different sizes, different themes, different purposes.


Some for drawing and sketching others for simple thoughts and ideas, some to keep secrets and experiment others to share sketches with you.


I always carry one and I keep an active dialogue with my thoughts.






Lunch break exercise, took the hour to munch on some tasty food and make an exercise from a tutorial. The best way to learn is by doing it. Learned a lot today.

Dialogue with thoughts: Diversity

16:15 I do understand that often people in social media follow an account because they only love sketches, or they only want to see the webcomics, maybe just see the digital art, and that is ok I do it too... but that is the same as asking them to be made only of hair and nothing else, or eyes...or fingers. I love all parts of my favorite artists. Their sketches, their video, their happiness and sadness. I kinda like to let them surprise me. The human body is complex... The human mind is worse, but a creative mind it's impossible to keep simple, limited and monotonous. We fought to accept diversity. So yes to a diverse feed too.

Dialogue with Thoughts: 26 August 2018

graphic novel, vanessa bettencourt art, polly and the black ink, all ages comics, all ages graphic novel, fighting depression, mystery and action books, children's graphic novel, comic books, new releases, books coming out, superpowers, supergirl, educati

Think outside of the... tablet!


Think you didn't do much the past week? Take your little notebook from your pocket or bag and check out the intense and pages full of good ideas, bad ideas.


The worst ideas are my favorite because they challenge me to search for a solution and come up with twenty other ideas - to prove the first bad one was not a dead end. Start those dialogues with your creative brain.




Subscribe to the new website, all my books, and news coming soon.


Dialogue with Thoughts: 24 August 2018

6:30 mind is full of ideas for a new story.


It's my brain fighting the 42 chapter illustrations remaining.


I have a schedule to keep, a focus and a goal to accomplish.


Let's stay in that path.


Working from home requires discipline.


You put your personality to the test and intensifies some of the weakest traits one might have when you are developing a project for yourself - when you are your boss.


It took me some time to adapt to a schedule that made sense to me.


August always makes me stumble. However,  it's also impossible to keep the same one hundred percent perfect energy and creativity going daily.


Art is not about doing something relatively just ok every day.


It's about evolution, process, struggle, failures and the sweet rewards that come after it. 


So let's do that five minutes a day or 10h of little steps forward... towards success. 


Thank you for keeping up with this blog. Don't miss the next events, projects or book releases. Subscribe to The Violet West.

Dialogue with Thoughts: 23 August 2018

7:30. Have my water and oatmeal bowl.


Sitting at my desk, shoving demons and disappointments away from my mind.


Warming up for a day of full chapter illustrations.


The deadline is close and my high expectations of the quality of my own work makes it harder to get it done quickly or have fun. I'm still proud of it.


I just can't look at the total of illustrations required to finish the book without panicking. 43 chapters and 4 to 5 illustrations each. Instead of doing math... I have to look at small steps. Small goals to reach the larger one.


Set the limit for maybe 2 or 4 a day, maybe a chapter in the morning and another after lunch. That's about 8 to 10 full drawings. The journey is a lonely path but so are the rewards. 

Start small... One little goal at the time.


Maybe today I'll do one illustration in the morning and another in the afternoon. After all I was the one who set the impossible and short deadline to start with. One month for all? Let's see what happens just today.


I'll let you know...


For news or events, new projects and book releases subscribe to The Violet West.

New Publisher Site


This is what I've been working so hard the past weeks. It's finally live. One site, all the books. The epic fantasy series catalog from the author Jacob Falling and author and illustrator Vanessa Bettencourt on a single site. Follow THE VIOLET WEST for updates on upcoming projects and events.

My Artwork for Kristin Cashore's books (Portuguese Edition)

cover art, digital art, kristin cashore, graceling, fire, kristin cashore portuguese cover, cover artwork, fantasy novels, cover design graceling,


When I lived in Lisbon, I had the opportunity to work with a Portuguese publisher to draw the Portuguese covers for Kristin Cashore's books  (Graceling and Fire)


I had lots of fun painting these covers, but Fire was my favorite. 


Sometimes I buy a book that I already own, because of the new covers. That happened with my Harry Potter collection.  I just loved the new covers so much that I had to get them on my shelf. 

Fans meet author / Authors meet fans: Dealing with social anxiety

dealing with social anxiety


Artists are probably the people who are less prepared to deal with social interaction and talk to the public. We're the ones that decided to stay indoors and create instead of going out. It's a lifestyle, but it means we don't build as many social skills as needed. 


