The department's illustrated pdf offers more detailed information.
Digital illustration has rapidly become commonplace or even standard in many art-related fields. As illustrators have moved into the digital realm, we find ourselves exploring traditional concepts of picturemaking with ever more complex software. Some software packages strive to mimic paint, ink and graphite, but these programs also give us the freedom to explore mark making in entirely different ways unavailable in traditional media, identifying digital programs as tools to reinforce traditional techniques of illustration. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration majors; non-majors welcome pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the computer literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
Students in this course will investigate the specific physical structure of the human body, with the aim of producing drawings of greater structural and visual integrity and more fluid descriptions of movement and weight in the figure. We will proceed through the skeletal and muscular systems at a brisk but reasonable pace, learning names, points of articulation and the dynamic functions of each component of the body. Each weekly assignment will consist of a careful, descriptive drawing of an element of the skeletal or muscular system, and a 'dynamic' drawing in which that same element is shown in action in the living figure. We will also review the work of artists, both contemporary and historical, who have made vital artistic use of the elements of anatomical study. The course includes an optional field trip to the Brown University Evolutionary Biology Lab to draw from cadavers. There will be at least one written test on anatomical facts and terminology. The course culminates in a final project on the theme of 'A Human Ideal', exploring past concepts of idealized form in the figure in relation to anatomical reality and contemporary cultural perspectives. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
This course offers an introduction to the many artistic and technical aspects of designing and producing characters, environments and props for 3D games. Among the topics we will explore are the design of effective low-polygon characters and scenes, texturing and UV mapping, simple character rigging and effective collaborative design and execution. Software used: Photoshop and Maya (PLE). Knowledge of Photoshop, basic computer skills. Some familiarity with 3D computer modeling is helpful, but not essential. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration.
In this course we will explore the process of designing characters as well as the objects they possess and the environments they inhabit. Through a series of projects that emphasize conceptual thinking and functional design, students will learn the problem solving skills used in design as a means of supporting a narrative. Full color works in variety of media will be critiqued on their clarity of vision and strength of presentation. This course is a continuation of the ideas presented in Character Design, and will serve both students who have taken that class and students new to this subject matter. Restricted to Illustration Majors, Junior and above. Non-majors by permission during Add/Drop.
This course will examine various storytelling techniques used in cinema that are essential in guiding the look and feel of a film. These will include storyboarding, color key creation, and production illustrations. Our goal is to build the essential skills needed to participate in the narrative process of filmmaking. You will work both individually and in groups on a series of assignments to create finished works that build your individual skills, and demonstrate your abilities to work on a story team in a cinematic production. We will examine camera placement and frame-to-frame clarity by creating storyboards for different scenarios. In addition, to explore the emotional beats of a narrative, you will create lighting and color keys. In the final weeks, we will create a finished production illustration for a narrative that will be either supplied or created by the student. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
Portraiture in oils doesn't simply begin and end with a likeness. In this class we will explore ideas and techniques employed by great painters since the Renaissance to create truly lifelike representations. We will begin with limited color underpaintings and thereby establish the basic image which frees us up to explore color through glazing. As the semester progresses we will move on to opaque painting techniques and finally to thickly applied paint using the palette knife. Emphasis is placed on color mixing and the use of a limited palette. We will examine how color can convey life and how this can be achieved through the use of subtle warm and cool color relationships. Although the assignments are essentially figure and portrait related, the student is given great latitude in the choice of subject and how it is handled. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
A course intended to help students design with color through the use of acrylics, watercolor and a medium of their choice. We will explore ways of creating harmony, contrast, focus and space in a work of art by developing an understanding of opacity, transparency, temperature, value and intensity of color. Students will be expected to experiment with various color grounds as well as a variety of limited palettes. Assignments will include color charts, figure work, still lives and will focus on a final series. Major elective; restricted to Illustration majors; Junior and above; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
Not illustration. Not creative writing. Comics has its own language resulting from images and words working together. As students demonstrate mastery they will move from highly structured lessons and exercises to more personal and experimental long forms. Students will devote the last third of the course to creating and self-publishing a 24-page mini-comic of their own. Be prepared to write and draw a lot of pages. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
What is it like to make a living creating imagery for the numerous printed outlets of American culture in contemporary times? This course will emphasize problem-solving in a commercial situation while steadfastly holding on to your personal integrity. In addition to responding to editorial-based assignments, the student will be exposed, through slide lectures to the work of artists and illustrators who are burning a path right through the past and into the future of illustration. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for Illustration majors.
The finest illustrated book covers—from graphic novels to literary classics—captivate the reader both emotionally and intellectually, reflecting the essence of narrative content through potent imagery. This course explores the generative process of making illustrations for book covers—from sketch to finish, from comprehensive image to final revisions. Student will be engaged in analysis of narrative content, preparatory drawings and finished work. Weekly demonstrations will provide an intensive look at how an illustrator approaches formal material and aesthetic decisions in support of content, helping students gain confidence in the use of processes and materials. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
The goal of this course is to allow students to apply conceptual skills and image-making talents to issues that matter to society and the world. This course combines image-making, infographics, graphic design, brand identity, and story-telling. Working across print, digital, mobile and social media platforms, this course will challenge students with assignments that will cause them to think and create innovative visual communication that motivates people around a social cause. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
The ability to articulate ideas visually is the most important skill an illustrator has. Building on knowledge of observed and invented form in space gained in fall semester, this class will explore the human figure as physical form and as a vector for narrative and expression. Anatomical study, volumetric form, foreshortening, gesture, as well as balance and counterbalance will help ground and energize the figures physically. Narrative content and sequential reading will be explored in reference to the interaction of figures in a spatial context, and in relation to an imagined viewer. Additionally the student will be asked to consider complex integration of observed, researched and imagined imagery in the creation of more advanced independent personal work. Drawing will be approached as an investigative tool, one that supports all aspects of studio practice, from slow, developed works to quick research studies for paintings or other media. Narrative, expressive and conceptual issues will become increasingly consequential as students become more versed in defining , building and shaping their imagery. Various media and methods of working, including a role for limited color, will be introduced. Major requirement; restricted to sophomore Illustration majors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. Registration by Illustration department, course not available via web registration.
