Saturday 27 July 2024

11am - 4:30pm

IWM London

Limited availability and advance booking only.


Join acclaimed artist Keith Burns as he presents a workshop on creating the vivid, action-packed illustrations which bring Second World War comics to life.

Beginning the day with a tour of IWM's Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries, gather inspiration from the huge collection of artwork on display. Then engage in a practical workshop with Keith as he teaches how to produce comic book illustrations which capture the reader's imagination. 

The Art of Aviation

Illustration showing a Spitfire pilot being helped out of his damaged aircraft by ground crew.
© Keith Burns
'Close Call' by Keith Burns.

Comics are by far the most intense illustration job that exists but also the discipline that will teach you the most

Keith Burns

Learn how to capture the kinetic energy of flight and action, build scenes that demand the viewer's attention and identify the key details that bring a drawing to life.  

Keith will demonstrate and explain the techniques used to produce a pencilled comic page ‘rough’, focusing on dynamic storytelling and leading the reader’s eye through the page. 

At the end of the workshop, you will have produced your own comic page and gained the fundamental knowledge needed to create more. 

Keith will share tips and tricks he has developed over the years and explain how to take your ‘rough’ and turn it into a full, inked page.

The workshop is suitable for all abilities, all you need is a sketchpad and pencils. A smartphone or tablet is also recommended.

About Keith Burns

Comic strip showing a squadron of De Havilland Mosquitos attacking a U-Boat flotilla.
© Keith Burns
A page from 'Out of the Blue' by Garth Ennis and Keith Burns.

Born in Dublin in 1974, Keith Burns is an award-winning artist and illustrator specialising in The Second World War. He began his career in comics where he learnt the art of capturing movement and storytelling in images. He is a full member of the Guild of Aviation Artists and has sat on the selection committee judging artwork suitable for entry into the annual exhibition. 

Keith’s commercial work can be seen on stamps, jigsaws, book covers, magazine covers, comics, and in Ladybird books. His recent book with James Holland titled The Second World War Illustrated took five years to complete and contains 288 paintings. 

Keith has been commissioned by the RAF, the Army and the SAS LRDG Charity and in 2018 completed the only official RAF100 painting. He also produces fine art paintings for a gallery depicting The Great War and The Second World War as well as motorsport purchased by collectors worldwide. He is currently working on further Second World War aviation comics with Garth Ennis.

About the Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries

Visitors standing in IWM London's new Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography galleries, admiring large artworks, one of which is 'Oppy Wood, 1917, Evening' by John Nash.

Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries are the UK’s first to explore how artists, photographers and filmmakers bear witness to, document and tell the story of war and conflict.

Works including John Singer Sargent’s monumental painting Gassed, Steve McQueen’s response to the 2003 war in Iraq, Queen and Country, and works by artists including Paul Nash, Laura Knight and Rosalind Nashashibi, will demonstrate how artistic interpretation can uniquely shape our understanding of war. With diverse displays from filmmakers including Peter Jackson, Geoffrey Malins and Omer Fast, and photographers including Olive Edis, Cecil Beaton and Tim Hetherington, the new, permanent galleries will reflect global conflict from 1914 to the present day.

Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries includes around 500 works from IWM’s permanent collection. This is the first time in IWM’s history that a permanent gallery space has been created to display visual art.

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