Times change and it's expected from the artist to show our process, our story, to be part of the art and make fans part of it too. We have to put ourselves out there and hope for the best.



garfield, graphic novel, comics, amazon top, biographic comics, humor, books,  Art on the Avenue, coincidence, Del ray, comic pages



It's our passion for our art and the respect that we have for our fans that lead us to fight these horrible monsters and deal with our social anxiety in loco. 


We practice in front of the mirror and try to come up with better ways to present our work and ourselves, but there is just so much we can predict and practice after all. 


I can say that my years working as a teacher improved my ability to communicate in public a lot.


My cute little students allowed me to be expressive and to be myself. They didn't judge me and as they were honest as children can be. They taught me a lot.


Talking to adults is a bit different. 


In the wise words of Yoda... Do or Do Not...


I am the kind of girl that Goes Big or Goes Home. My first artist table was a huge event.


When we apply for a big comic convention as Awesome Con, we have to do it almost six months or more before to save a spot. You may think that it's good news.

spx, small press expo
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Free Calendar for Susbcribers

free calendar, calendar, graphic novel, comics, notfrombrazil

  NotFromBrazil FREE calendar for subscribers.

Today October 13th 2017 I sent with my newsletter the November 2017 Calendar page free to download and print.

I will be gifting a page each every month until December 2018.


For those who you subscribed after the October 13th and until October 31st.


I will send the November Calendar directly to your email. 



Subscribe to notfrombrazil.com or vanessabettencourtart.com


Art on the Avenue

garfield, graphic novel, comics, amazon top, biographic comics, humor, books,  Art on the Avenue, coincidence, Del ray, comic pages

Last October 7th was fun with the Alexandria Library at the Del Ray, Artist Demonstration area. 
Warming up drawing before the crowd arrived.
I got to draw 65 children from 9 to 18h it was a non stopping blast. Thanks to all of those who came by the table to say hi! We had lot's of fun.


Kids are usually shy and they get nervous when I stare at them too much, so instead of being quite, we just talk about all of the fun things: their hobbies, their adventures, the things they love and want to accomplish. This helps me to infuse a lot of personality into their portraits and add extra background elements. 

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Husband and Wife Team!

digital art, artist, art, artist studio, work in progress, couple's goal, team work, art studio, kindle covers, fantasy art, illustrations, cintiq13hd artist, art, drawing, art process, artist journal


Spent a great weekend indoors with my lovey-dovey. It's been five years that we're working together in the Heir of Scars epic fantasy series. 


I draw his characters and covers and he writes amazing stories about them.


I'm almost finishing a new Kindle cover starring Adria Idonea, "J's" main character. We had fun working together during the day and playing fantasy RPG at night. 



I have to start working on the cover for Heir of Scars volume II to press Jacob to finish writing it as soon as possible. I want to read the rest.  Ehehehe!

Adria Idonea sneak peek

This is how I spend my weekend.

Painting a new portrait of Adria Idonea.


The main character of Heir of Scars series by Jacob Falling. 

I love to paint noses, it's my favorite part and to paint women. I'm going to have a lot of fun with this one will share more of the process as I go.

Have a great weekend surrounded by art, books and fun. 

digital art, work in progress, artist, portuguese artist, art, portrait, fantasy, female protagonist, warrior woman, painting, wacom, vanessa bettencourt art, heir of scars, how to paint, I draw women

Top 40! Thanks to my readers!

Great News!! Notfrombrazil reached top 40 on Amazon. Thank you, guys! Right next to Garfield... wait...

Aahahah! This is hilarious. It's just like page 65 of Notfrombrazil!!! What a coincidence!

garfield, graphic novel, comics, amazon top, biographic comics, humor, books, funny, coincidence, life of an artist, comic pages





Fall Festival at the Library (Beatley Central Library - Alexandria)

alexandria library, beatley central library, friends of the library, drawing, workshop, how to draw, portraits, sketching portraits, portuguese artist, art, vanessa bettencourt art, artist alley set up, books, book fair, best of

Last week at the Fall Festival I had a lot of fun giving tips on how to draw cartoon portraits, starting with the basic shapes. 


Ah hour later I had a line of amazing people of all ages ready to sit down in front of me and see their portrait quickly appear from simple lines to recognition. 


It was an amazing experience, where I traded portraits for their stories. They asked me about my trade, and I got to know this community better.