Persuasive argument takes many forms: Exhortation, denunciation, advocacy, inducement, subtle manipulation, etc. Students in this course will make such arguments in visual terms: posters, editorial pieces, advertisements. The object will be to construct images that combine force and elegance, though not necessarily in the service of truth. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for Illustration majors.
This course explores the role of illustrator as graphic designer, with a focus on the fundamentals of designing with imagery, the relationship between verbal and visual communication, and the complementary partnership between graphic design and illustration. Students are encouraged to have some fundamental experience with computers before enrolling in this course. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors
This course is designed to explore different animation techniques and materials, including working directly on film, drawing on paper, painting under the camera, object animation, cut-outs, and pixilation. It also teaches the fundamentals of animated movement and timing. Students in this course each make six short animations, with separate, synchronized sound tracks. At the end of the course, students create a DVD compilation of all their projects. A wide range of independent animated films are screened to demonstrate different techniques and approaches to animation. Major elective; permission of instructor required; restricted to Illustration and FAV majors; contact FAV Department Coordinator to register.
This course introduces digital media for Illustrators using three types of computer applications: image editing (Photoshop), vector graphics (Illustrator), and digital painting (Painter). While orienting students to the technical aspects of digital media, the class also provides an essential link to the Illustration Department's drawing, painting and conceptual curriculum. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the computer literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
How did Caravaggio finesse such powerful chiaroscuro in his masterpiece, The Conversion of Saul? What's beneath the surface of a Titian? Why are the details in Rembrandt portraits so alluring? And how did Vermeer so perfectly capture the north light in his tranquil domestic scenes? Knowledge of painting technique is vital but often neglected. This course presents the techniques of four great Late Renaissance and Baroque artists: Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Vermeer. Students paint from life in the studio, deciphering the techniques of these artists in painting from observation while guided through demonstrations and discussions of visual examples by these artists. Four figurative compositions inspired by the masters are completed during the semester, exploring materials and methods such as colored grounds, underpainting, glazing and scumbling to better understand and build upon the unique contributions of each of these artists. Major elective; Open to Non-Majors.
The New Yorker is one of the most respected periodicals in America, if not the English-speaking world. Its commentary, analysis and interpretation of the broadest spectrum of cultural concern are almost always articulate and influential. More importantly, it invariably has an illustrated cover. Students in this course develop a portfolio of cover solutions to different requirements defined by world events, the passing seasons and areas of cultural interest. A light touch, a strong grasp and cultural reach are helpful. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for Illustration majors.
This course will continue the study of color organization and use of the oil medium begun in the fall semester, with increased emphasis on compositional structure and adjustment. Assignments will feature imaginative or hybrid compositions, combining observed and invented components. Using principles of color, directional light and spatial structure to solidify atmospheric unity, we will explore the implication and construction of narrative. Work in class will solidify the student's ability to evoke volume, space and light. We will examine the breadth of creative choice in representational color use to illuminate the expressive qualities of various options. Students will study the role for color in directing the viewer's navigation of a composite subject, or imbuing a simple image with depth and complexity. Color design is introduced as an abstract structure that underlies figurative imagery, providing an important expressive subtext. Quick compositional studies in casein or gouache of a work in progress will be used to focus atmospheric and spatial effect. The historical development of color use in painting and cultural associations of style will be explored in slide lectures and experimentation. A capstone assignment will tie the principles of color and composition to a large narrative painting combining diverse imagery from reference and imagination, and emphasizing clarity and subtlety of structure in service of personally determined content. Major requirement; restricted to sophomore Illustration majors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. Registration by Illustration department, course not available via web registration.
This course will focus on extending issues of personal imagery, style and use of materials begun in Advanced Painting and other departmental electives. Studio work will be done outside of class time, which will be devoted to rotating group critiques, alternating with individual meetings with the instructor. In addition, there will be a weekly slide lecture, with related reading and assignments, to familiarize students with aspects of contemporary and modern fine art practice. Discussion of problems and opportunities facing the contemporary artist will be augmented by a field trip to New York City. Students will ultimately be responsible for developing a strong direction in their independent work, based on a thorough investigation of concept and media, and will be responsible for preparing a written statement of artistic purpose over the course of the semester. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
Puppets can span an emotional range from poetically tragic to violent and irreverent and throughout history have been both venerated and outlawed. The goal of the class is to give people a basic understanding of puppetry philosophy, construction and manipulation and to gain a richer appreciation of live movement towards image-based storytelling. The course will be loosely divided into three stages: investigating what a puppet is, designing and building, story telling/performance. Each student will create a three-dimensional figure (or figures), either representational or abstract. Manipulation languages of the puppets will be explored to highlight their narrative strengths including the puppet's relationship to the puppeteer. Exploration of the means by which the story is going to be told and find what is most appropriate will be integral to course activity. The culmination of the students' efforts will result in class performance/presentations, either individual, in small groups or collectively as a class.
