The department's illustrated pdf offers more detailed information.
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. Fee: TBD
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.
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.
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 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.
Stagecraft alludes to the design acumen, serious artistry and alchemy essential to visually suspend all disbelief in theatrical representations, notwithstanding the physical constraints of the stage and the hurried schedule of a production. This multiple atelier enterprise is handed down to us largely through a European operatic tradition where architectural, naturalistic and atmospheric settings are breathtakingly delineated on painted drops and heavily elaborated wood, muslin and plaster bas-relief which magically convey greater spatial depth-beyond the proscenium- than what is physically possible. Traditionally, it is the key visual conceit which psychologically differentiates the realm of the theatrical work from that of the audience. This virtual boundary, eventually coined by Diderot as the fourth-wall, is analogous to the perspective picture plane-where the image of the scene is thrust forward to the eye of the observer. This optical illusion commonly known as the trompe-l'oil it is one of the underlying visual systems governing the spatial science of a desired scene. In reference to the immense scale of the operatic stage, a myriad of practical concerns are artfully managed to seamlessly interface with the visual concepts of the design, making this an appropriate paradigm for thinker-maker dynamics in the creative industries. Perceived tacitly as superficial installations, the stakes for the success of this artifice is quite high and problem solving must be considered in an interdisciplinary fashion. Given recent innovations in approach between design and fabrication in so many design and art disciplines, how might similar attitudes be applied for set design and the scenic arts without sacrificing the tradition of hand-crafted and painterly work? If the perspective trompe-l'oil was the visual technology that revolutionized the renaissance and baroque lyrical opera, what are the next innovations in stagecraft given this time-honored tradition? This interdisciplinary course will encourage an oscillation between the roles of designers and artist, thinker and maker to manifest a forum to experiment with design ideas expressed in, drawing, models and painting in collaboration with the culture of the theatric arts. As a central thematic impetus, we will employ the traditional spatial conceit found commonly in the training of architects and painters: linear perspective and its geometric variants. The syllabus, comprised of various workshops, will present concepts and techniques essential to the design and execution of a theatrical set. Through Bob Moody, Assistant Charge at the Metropolitan Opera, we will have accessibility to scenic shops and to its expertise. Furthermore, the course will support transport and attendance for performances as well as meetings/critiques with external technical advisors in consideration of the learning objectives of the course. The class welcomes all Fine Art and Design majors who are encouraged to partake in an immersive 6 credit design studio that will combine three-dimension spatial concepts, drawing and painterly work at the scale of the theatrical stage. Given the nature of the course materials, exercises will vary dramatically in size and in scale from concept based maquettes to full scale mock-ups with material costs partially supported by the fund. Junior and above
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.
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 course serves as an introduction to the ways 3D imagery can be used by illustrators, both directly and indirectly. Using the software Blender (open source) and Zbrush, we will examine the ways to create and use forms and textures both realistic and imaginary to produce images and solve problems common to many forms of illustration, both digital and traditional. Animation will be covered, but only in the most limited sense: such as for looping animated GIFs and for the creation of simulated physical effects. 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.
This course surveys the history of western illustration from illuminated manuscripts through approximately 2000 AD. The work shown is culled from a vast cache of artistic production for its power to convey ideas and ideals, report and editorialize events or serve as an enhancement to literature. We consider how evolving technologies in printing and communication have influenced artistic processes, shaped aesthetics and facilitated the distribution of illustration. We study Illustration's role in reflecting and influencing culture, and its variable relationship to fine art. Each session includes a lecture to which students respond with a critical brief to be handed in upon exiting the class. Additionally there are weekly readings, 2 tests, and one long and one short research paper. There is no textbook for this class. However, students will be able to access study images and readings through Artstor and on RISD Digication. Course Level: Sophomore, required and restricted to Illustration majors Fee: TBD
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.
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.
In this course, students take on the role of the reportage illustrator and visual essayist by developing a series of images in a sketchbook journal, on site, with emphasis on observation, documentation and investigation of non-fiction subject matter. Finished art will be created for a number of the investigative assignments as well as a completed stand-alone visual essay of a self-generated topic. The long tradition of illustrative reporting will be examined and discussed, as will the contemporary manifestations of journalistic art in print and in digital formats. Emphasis is placed on authorship, concept, and drawing skill development afforded by working on site are also a focus. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
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.
In the words of Joseph Campbell, "Myth is metaphor." Just as the world's most enduring stories and significant cultural traditions spring from collective human experience and are given compelling shape by imagination, so is art a metaphor for collective consciousness. This class brings together the study of myths, legends and folklore with the visual rhetoric of the illustrator, as we seek a variety of forms of expression and visual narrative in telling great stories from mythology, legend and folklore. Whether in the form of contemporary urban legends or ancient mythic themes shared across cultures and time, we will examine the phenomenon of myth as metaphor for the human experience and art as a vital element in its expression. 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.
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
A basic black-and-white course in photographic technique and visualization. Students learn to use the camera, process film, and make prints, as well as to apply creative aspects of the medium. No prior experience in photography is required, but students must have their own 35mm camera with manual aperture and shutter-speed controls. $100.00 Refundable Deposit: for any equipment that is borrowed and returned in excellent condition Estimated Cost of Materials: $150.00
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
Illustration, along with painting, printmaking and many other visual art practices, is continually intertwined with music. From illustrators collaborating on videos, packaging and promotion, to creating graphic novel and picture biographies of musicians and musical movements, the tradition of connecting the visual to the acoustic has a rich history. Music will always need to be celebrated larger and in a more tactile way than on a screen-we are seeing the enduring inventiveness of the gig poster, and even the 12" LP cover is still alive as a canvas. Projects in this class will explore promotional, interpretive, and investigative approaches as they relate to musicians, lyrics and titles, as well as parallels between music and visual art. Students will have the chance to interpret musical works in a number of ways, including through narrative approaches, using sculpture, animation and GIFs, and other less conventional means. There will be exploration of analogous aspects of music and visual art-sound and color, time based works, performative aspects and related ideas (e.g.: the movements of the hand while drawing/painting as analogous to playing an instrument). There will be some focus too, on genres and movements where music and art have close relationships, ie: psychedelia, pop and op art, comics and set design. Lectures and discussion will also be devoted to learning about artists who create both visual and musical work. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
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 juniors and seniors; open to non-majors juniors and seniors. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for Illustration majors.