The library is huge, well organized and with amazing staff.


Thank you all for having me.


Some of the kids where nice to draw me back. I think I'm a winner here, don't you think?

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NotFromBrazil Book Trailer

Waaa ūüíěūüôč finally done. My first animation so please be gentle. Official book trailer for Notfrombrazil.com webcomic book series.¬†

Hope it's fun to watch. 
If you were part of our long distance relationship you might recognize yourself in these pages.

Small Press Expo

drawing, digital art, vanessa bettencourt art, sketch, sketchbook, doodles, chapter, illustrations, book, fantasy, artist process, artist wip, graphic novel, how to,  tutorial, tips, artist, portuguese artist, small press expo, artist alley, spx, books


Small Press Expo this weekend was a blast.

It's the best place to discover high-quality work, hunt for amazing books, meet their creators and connect to amazing artists.


We had the change to showcase our work to a lot of diverse and interesting people.  We were humbled and inspired by their stories, their passion and their goals. 



We thank those who showed interest and passion for our books and took a piece of our story home.


As a husband and wife duo, it was fun and an honor to present Heir of Scars. The epic fantasy novel project by Jacob Falling (my husband's pen name for this project) that started all.  American author in search of art for his cover hires Portuguese artist girl!


389.. 390... webcomic episodes later, I am proud to present my first NotFromBrazil.com  paperback that covers the first year of our relationship with tips on how to survive a long distance relationship and travel alone without stress. Also... the debut of volume IV of Polly and the Black Ink. This volume speaks so much to me. Only one left to finish the first Arc of Polly and the Black Ink series.


You can find all our books and kindle editions here.




Signing personalized copies to our new readers is fun!

Tuesday Tip Time - Sketchbook First Page

Tuesday Tip Time. Sketchbooks can be intimidating especially if they're expensive. 

Make a mess. Set yourself free. 

You should try to make as many errors as possible so you can learn more.

What's next?

What project will follow Polly and the Black Ink ?

Only one more book to finish the first arc of Polly and the Black Ink graphic novel! What then?


The next project will be a Children's Novel that the adults will truly appreciate.


Are you afraid of spiders? I am.

This project was born from my fear of spiders. I molded my fear into words and an created a new land. A world where insects fear spiders too...  They fear their dark and evil.



I've been working on the manuscript for a year and a half already to come up with my perfect version of  Beyond the Cliff & Courage.  An epic fantasy novel of little bugs with giant courage. A fight between good and evil.


I don't want it to be one more book that entertains and gets consumed quickly.

I want the reader to remember it for ever. I want this story to survive the ages and to make readers come back to it and reread it every year.


The same for the illustrations. I want each one to stand out as a work of art.


Can't wait to share more of my process and the book.

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New Volume out

Polly and the Black Ink IV is out!

You can get your paperback copy of Polly and the Black Ink Volume IV - Into the Darkness from amazon online stores, soon available all around the world. 


Time is up! They can choose to fight... or watch their world crumble. Polly is ready and no matter what happens, she's not alone.


It's time to open doors and reveal all secrets.


Paperback 7 x 10 full -color -104 pages


News & Events

Lots of news and work since our the last comic convention. Here are some updates on the different projects of Violet West Entertainment:

  • ¬†Restocking with copies of Heir of Scars Book I for the Small Press Expo event - Table Location- W9.
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Next Events

Sketchbook Portraits

portraits, pencil portraits, emotional portraits, pencil, traditional art, sketchbook, drawing, art, my love, drawing my love, traditional portraits

My husband arrived home with a new sketchbook yesterday. What a wonderful surprise. An empty book to fill with many worlds of possibilities. I will dedicate this sketchbook to portraits.

Evolution of Polly Mason Character

character design, graphic novel, evolution, drawing evolution, character evolution, polly mason, vanessa bettencourt art

New Notfrombrazil Vol. I Cover

 Cover for Notfrombrazil first Paperback and Kindle Edition is ready. Volume I will be on Kickstarter soon. Thank you all for your support!!




Adding some extra pages to the book right now with tips about long distance relationship and flying alone for the first time!



NotfromBrazil Book Volume I

graphic novel, comicbook, kindle, comics, sliceoflife, long distance relationship, visa, K1, comics, funny, humor, publishing, createspace comics

NOTFROMBRAZIL Volume I is about to happen. After three years of nonstop episodes three times a week!