This course is an opportunity to follow your own passion by developing a series of original projects. You are encouraged to work in the media and technique of your choice--painting, illustration, 3d, etc. Your ultimate goal might be creating material for graduate school application, a portfolio that is ready to show, or simply knockout work that is reflective of your RISD career. Major elective; Illustration seniors only
The slow craftsmanship that imparts jewel-like clarity and color to paintings from the Middle Ages and Renaissance stands in contrast to our fast-paced society. This class will present their important traditional techniques in studio exploration for the contemporary painter and illustrator. The techniques will include gilding, pure egg-yolk tempera, combined methods of oil and tempera, and use of oil glazes. Students will be able to examine first-hand relevant art on a field trip to New York City museums and consider art historical issues related to growth and development of these techniques. Fee covers most materials and field trip to NYC Major elective; Open to Non-Majors
From Leonardo's rich notebook studies to Audubon's great horned owl, to NASA's Mars Rover simulations, scientific illustration derives from rich traditions stressing scientific investigation, good design, close observation and technical mastery. We will begin with a study of the structuring strategies nature uses to create its enormous diversity of forms. Scientific drawing conventions, interesting drawing techniques and tools will be presented. Students will produce a variety of black and white, color and digital solutions exploring aspects of this broad field. The class will culminate with a final project allowing each student to explore a scientific area of interest. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
This course is designed to help students find their way to a marketplace utilizing the best tool available - the portfolio. Be it the freelance advertising, editorial or children's book markets, an animation or gaming studio, a publishing house, gallery or other venue—this course will introduce the components of the portfolio necessary for success. It includes development of both a traditional and on-line presence, discussions on specific industries, copyright issues, client contracts and pricing guidelines. Each student will create new work to augment their existing portfolio, as well as business cards, a resume, a contact list, invoice and letterhead. The course will also include visiting guest lecturers from a variety of industries. The focus will be to complete a portfolio that serves as a professional tool in the marketplace most suited to each individual's talent and aspirations. Major elective; restricted to Illustration seniors
The visual journal is an invaluable tool in a young artist's development. Based on memory, dreams, fantasy, travel, and intuitive stirrings, each student's own journal will be the source of a group of paintings executed in a variety of mediums such as oil, acrylic and watercolor. In addition to their own journals, students may create images/paintings based on pertinent film, memoirs, essays, or other reflective texts by well-known and lesser-known authors. (Suggested references may include: Christopher Isherwood's I Am A Camera; Arthur Koestler, Darkness At Noon; Allen Ginsberg, Howl; Kerouac, On The Road; Elie Weisel, Night; Vladimir Nabokov, Speak Memory; Francis Ford Coppola, Apocalypse Now; Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar; William Styron, Darkness, Visible: A Memoir of Madness; Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels; Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz.) Major elective; Open to Non-Majors
Illustration is an art of visual communication. Style is simply the illustrator's vocabulary. Substance is what the illustrator has chosen to express. The success of an illustration depends on the seamless connection of these two entities. In this course students encounter a wide variety of subject matter drawn from a variety of fields. They are asked to create illustrations with a particular emphasis on the development of a personal vision as well as the successful communication of wisely chosen ideas. Style, its strengths and limitations, is examined in the light of its importance in the marketplace. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for Illustration majors.
This observational drawing course is designed primarily to increase one's understanding of the human figure and its placement in space. Students will also explore the narrative potential of the human figure in context as they gradually develop their own personal imagery. The classical principles of design presented in the course will likewise enable students to create more compelling visual dynamics in their work. Major elective; Open to Non-Majors
This course celebrates books of all kinds, for readers of all ages. We start by studying picture books for children and make our way through graphic novels (comics), the young adult novel, poetry, fiction for adults, etc. The last part of the semester is spent creating a book of your own choosing from one of these genres. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
Since the time of Shakespeare, posters (or "broadsheets" as they were called) have attracted the attention and sparked the imagination of viewers throughout the western world. The best posters are both visually striking and communicative. Designs usually incorporate image and text; but are often effective with either text or image alone. In this class we will learn the essentials of silkscreen printing in the context of studying a bit of the history of poster design: from historic fine artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha, to more contemporary illustrators like Seymour Chwast and Shephard Fairey. Students will be designing and printing several editions, experimenting with hand-drawn and digitally produced art and typography. The nature of the silkscreened image allows for investigation of various color palettes or structures for a single image. No printmaking or digital experience required. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
This typography course is specifically designed for Illustration majors. We will study the fundamentals of typography including its history, theory and contemporary practical application. Lectures and exercises will build in complexity from the study of letter forms and the classification of typefaces, with an overview if their derivation, to the effective use of typography in single page design. A significant part of the course will be dedicated to understanding page dynamics including proportion, grid systems and color. The final project will be a poster design for a local non-profit organization. Students will use Adobe Illustrator and InDesign throughout this course; so some basic computer experience will be helpful but not absolutely necessary. Students unfamiliar with the Adobe interface will be asked to attend an introductory workshop. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration.