This course explores portraiture and its roles within illustration, as well as in painting and other practices. From celebratory to sharply satirical, portraits of political leaders, celebrities and cultural figures have a conflicted history, and these representations have been powerful tools for good and ill. In an editorial context, the portrait is an opportunity to engage the visual language of that history and bring one's own views of the subject into focus. This class will examine uses of exaggeration, the importance (or not) of likeness, and working with the visual vocabulary that the subject brings along with them. There will also be investigation of utilizing specific materials and visual styles to enhance concepts. Attention will also be given to more experimental approaches-invented portraits, incorporating photography and collage, combining live and imaginative drawing, and the intent to communicate psychological states and other ideas, rather than solely the depiction of specific individuals. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
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.
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.
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; 9 seats are available to Graphic Design majors, please contact the Illustration Department to register.
This course will be taught in collaboration with the Brown University Department of Computer Science and will focus on developing illustration prototypes for use in an interactive reality environment. Students will work with Brown and RISD faculty to work through specific problems in scientific illustration based on data provided by various departments in the sciences at Brown. Working from sketches in traditional materials including 3D materials, through 2D digital images, to digital 3D models built in the ISB lab, and finally to actual projection in Brown's VR facility ("The Cave"), the class will create interactive, animated three-dimensional illustrations of scientific data and explore issues pertaining to the creative interaction between artist and scientist. This course is open to all RISD and Brown students. Knowledge of one or more basic computer imaging programs (Photoshop, Painter, Illustrator) is required. 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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 is an introductory course in digital photography. It covers all the basic techniques of digital workflow: capture, photo editing, and inkjet printing. You will learn how your camera works and how to control it to get the results you want. You will also learn how to download and manage your image files, edit them for best results, backup them religiously, and make excellent inkjet (digital) prints. Beyond technique, there will be at least one visiting artist, regular lectures covering the history of photography, an optional weekend field trip to Boston, and regular group and individual crits geared toward developing your style, focusing your ideas, and making better pictures. Most students use a DSLR (digital single-lens-reflex) camera, which you must provide, but other types are also OK, such as a good point-and-shoot or an ILC (interchangeable lens compact) model. We will discuss cell and tablet phones, but a dedicated camera such as one of the above models, will give you better results and more control. While this course is an introduction to photography, and assumes no prior knowledge, students with some photography background or those with analog-only experience may also benefit. Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00 - $150.00 Sophomore and above Illustration major elective; open to non-majors
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
Picture-making for broad public consumption is extraordinarily dependent on rote comprehension of longstanding archetypes. Heteronormative, Anglocentric, Caucasian and male-oriented paradigms prevail in western culture, and our collective habit of perpetuating these hierarchies in illustration, while undoubtedly useful in the conveyance of messages through a quick read, runs counter to more noble efforts to promote parity of race, gender and sexual orientation through equal representation in visual culture. This class explores the merits and frustrations of inclusiveness in illustration-an art form uniquely skewed to wide scale appreciation of archetypal personae. Students will commit themselves to equal representation for a broad spectrum of people (e.g., race, sexual orientation, gender) while confronting the very practical problems inherent to overcoming our dependence on default personae (white, straight, male) to communicate abstract ideas. How can illustrators achieve clarity of communication while putting aside prevailing stereotypes? What is the responsibility of the perceiving public in transcending habitual interpretation in favor of equal representation? These and other questions are at the heart of this class. 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.
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.
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
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
This is a survey course designed to enable students to develop a wide body of work in three-dimensional moving art pieces. Students are exposed to a large range of types of movement and the challenges inherent in getting those movements to operate smoothly. The pieces are made from a wide range of materials, including but not limited to wood, cardboard, wire, metal, plastic, Sculpey, and paint. There are three elements in each project: the idea, mechanism and surface treatment. Assignments will be given based on the mechanism. Students bring the subject and story to the piece. The mechanisms covered include: action/ reaction, balance/ counter balance, whirlygig, cams and cranks, motion-triggered lights and sound. Molds will be incorporated into the assignments. All projects are painted. This course requires students to develop a working knowledge of a range of tools, from simple hand tools to more complex tools available in our wood shop. Exercises and focused workshops on tool usage will be a fundamental part of the class. Prior experience with tools is helpful but not necessary. The class culminates with a "Come Play With Us" show of students' completed projects. Elementary school children and the RISD Community are invited to play with the pieces, with an emphasis on fun. The projects have to work; they need to be built to withstand all types of child's play. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to nonmajors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
Apparel DesignArchitectureCeramicsDigital + MediaFilm/Animation/VideoFoundation StudiesFurniture DesignGlassGraphic DesignHistory of Art + Visual CultureHistory, Philosophy + the Social SciencesIllustrationIndustrial DesignInterior ArchitectureJewelry + MetalsmithingLandscape ArchitectureLiterary Arts + StudiesPaintingPhotographyPrintmakingSculptureTeaching + Learning in Art + DesignTextiles