DrawAble: Unfolding Stories by Inbal Leitner

By Inbal Leitner

Inbal Leitner is a professional Illustrator with over 20 years’ experience working within the Illustration and Animation industry. After working on many editorial illustration, and animation projects, Inbal specialised in Children’s Book Illustration and completed a Masters at Cambridge School of Art in 2018. In this second post from a series of two about illustrating poetry, Inbal encourages stepping out of the sketchbook to create a mini illustrated poem for your own eyes only.


Collage picture of trees by Inbal Leitner

Images can tell a story even without words. A sequence of images helps us understand what happened before and what will happen later.

Read the poem again and choose a line or few lines that describe a situation, something that happens. Can you respond to those lines?

You may want to draw what the lines say or you may be inspired by the poem to draw/paint/create something else in response to the lines you chose.

Composition: Stepping out of the Sketchbook

We can present our images in different ways.
To do that, you need to remember one important thing: Pages don’t need to stay in one piece! You can cut out windows and holes, you can add flaps, stick shapes, plants, people, animals, buildings – anything!

Let’s try and step out of the sketchbook –
Take a few pieces of paper, fold and cut them in different ways, so that unfolding them will be fun and interesting. Yon can try concertina, gate fold, “snail” fold or any types of folds!

Concertina Pages by Inbal Leitner
Let’s see if we can make the folded papers into mini-books!

Can you fit one of the images you created previously into your folded papers? Where would you paint/Draw it? In the beginning? The middle? The end of your mini folding book?

Once you’ve placed your image, think of additional images that can be placed before or after your image. Go back to shape and line drawings and see if you can come up with a small sequence of images that tell the story of the poem or a story inspired by the poem.

Illustrated Concertina by Inbal Leitner
Unfold the paper and read your mini story with your eyes only, now unfold it while reading the poem aloud. Does it work? If you would like to change anything, you can always try another mini book or cut out the parts you less like and replace them with newly painted/drawn parts.

There are endless ways to tell stories, you can always go back to your sketchbook, add ideas, explore and invent new ways of storytelling.

Enjoy the Making!

Explore more work by Inbal Leitner


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