A society's history is written in its stones. From the dystopias of Gotham City or Grand Theft Auto, the hive mind of the Borg and the ecstatic asceticism of the Shakers, to the suburban conformity of Levittown and the Sphinx half buried in sand, every city, every society, is an embodiment of ideas, history, geography, and beliefs. Each built environment has its own logic, both architectural and cultural. With some provocative writings about the phenomenon of the city as inspiration, you will be asked to conceptualize a place and bring it to life visually. The essence of a city - its buildings, pathways, public and private spaces - depends on how you define the character of its people, its government, its history, its geographic siting and even its language. After defining a back-story in broad strokes, you will begin researching the implications of those choices visually. Working from thumbnails and sketches to finished conceptualization, you will explore compelling physical and conceptual viewpoints, with a variety of possibilities in the use of media and technique. Rather than limiting ourselves to purely pragmatic architecture, the class will be searching for imaginative visualizations, where form becomes poetic metaphor suggestive of narrative. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
Building on the skills and sensibilities developed in ILLUS 2000: Visual Thinking, this course will address a range of strategic considerations important for the articulation of ideas. While emphasis will remain on methods for encouraging conceptual aptitude and innovation, there will be greater focus on specific forms of communication. Practical issues such as the nature of audience and the context for interpretation will be matters of concern, as will vehicles for communication and the handling of media. The basic aim of this course is to enable the student to discover a creative identity and develop an itinerary for upperclass study; its larger goal is to wed communicative purpose to artistic voice. Major requirement; restricted to sophomore Illustration majors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. Registration by Illustration department, course not available via web registration.
The remarkable brilliance of color found in watercolor and gouache make these media ideal for the study of color mixing—both optical and mechanical—and the depiction of dazzling effects of light in finished artwork. Working from the figure and other motifs, this class will address the variety of manipulations possible in watercolor and gouache, singly and in combination, while focusing on principles of color structure. Outside assignments will be organized around thematic series. Major elective Illustration majors only
Students apply basic computer skills (ILLUS 3304, Digital Illustration or equivalent) to problems in designing and illustrating for the World Wide Web. Coursework is primarily in Dreamweaver with an introduction to basic Flash concepts, and stresses the underlying structure of html in digital design. Students develop personal, interactive web pages and complete a finished portfolio site while exploring the expressive possibilities of interactivity. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
While most illustrations are flat, working in three dimensions allows for the engagement of a whole new range of material and conceptual possibilities. Whether using plaster, Sculpey, paper clay, wood, latex, fabric, foam or found objects, sculptural materials are enormously nuanced in what they can suggest. In this class we will examine how objects and various sculptural strategies can be used to convey complex concepts and ideas. A survey of contemporary sculpture and 3D illustration will provide plenty of conceptual, process and material inspiration. Projects are structured to introduce you to a variety of materials and methods of working. Character design, model-making, casting, and work with found objects are some of the areas we will explore. A visit to the Rapid Prototyping facility at RISD will illuminate how digital files can be translated into 3D objects. Additionally students will learn how to light and photograph three-dimensional work for reproduction or portfolio. The class promotes development of personal expression, strong conceptual solutions, excellent craftsmanship and good design. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
This course will build on the skills established in Sophomore Painting, while broadening the students' understanding of options available to the painter. The primary work of the semester will be on individually directed projects, worked on both in and out of class. Overall, a goal of establishing a personal visual vocabulary of facture and image will be emphasized. Students will be encouraged to particularize their use of the painting medium and their approach to subject and statement through color, painterly touch, format, use of materials, drawing and compositional decisions, stylistic reference and implied narrative. The core medium of the class will be oil paint, but this may be augmented or extended by other media. The course will include group exercises designed to solidify a basic understanding of drawing, the use of the medium and the principles of color. Periodic outside assignments will extend this practice while emphasizing personal choice and expressive adjustment based on individual priorities. A flexible format for in-class work on personal projects will allow group interaction to coexist with individually directed work. The semester's goal for each student will be to define a direction for future work in painting. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
The ability to bring a creative project to a full and successful level of finish is often neglected in the academic environment, but is an essential professional skill. This course requires that students meet goals they set for themselves through individualized projects, but that they meet them fully with the highest degree of resolution and polish. In a written proposal, each student will present his or her project for the semester: a graphic novel, a series of paintings or drawings, a children's book, a suite of prints or posters. Work may be in any medium, in any format and on any theme, but these parameters must be clearly established at the outset. Work on the project will be conducted in the studio during class time and outside of class, and will be focused on full realization of a finished product that meets the specific standards established in the original proposal. Consistency and quality of execution will be the goal, and less successful or preliminary pieces will be re-worked to elevate them to the level of the project as a whole. Students will have one-on-one crits each week and group crits as needed. Finally, students will mount a professional-level juried exhibition of the completed projects in the ISB gallery, with an emphasis on presentation, marketing and a public opening. Major elective; restricted to Illustration seniors.
