Visual Storytelling Workshop Series

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Visual Storytelling Workshop Series

An online workshop series focused on developing a comics practice.

Learn about the vibrant and changing world of visual storytelling through comics, storyboards, illustrations and graphic novels. 

Explore the art of building stories through text and image during this series of online workshops. Each workshop includes creative drawing prompts, class discussions and tailored feedback. Together, we will look at the construction of graphic narratvies – from woodcuts to webcomics – developing our own projects along the way. 

Learn foundation skills visual communication, as well as special comics techniques, through:

  • live demonstrations
  • step by step exercises
  • hands on practice
  • time for individual style and expression

Visual Storytelling Workshop Series consists of different modules, each focused on a different aspect of developing your visual language. 

The teaching develops organically with each module over the course of the year, but if you start mid-year you will be guided into the overall process.

Individual tutoring and specific exercises will respond to the goals, struggles and needs of each student. Complete beginners are welcome and you are invited to join at the start of any module, or leave and come back. This workshop series is for anyone that is developing their own comics series or graphic novel or just wants to explore different aspects of visual storytelling. For those further along in their creative journey, this can also be a place to get feedback on long term projects.

When I found Ali's course, I had the feeling this is a bit different. Ali offered a nice mix of warm up exercised, theoretical input, feedback, answering questions, sharing own experiences and several drawing exercises. She encouraged the participants to create and stick with a character. Since the course happened over a long period and I got feedback and input every week, it was possible to get into a process and develop something. I created a wolf character, who is now part of several comics I've made and still make. I also liked Ali's political awarness and openess. I didn't had a favorite exercise, but I liked a lot, that we started with a short warm up, did another longer exercise and did a long exercise in the end of each class.
Maria Preußmann @mitziberlin
Participant in the Visual Storytelling Workshop Series

Online Workshop Modules for 2023

Join at the start of any workshop, no matter what level you are at. 

  • Visual Storytelling Workshop – 6 Weeks 
  • Developing Comic Characters – 6 Weeks 
  • Wednesdays 6-8pm CET
  • (Starts 6pm in Berlin, 12pm in New York, 9am in San Francisco, 5pm in London) 
4_Fitzgerald_nursery

Writing and Illustrating a Graphic Novel​

Ali Fitzgerald: artist-instructor and graphic novelist

Ali Fitzgerald is an artist and writer living in Berlin. She is a regular contributor to the New Yorker as well as the New York Times. Her work has also been published in the Guardian, New York Magazine: The Cut, Modern Painters Magazine, McSweeney’s and elsewhere. Her art has been exhibited internationally, including the Haus am Luetzowplatz in Berlin, the Center for Book Arts in New York and the Austin Museum of Art.

In 2017 she was awarded the Cornish CCS fellowship at the Center for Cartoon Studies and in 2018 the Georgia Fee Residency with Artslant in Paris. In the Spring of 2018 she collaborated with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on a series of drawings about Magritte. In 2020 was a fellow at the Maison des Artistes in Angoulême, France.

Her graphic nonfiction book, “Drawn to Berlin,” about teaching comics in refugee shelters and Berlin’s evolving relationship to Bohemia and immigration was named one of the top ten comics of 2018 by New York Magazine:Vulture and received the Independent Publisher’s Award for Best Drawn Book of 2018.

She has conducted visual storytelling workshops at the National Library of Germany in Frankfurt, the University of Bath, Shakespeare and Company in Paris, Davidson College, and Grafill in Norway and is skilled at directing individuals along their own comic journey. 

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The watercolor workshop was excellent and my first online art workshop. I hadn’t worked with watercolor for many years and I was able to refresh my memory and learn new techniques each week. Each session was recorded so I was able to reinforce my learning. Each participant was able to upload their projects and get positive feedback and suggestions. The instructor is an organized, very experienced water-colorist and teacher who shares her passion for the medium. She cares about each student and their progress. The sense of community that developed was such a treat. I live in the USA and worked from my studio. There were students from four other countries. I signed up for another class immediately and hope online classes will continue to be offered.

Norma Bradley (Sketchbook Practice Workshop, 2020)

I’ve been taking drawing workshops all year online from California. They have been fantastic! I’ve notice huge improvements in my technical abilities, confidence, and overall passion for drawing. I highly recommend.

Derek Chan

I recently took a workshop with Ali Fitzgerald and it was absolutely wonderful! I am an illustrator, meaning I am used to working with single images, but I have always admired comic artists who work with multiple panels. Ali’s lessons were super insightful and she had so many simple and efficient tips that helped me actually put my single images together and tell a story with real emotional expressions and a storyline. Highly recommend it to any artists out there who are trying to take a leap into making comics or bringing their stories to life! But if you are a beginner this workshop will also be perfect for you 🙂 Ali is super patient, kind and willing to help with everything you might need.

Julia Mota Albuquerque

Mira celebrates her wonder of nature with her students. Whether for beginners or for more advanced participants, her classes provide technical instruction from the blank page and fresh paints to the finished work. Participants gain tips from her meticulous drawings, as well as courage from each other as we each develop our skills. Emotionally soothing and intellectually captivating, these drawing classes are a great investment for developing a new skill or honing an old one!