Holy Pony!  I'm so excited... and a bit nervous. Am I revealing things I never published before? Of course! It's a totally new experience, even if you have binged our story more than once!


All comic pages are color now, featuring the same style - completely redrawn.   I added some pages that never got published online before.  Also, there's a lot of new characters and humor.  Adding some long distance relationship and how to travel long distances tips.  


The story flows as a graphic novel and tells how we met and how our relationship developed. If you were part of our long distance relationship first year, you are probably a character in this book! Others will appear in the next volumes as the story develops. 


It's a great way to honor amazing people who were part of our lives, family and friends and those who have already departed.


We're aiming for a paperback and a Kindle version this September. Still considering the opportunity to do a Kickstarter for all of those who are interested in having a personalized signed copy of the book and extra .


graphic novel, webcomic, comics, comic page, slice of life comics, notfrombrazil, volume I, long distance relationship, tips

Awesome con DC 2017 Artist Alley Review


Gloomy Sunday Nigh...

A week has passed since the excitement of Awesome Con Dc 2017.

Don't you just hate the days after?

Wait... I'm I turning grey? Polly!!! (I hope she finds my door soon.)


For now... The only way I can fight the emptiness is to start preparing the next event.


Awesome Con 2017 Artist Alley had many important guests this year. Starting with Stan Lee and David Tennant... and ending with the presence of old friends from previous events.

Special thanks to those who visited our booth and supported us by getting new art and new books or simply to say hi and take some photos. We enjoyed every moment.


The event was extremely family friendly, and the result was a fun Sunday with new young fans.

We talked about Polly and our love to draw. We exchanged ideas about upcoming animations, games and summer graphic novels. I'm glad to have a few more fans from whom I hope to see fan art and drawings soon has they have promised me.

They had fun and that makes me extremely pleased, moreover because Polly Mason and Paws had an important part in their smiles. 


Polly and the Black Ink is an all ages graphic novel, drawing adults too who immediately realize the potential of the story.  They categorize it as a great and interesting concept altogether with very original artwork and style.

Prints available here.

Books available on Amazon.


 The story becomes more complex. We find ourselves following Polly Mason into mysterious and parallel worlds full of fantasy and populated with people's ideas, dreams and personalities.


Who or what is the Black Ink? How can it be stopped? Can it be stopped at all?


Heir of Scars epic fantasy novel book I by Jacob Falling was equally a success. Many are right now following Adria Idonea. The princess who refused to stay in her tower. Adria rebellions against the king, her father, and joins her uncle in the forest to become one of the Aesidhe.

The indigenous tribe welcomed her, and she becomes a Hunter... a Healer... until a promise must be kept and she must decide if her place is with the Aesidhe, fighting her father's knights or back home... 


The new art includes the collection series of The Whispers and The Watchers. Prints available here.

Books available on Amazon.


Next events here.



And of course it wouldn't be a truly comic con convention without the best cosplayers.

TABLE K15 - Violet West Entertainment at Awesome Con D.C 2017

Polly and the Black Ink Volume III Release

 polly mason, vanessa bettencourt art , graphic novel, comic book, art, mystery, action, superhero, villain, parallel worlds, fantasy, supergirl




Holy Pony! Polly and the Black Ink Volume III is out! 


Like I announced on the past interview (see last blog post), Volume III paperback Heroes or Villains is now available.


You can get your copy here.



Interview: Meet a Local Cartoonist Vanessa Bettencourt

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Workshop Was Fun!

Polly and the Black Ink graphic novel and I returned to the local independent bookstore Hooray for Books.



Special thanks to Ellen for having me in her fantastic and always updated store again. (They always have events happening all the time  - check their schedule.) I will be returning there next September with new Polly volumes.





Polly and the Black Ink Volume III: Heroes and Villains book III is coming out soon. What a better way to celebrate it than a free workshop, teaching the audience to draw their hero or villain from scratch.






Volume III: Heroes and Villains

We had a great time.


I'm grateful my audience included children from 5-years-old up to adults. I'm happy that in the end, the parents joined the fun as well.

One of the tables:

I  started by introducing Polly, telling her story.

Polly moves to Sanctuary. From a big city to a small island that shows in no map in the world. Everyone who lives there has a secret and... Polly discovers that something evil followed her to the island.


My audience quickly pointed out the Black Ink as the great mysterious Evil. They learned the Black Ink was responsible for turning people grey.