This course is designed to teach the student about contemporary use of Illustration media and how to use and combine them creatively, safely and effectively. Students will acquire the skills and confidence to evaluate new mediums and techniques on an ongoing basis with minimal expense and difficulty through the use of limited palettes. Mediums covered will include: acrylics, gouache, casein, watercolor, markers, crayons (wax and water-soluble), colored pencil, scratchboard, ink, oil (for illustration), and associated tools, palettes, and surfaces. Major elective; restricted to 12 seats for Illustration juniors; seniors may register on a first-come first served basis after junior seats are filled; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
This class is designed to train students in the art of creature creation/design. Students will study animal anatomy and physiology with a focus on adaptions to meet specific environments. Following a structured process to design beasts for a variety of genres, the class will explore the genres of fantasy, science fiction and horror. Also featured will be class discussion regarding the psychological implications of different aesthetic choices using existing creatures from film and literature as case studies. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
This is an introduction to 3D computer graphics as a medium for illustration. The software used is Cinema 4D, a fully featured 3D program that is both affordable and relatively easy to learn. Topics covered will include modeling, texturing, lighting and composition for illustration as well as frequent examples and discussions of the various uses 3D can have for the illustrator. The final month of class time will be dedicated to helping the student develop a portfolio of images that use 3D as part of their expression. While familiarity with a computer is helpful, there are no technical prerequisites for this class. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration and FAV juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
The convincing depiction of form in three-dimensional space is one of the great conceptual and philosophic breakthroughs of Western art. In this class, the first half of the sophomore drawing sequence, our main focus will be the study of form in a spatial context. We will use observational and projected systems of perspective in construction of our images. Emphasis will be placed on exploration of conceptual and physical viewpoint, effective composition and convincing light and shadow to shape expression, engage the viewer and create a unified pictorial image. The class will promote acute observation of existing spatial situations, the invention of convincing imagery from imagination, and the successful integration of the two. Exposure to traditional and contemporary drawing masters and practices will provide inspiration for experimentation, personal expression and artistic growth. A series of perspectival studies will build into longer projects integrating observation and invention and concerns for figure and ground. Students will come to grasp the elegance and power of perspective as an approach to drawing, tempered with an awareness of its limitation and alternatives. Several black and white media in addition to charcoal (mixed media, collage, monoprint, caran d"ache, pastel, etc) and various ways of working (line weight, cross-hatching, additive, subtractive) may be explored. Major requirement; restricted to sophomore Illustration majors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. Registration by Illustration department, course not available via web registration.
Color is arguably the single most expressive and mysterious tool available to the artist. However, many artists who are skilled in black and white drawing have difficulty when they turn their hand to color. Crayon creates a bridge, which is at once less intimidating than more traditional media, while at the same time capable of producing highly sophisticated imagery. Through classroom exercises an awareness of the transformative power of color is awoken. Limited color underdrawings are further developed with multiple layers of color. The use of warm and cool color relationships as well as the exploration of polarities of color, in order to create rich, dramatic effects, is examined in depth. Class work gives the student the opportunity to work from the live model. For homework, the student is encouraged to engage in subject matter which has personal significance, perhaps something one had always wanted to create but hadn't had the opportunity. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
Magazines, newspapers and other publications rely heavily on pictures to illuminate messages initiated by writers, and more than any other genre of illustration, the editorial field gives voice to the artist. In this alternately reactive and expressive line of work, the illustrator engages in a powerful partnership with the written word, effectively becoming an author of opinions and ideas. This class will approach several editorial assignments, all of which involve an illustrated response to written text. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for Illustration majors.
From the disturbingly exotic pictures of the Underworld by Hieronymus Bosch and the twisted visual puzzles of M.C. Escher, to the mid-20th Century comic characters of Stan Lee and classic 1950's science fiction films, fantasy images provide a rich source of inspiration for the contemporary artist/illustrator. In this course, we will study the art of Surrealist artists such as Magritte and Max Ernst, the unique fruit and vegetable portraits of Archimboldo, investigate the abstract dream imagery of Hilma Af Klint and Carl Jung, and the seminal graphic novels of Sue Coe (Porkopolis) and Art Spiegelman (Maus). We will interpret text and film as we create our own fantasy paintings working with appropriated imagery, collage, and painting mediums such as oil, acrylic, gouache and watercolor. Major elective; Open to Non-Majors
This course seeks to apply a design sensibility to the creation of illustrations. The formal characteristics include flatness, strong graphic quality, awareness of figure/ground, scale, color, placement--these all take precedence over naturalistic concerns, rendering and perspective. This is a stylistic approach that lends itself to clear, conceptual communication. The goal of communication is always primary; and assignments will require problem-solving as well as development of a clear and refined graphic approach. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration.
Throughout history, the natural environment has been a subject of charm and awe for the artist, from the delicately painted frescoes in ancient Roman homes to the 16th century, when the landscape transcended the role of 'background', and gained momentum as a sublime subject in its own right. This is a course on the history of techniques, concepts, possibilities, and purposes in landscape painting. The class will encourage exploration of landscape as sublime subject, as metaphor for human experience or as the battleground for politically charged debate of environmental issues, among other possible approaches. Students will work on location and in studio, learning approaches to plein air painting as well as incorporation of references in the construction of natural environments. Major elective; Open to Non-Majors.
The ability to play is a complex activity that is at the core of human learning. From Monopoly to poker, Doom to the baseball diamond, games allow us to explore social interactions, take risks, set goals, develop skills and expand our imaginations while entertaining us without serious consequences. What makes a game fun? Or memorable? In this class, we will explore the intersections of learning, experimentation, and play. In our constructed projects, we will search for innovative ways to expand or reinvent game traditions. Through individual and collaborative projects, we will examine how game mechanics (rules/systems) thoughtfully combined with game aesthetics (visuals/story) can be used to craft engaging, memorable and informative user/player experiences. Our goal is to develop primarily non-digital games that are conceptually innovative responses to various questions you pose related to play. Quality assurance and usability concerns will be explored through focus group play tests. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for Illustration majors.