Wendy M K Shaw

I really recommend these classes to open minded people. Here you will learn basics or enhance your already established skills in a non academic way. You can always grab a book and learn about how you “should” draw lights and shadows, but this is different. This is about approaching reality, breaking through your “standards” and creating something that, sometimes surprisingly, is always definitely interesting. If you are not afraid of what can get out of your pencil when you let it go, just come to this workshop: it is the right place for you!

Simone Brizzi

Great drawing and painting courses. Teachers have a professional background and outstanding social skills – to make a group feel comfortable. Even beginners and people who feel insecure about their creativity are taken care of here. Definitely recommend! I’m currently participating in an online course and enjoy being creative in a group from the comfort of my home.

Pat Re

I wanted to learn how to draw comics or create a graphic novel. Books and classes I found and did so far, had quite a conventional approach. When I found Ali’s course, I had the feeling this is a bit different from the others. I wasn’t sure at the beginning, if it would be worth to book all 5 classes at once, but I absolutely didn’t regret that I did. Over 5 months I participated nearly every week in the online class. Ali offered a nice mix of warm up exercised, theoretical input, feedback, answering questions, sharing own experiences and several drawing exercises. She encouraged the participants to create and stick with a character. Since the course happened over a long period and I got feedback and input every week, it was possible to get into a process and develop something. I didn’t had any specific in mind, but over the time I created a wolf character, who is now part of several comics I’ve made and still make. I also liked Ali’s political awareness and openness. I didn’t have a favourite exercise, but I liked a lot, that we started with a short warm up, did another longer exercise and did a long exercise in the end of each class.

Maria Preußmann (Visual Storytelling Workshop Series with Ali Fitzgerald, 2021)

I loved the specimens that she chose for the winter botanical series. Mira is an excellent teacher. She was gentle and kind with her appraisals of my work (I was a beginner) and she was open to the needs of her students. I highly recommend this class!

Michele Villeneuve

I recently finished Mira’s online Winter Botanical Watercolour series and it’s been a very special experience, not only because the class was wonderful, but also because I signed up together with my eleven-year-old daughter and my mum. I think it’s the first time the Berlin Drawing Room has seen three generations of one family in a class!

This class was a real eye opener in every respect – I never thought I could draw and then the magic happens with the help of the calm professional inspired guidance by Mira O’Brien. This sounds exaggerated I’m sure, but to me the whole drawing course was a real life changing experience!!! I recommend to everybody to dive in there and come out feeling like a talented artistic person with loads of new skills : ))) Drawing Workshop

Hannelore (Drawing from Observation)

I took the Summer Botanical Watercolor Workshop with Mira O’Brien. It was a such a marvelous experience; clear, precise, informative and wonderful. Although initially slightly hesitant about taking an online class, I was especially impressed! The online nature of the class gave us up close access to watching Mira do demos which was a huge highlight! I would recommend this class to anyone who is either interested in learning about watercolor techniques as a beginner or as someone who has watercolor experience. Mira’s enthusiasm for botanical watercolors comes through in so many ways! For each class she prepared wonderful slide shows about plants and techniques – always giving us a context with which to understand that day’s class! Take this class! It’s marvelous!

April Gertler

I took the Drawing Workshop and can highly recommend it. This is a great class for learning to observe and draw in a structured, yet playful and creative way. I was familiar with some of the ideas from Betty Edwards ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’, and I also met many new exercises and ways of approaching drawing. Mira is a gentle and supportive teacher, at the same time she is always stretching her students to try different methods and get beyond their self-imposed limits. By the end of the class, I noticed that my drawing had improved in ways that I hadn’t even realised!

Catherine Lupton (Drawing Workshop, 2013)

Mira’s Botanical watercolor classes are wonderful on many levels! Not only does one learn watercolor techniques, but also the skills of observation and recording the natural world. Mira is very knowledgeable, inclusive and accepting of all skill levels. It was fun!

Michelle Soule

Out of all of the art classes that I’ve taken this was the one that I see my skills progress the fastest. My instructor taught at a great pace, had such care for their students, and patience. You guys rule!! Portrait Painting Workshop.

Best art workshops I’ve ever attended! I really enjoyed a botanical watercolour workshop with Mira, and have attended the Sketchbook Workshop series monthly for the past year. It’s changed my artistic life by keeping me motivated to create art daily, and I learn so much from the instructor and the other students each class. Best of all, the sketchbook series is completely online right now, so students from around the world can join in! I highly recommend classes from Berlin Drawing Room for students who are beginners, advanced, or anywhere in between 🙂

Lindsey Gould

Had a wonderful experience at the Anatomy Drawing Online Workshop. The technical side of it was well organised and all the details before, during and after the course were excellently communicated by the tutor via email/dropbox! Overall a great experience. Would definitely recommend it to others! Liked it so much I’m taking another course there this month!

Heidy Wein

The course about anatomy was great! It’s amazing how much you can learn in such a short time and G is a very precise and nice instructor. Thank you for that!

Nathalie Frank (Anatomy Drawing Workshop, 2017)

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