One of the kids in the audience had a grey hoodie, and her reaction was great. Without wasting time, I reassured Kassie that Polly was going to save her from becoming grey too because Polly is the only one who can see it happen and she will open a door into Kassie's world and save her core.

We broke the ice it was time to start drawing.

Basic shapes make different characters.


I use a lot of round and oval shapes to make them look cute. With squares and straight lines I can create more heroic and stronger characters, and for villains, I reserve harsh and sharp shapes.

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Book Signing at Bookstore


Just arrived from my book event at Hooray for Books bookstore. It was such a great time to share my work, meet other local authors and make new fans and friends. YAY! I will be back for a new event at the same place September 9th with Polly and the Black Ink Grafic Novel and personalize book signings.

Artist Alley Polly first public appearance

Our first time at Katsucon, I confess I was nervous taking an original graphic novel to a crowd who already gave their love to famous anime and cartoon characters, but it turned out great. It was fun to recognize some of Heir of Scars fans from last year's Awesome Con artist alley. They didn't recognize us because we had a completely different product and display. Still they stopped by and were very interested in Polly and that made me happy.

Polly made a lot of people stop and talk to me. I am so thankful to all of my new fans who got both volumes (I and II) without hesitation.

A year ago I decided to make a graphic novel and finish it in one year. I did it and now Polly is in many homes. It's not just only mine. I'm confident people will love it.

Also would like to thank the notfrombrazil.com fans who came to our table to meet us and take a selfie. It meant a lot to me. Hope to see you again at Awesome con Artist Alley for another three days of fun!

katsucon2017, artist alley, awesomecon 2017, awesome con, katsucon, graphic novel, commissions

www.notfrombrazil.com is a free webcomic series that tells the story of how I came to meet Jon and move into the USA. It's a comedy, biographical comic series. It updates three times a week.

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Awesome con was great

Awesome con was great. We got a chance to make lots of new friends and share our projects. Can't wait to see you all again next year.




 You are part of our inspiration and creative process.

Here are the available titles:


Heir of Scars Epic Fantasy Novels


Graphic Novel Polly and the Black Ink


Art Prints 





Help us reach more people by reviewing our books on Amazon. Just mention that you got the book directly from the authors at a book fair or artist alley. And share this projects with your friends and family.


After such great weekend at Awesome Con DC 2016 I have to thank all the cosplayers who stopped for a quick picture by our table. It was such a great time. Thank you all for your creativity and good humor. See you next year at Awesome Con

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Comic Con Booth

comic con new york artist alley walking dead booth set up selling prints fanart books comics graphic novels tutorial theartslave deviantart article sell art promote

Planning to sell on a Comic Con?


Found this amazing article on all you have to know about Artist Alley. Check it out.


The author of the article is theartslave (deviantart)




Webcomic: Tutorial angles

How to create Graphic Novel (youtubevideo) tutorial by Micheal Lyman.


I learn much quicker by remaking with my own drawings and ideas as many times as necessary to understand the eg.

( this is a study, no plagiarism intended) check out the video for more details on each panel.

webcomictutorial graphicnoveltutorial graphicnoveltechniques · anglespanels
webcomictutorial graphicnoveltutorial graphicnoveltechniques anglespanels
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Webcomic: Tutorial Panels

How to create Graphic Novel (youtubevideo) tutorial by Micheal Lyman.

I learn much quicker by remaking with my own drawings and ideas as many times as necessary to understand the eg.

( this is a study, no plagiarism intended) check out the video for more details on each panel.

webcomictutorial graphicnoveltutorial  graphicnoveltechniques  comicbookpanel
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Free fonts

Find a lot of fonts here.

Any style.


fontfree webcomicfont fontsfree dafont.com

Learn by doing it

Using Scott McCloud's book: Making comics, I'll show his 6 types of panel-to-panel transitions in comic art.

I'll be using my Original Characters: Stupid Little Phones


1. Moment-to-Moment :  slow, almost a step by step illustration


2. Action-to-Action: one suject, different actions

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To make comic strips or webcomics you should read a lot of comics and books.


Just by having fun and supporting other artists you'll start to understand how a story flows, how to create drama and how to use the lines and panels to get do more.


Also you'll find the best genre or format for you comic.


2... 3... or 4... panel comic strip:


I'm a fan of several comics so here are some examples ( I do not own the following images)


web comic book technique cartoon tutorial comic strip tutorial


The first panel is all about CONTEXT :



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