This course focuses on the exploration of combining a variety of media with the expectation of discovering a new, personal approach to creating images. Students are taught initially the specific properties and use of watercolor, gouache and acrylic and then explore combinations of these media with pastel, colored pencil, inks, collage material, charcoal, and found objects. There will be discussion and experimentation with various techniques, materials, and finishes. Students will work in class from set ups, photo references and the model, and will develop weekly homework assignments using the techniques and media combinations explored in class. Major elective; Illustration majors only
Students will gain an understanding of basic color characteristics and relationships through observational painting and color mixing exercises. Perceptual phenomena of space and light are directly connected with principles of color organization on the palette, color mixing procedures and adjustment of color interaction in compositions according to properties of hue, value and chromatic intensity. The associative properties of color rooted both in the natural world and in cultural precedent are explored in relation to expressive priorities. Students learn the use of the physical properties of the medium, gaining sensitivity to qualities of volume and depth, the textural character of the artwork and the sense of artistic facture. Painterly precedent from the history of art and contemporary practice will be studied for inspiration and technical insight. The primary medium for the course is oil paint, and students will be introduced to the complex layering and manipulations the medium makes possible. Water-based media such as casein or gouache will play a supporting role as vehicles for color studies and exercises in abstract color theory. The semester ends with an extended project allowing the combination of observed and invented elements and emphasizing compositional color adjustment in connection with the artist's expressive priorities. Major requirement; restricted to sophomore Illustration majors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. Registration by Illustration department, course not available via web registration.
This course introduces students to a variety of pen and scratchboard styles through a series of assignments which include drawing from life and executing well-defined illustrative problems. A variety of pen tips and their effect on pen handling are explored. Other aspects of pen drawing to be considered: Intelligent design of page with subject, the compositional impact of the arrangement of tone, and the sensitive selection of appropriate pen and scratchboard styles for a given problem. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor
In this class, we will explore the children's picture book as a medium of artistic expression. During the first half of the semester, we will experiment with a number of storytelling techniques and principles while also focusing on different approaches to the format, illustration, and design of picture books. The second half of the semester will be dedicated to the creation of the final project: each student will complete a book dummy for an original children's picture book accompanied by several finished Illustrations. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. Students in this class must also register for: LAS E416
Illustrators invent all the time: a "concept" is nothing more than invention. This course aims to expand the illustrator's definition of and capacity for invention, both on the page and beyond. The object of invention herein is delight. Students in this course will conceive and develop three distinct projects - the for children, the second for adults, the third at the student's discretion. Each project in development will test its premise: it will expose inspiration to proof. The ultimate criterion for success, whatever form the project has taken, will be, "Is it delightful?". If an invention is both original and delightful it may well have commercial potential; while this is not the object of the course, commercial potential will of course be considered. Classes will ideally be of seminar size. They will consist of speculation, discussion, suggestion and critique: skull sessions. Such dialogue is essential to the generation and development of both premise and project; it will comprise the majority of class time. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for Illustration majors.
This course surveys a wide range of effects possible through versatile printmaking methods including monotype, relief printing and drypoint. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
"Sequential art" is an evolving and global art form whose recent history is grounded in three distinct forms: Comics, Manga, and Bande dessinée. This course offers an intensive introduction to the storytelling possibilities that they present, and teaches storytelling and technical approaches that will enhance an artist's ability to thrive in both 'sequential art' and other narrative driven fields. This course is also designed to resolve any lingering deficiencies in composition, value, color, perspective, and drawing fluency, all of which are essential. In addition to short assignments and in-class exercises, the course will include the showing of exceptional examples of comics, manga, and bandes dessinées work by artists including: Winsor McCay, Osamu Tezuka, Hergé, Hayao Miyazaki, Moebius, and R. Crumb. Students are encouraged to bring in their favorite examples of 'sequential art' to share with and inform the class, as well. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
At their very core, all books convey a sequence of ideas, but the execution varies widely from one volume to another. In this course, juniors and seniors strive to extend this concept outside of traditional book parameters to achieve their own creative interpretation. Working from their own themes, students mold an innovative presentation of images and concepts—in two dimensions or three, using concrete depictions or abstract forms—into the construction of their own unique artist's book. Assignments include the study of different folds, narrative problems, poetic counting, lost and found, and a free project of the student's choice. Students are encouraged to continue their own media that might include painting, construction, printmaking, etc. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
This course combines the business of art and design, transforming the creative impulse to a marketable deliverable. This elective course, open to both Illustration and Graphic Design majors, is co-taught over one full day in a collaborative environment, combining the studio experience with business basics: marketing and branding as an essential part of the creative process. This class encourages students to think beyond the confines of traditional markets, working collaboratively toward the goal of employing inventive thinking in the workplace with the goal of an independently owned and operated enterprise. A fundamental objective of this class is for students to understand a basic business vocabulary, to explore how design-driven business and creative studio thinking overlap, and to understand how creative skills can be used to identify and execute business opportunities. Students will be introduced to business concepts through lectures, case studies, assignments and class discussion. Assignments will work off the classroom pedagogy and topics covered will be business models, marketing, finance, and strategy as they relate to studio activity. Major elective
Illustration is visual communication: meaning made visible. Visual thinking, the creative process by which all successful illustration is created, constitutes the development of an articulate imagination through thorough, iterative exploration of ideas. This class emphasizes process over finish, idea over application and significance over style-exploring both ways of seeing and ways of showing. Coursework will encourage conceptual invention and application fundamental to an understanding of what the practice of illustration is and can be. The object of the course is to strengthen the students' inventive talents and interpretive skills - and thereby to augment their ability to articulate complex ideas with clarity, eloquence and power. Major requirement; restricted to sophomore Illustration majors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. Registration by Illustration department, course not available via web registration.
This 6-credit course (previously entitled "The Art of Communicating Science") invites undergraduate and graduate students to improve their skills in communicating and illustrating science. The general topic is changing biodiversity, how humans impact plants, animals, and their environment. Examples will be presented from around the world, as well as from Rhode Island. Through a series of exercises, students will practice analyzing and interpreting scientific information in order to both understand and present it. The science content will be delivered through lectures, visits to research labs, and to a nearby nature sanctuary. The course is designed to introduce students to relevant scientific concepts and challenge them to use their art to make these ideas more concrete and meaningful. In some cases, the goal may be to educate; in others, it may be to raise awareness, stimulate debate, or entertain. Students will explore the use of different media, including 2-D, 3-D animated, and interactive modes. They will also target different audiences and venues, including: general interest or editorial publications, art for public spaces including galleries, educational and peer-to-peer science materials. Class work includes assigned reading, several minor projects, an exam, and a comprehensive final project. Students will choose a recent research study on the topic of human impacts on biodiversity for the subject of their final project, which is a written paper combined with original artwork designed for a public space or public interaction. The Departments of Illustration and History, Philosophy and Social Sciences will teach the course collaboratively. Students must register for both LAEL 3912 and ILLUS 3912 and will receive 3 elective plus 3 LAEL credits. ILLUS major elective; non-majors will receive non-major elective
This course will present the transparent watercolor medium to students in a manner both logical and painless. Students will explore the broad uses for watercolor through still life, figure painting, and outdoor landscape painting. Guest critics and demonstrations may augment class discussions. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
When we choose a story to read, retell, or illustrate, that choice reveals something about ourselves. What motivates an artist to explore one particular theme over another, whether it is a political issue, personal obsession, or a "purely aesthetic" interest? This course will require students to mine personal meaning in the narrative sources they choose for class projects, ultimately using these analytical conclusions to shape each project's character. Assignments will include the creation of the following: a storyboard; an historical narrative image, a series for a book, a comic and a game or toy. Discussions will include: formatting a single narrative image or a series of images; telling text-free stories; illustrating stories for adults and for children, analyzing plot, character, pacing, and style and communicating the essential meaning of a story to an audience. Major elective: restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors only This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for juniors
A smile is recognition. Laughter is conspiracy. To be tickled is to be vulnerable. This course will invite students to integrate language and image in the pursuit of visual wit. Not the comic, nor the comical. Not comics. Rather it will seek to provoke insights that are best expressed visually and verbally, as humor. Humor as the means, not the end, of the illustrative gesture. A funny-bone to pick. Assignments will include inversions of expectation, the uses of the inappropriate, the various guises of the satirical, of parody, single frame cartoons, black comedy. Wit. ("Wit" is merely insight made delightful). These will seek to elicit from the student a series of illustrations that will be as self-descriptive as any portfolio, as definitive as any 'style'. Humor is intensely idiosyncratic, personal. But when it 'works', when it achieves its audience, it is a particularly intimate and effective means of communication. In other words, illustration. Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for Illustration majors.
In this course, students conceptualize, edit, design and produce either a book or the first issue of an original publication. Possibilities include: artist's book, magazine, comic book, zine, e-zine on the web, etc. Emphasis is on concept and design. We discuss editorial ideas and look at existing artists' books and publications, especially alternative forms. Using computers, we work on typography, layout and design. Collaborations both within and outside of the class are encouraged. To take this course, you must have some rudimentary knowledge of the computer and some ideas for content. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor; This course fulfills either the Illustration Concepts requirement or the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
Weekly assignments combine illustration objectives with a playful spirit of exploring materials for its own sake. Simple ingredients include plain paper & junk mail: cut, crimped, ripped, twisted, poked, prodded & glued. Layered cutouts extracted from old publications will be added & subtracted. Quick experiments will be the basis for compositions that will animate shadow boxes and tell stories. Techniques with paper pulp, polymer & air-dry clays will be demonstrated (as low-relief and over armatures). Scavenged objects and supplies to be disassembled & reconstructed in fresh configurations are another way to create images. Whatever the initial steps, pieces will be finished with mixed media, collage and other treatments that unify the whole. Idea and technique come together so these illustrations will be anything but shallow.
Students will investigate the mechanics of comics storytelling through a series of exercises designed to deconstruct the comics language. Clarity is key to engaging the reader, and this course emphasizes communication regardless of style. Discussion will include a concise history of the medium and the rise of manga and the graphic novel. This course is structured around a series of cumulative exercises introducing a new element of the comics language each week, designed to equip the student for further work in this important art form.
Become your own art director in this "learn by doing" boot camp that explores the transition of 2-D work into tangible products. In this interdisciplinary course, we'll learn about manufacturing and printing processes (i.e., books, gift objects, identity materials and more) by breaking down how to get from point A (concept) to point B (final, mass-produced product, suggested in the form of a greeting card collection). Manufactured products are frequently the territory of professional artists-whether through printed identity materials such as show catalogs and portfolios or through more entrepreneurial output such as the objects found on DIY websites and museum stores. This course is designed to create hands-on experiences for students to abandon thinking exclusively of "art for art's sake" by considering the potential real-world applications of art as tangible and functional objects married to the creative identity of the artist. We'll begin with the simple challenges of a printed business card representing your identity as an artist and work toward a larger project of your concept and design by investigating manufacturing options in Rhode Island and beyond. Understanding how to negotiate the technical aspects and restrictions of manufacturing such as budgeting, file delivery and set-up, and learning how to build relationships with manufacturers could serve you for a lifetime as an artist and entrepreneur. Critiques, visiting lecturers and suggested readings are designed to simultaneously inform and inspire. Estimated Material Cost: $150.00
This course, taught by Bryan Konietzko (co-creator and art director of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra) will take students through each major aspect of designing and art directing for an animated TV series. Students will each choose a style, either of their own creation or adapted from a preexisting one, to generate characters, props, backgrounds, color models, and background paintings that all serve a single short-format story. The curriculum will concentrate on cultivating a harmonious, expressive, and appealing art direction that is pragmatic for the applications and limitations of TV production. Whether the final goal of each art style chosen is 2D or 3D, the assignments will be drawn and painted, either traditionally or digitally, or by using a combination of the two mediums. We will examine how all aspects of design are paramount in the production process, and also potent and vital components of storytelling as a whole. Junior and above Illustration majors, open to non-majors by permission of instructor
This course will be a survey regarding the concepts, techniques and methodology of illustration specifically designed for Freshman students who are considering illustration as a major. Students will examine illustration genres, including book, editorial and corporate illustration, while working with a variety of methods and materials.
Oil painting is one of the richest, most powerfully expressive mediums that exist. It offers a vast diversity of approaches and provides the most flexibility of all the painting materials. To take advantage of that variety, certain technical knowledge is essential. This class is geared as a thorough introduction to the newer oil painter. Our early class focus will be on understanding materials through a variety of life study exercises. Focus on color and composition will promote effectively orchestrated images. Our ultimate goal will be to make powerful images that marry appropriate approaches to oil painting with personal vision. The class emphasis will balance the technical mastery of materials with the clarity of effective visual communication.
Basic to all visual expression is the ability to articulate what one sees. Skill and sensitivity in drawing are the essence of such articulation. The object of this course will be to develop the student's skill as a draughtsman, to make the hand a more gifted servant of the eye. High competence is not a prerequisite for this course; commitment is.
The ability to merge imagery from various sources is an essential skill for illustrators and fine artists alike. In a series of projects, students will gather sketches, drawings and photographs, and combine them to exist solidly and convincingly together in space. We will discuss the importance of lighting, color, and value in creating a believable scene, and explore the methods and techniques used by illustrators and painters past and present. Class time will be divided between the computer lab (where students will manipulate their images using Photoshop and other tools) and the studio, where illustrations and paintings will be completed using a variety of media, including pen and ink, watercolor, and acrylic paint. Restricted to Illustration Majors, Junior and above, during Fall or Spring. Non-majors by permission during Add/Drop. Open to all during Wintersession, when offered. This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
This course will be a short introduction to Science Fiction and Fantasy illustration in the form they are most frequently seen--book covers. Subjects will include (besides the usual aliens, futuristic looking machinery, and dragons) materials and techniques, reference gathering, working with a manuscript, working with the paperback format, etc . . . The goal of the course is to familiarize the interested student with the means and methods of producing a realistic illustration of an unreal scene.
This course will focus on the creation of expressive imagery, through the combination of collage and mixed media. Students will work with a wide range of media and collage elements, including their own drawings and paintings, photographic images and found objects. Techniques used for developing layers of both texture and meaning will be explored and later applied to specific illustration problems.
This course is meant to give students an understanding of the process of serigraphy. Using the basic American T-shirt as the format, emphasis will be on creating and developing a concept: learning and implementing the techniques of silk-screen in order to produce wearable illustration. The course will also include historical and contemporary issues on the phenomenon of the printed shirt, i.e., uses ranging from social protest to advertising and the use of the body as a substrate for images. A variety of techniques will explore everything from simple handmade stencils to the use of photo/computer technology to create individual designs. Assignments will be given through the developmental phase, and in-class critiques will play an important role in determining the final product. By the end of the semester, students will also investigate the business/commercial side of silk-screening, including at-home studio setup, recordkeeping and selling the product.
In this course we will explore the fundamentals of typography and image combined with motion graphics. The students will work on several assignments utilizing InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and/or other programs. The projects will cover a wide range of topics, from traditional design to motion graphic and interactive applications, with the goal of learning how to combine these tools to realize successful visual communication.
Writing and image-making are both important languages to process and communicate personal ideas and experiences with immediacy. How can they be used most fruitfully together? In this class, we will examine the relationship between the voice and vision of the artist-writer through a series of projects that intertwine written and visual communication. Projects may include image-making which is stimulated by writing (or vice-versa), blogging and visual journalism for the artist-writer, as well as creative writing projects which consider a significant visual element. We will look to Artist's Books and notebooks, developments in literature, blogs, and on-line communications. Students will be encouraged to mine areas of personal interest in the development of a body of work. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for Illustration majors.
In this course, we examine gender -- not your biologically assigned equipment, but those social constructs that shape and define what is male, what is female and what is that less absolute space between and beyond. Weekly assignments often begin by reviewing the traditional role of women and men in American culture but through a contemporary lens, examining the astoundingly colorful range of gender and sex identities that cannot be limited to simply pink and blue. We'll turn stereotypes inside out, flip popular icons upside down, and rework familiar images from hallowed museums. We'll search for fresh depictions of abstract concepts like conception, contraception, relationships, power, etc. This course offers equal opportunity for XX's, XY's and those outside the binary.. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for juniors Restricted to Illustration majors, Junior and above during Fall and Spring Open to everyone during Wintersession
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