Fall 2020

  1. With the wave of new technology, it's easy to forget what we can do with our hands, putting pencil to paper. Digital tools are integral to illustration, but rather than using them as the primary method of creating images, they can also open up new possibilities in what we already do with traditional materials. This course will create a dialogue between the handmade and the digital through in class exercises combining age old techniques, such as linocut, collage, drawing/painting, with the risograph and photoshop. Composing images using a limited color palette will be explored, along with incorporating the computer as a secondary tool to facilitate workflow. This course will challenge students to think beyond the realm of digital brushes and filters, with projects spanning advertising, self publishing, and the production of artist goods and editions.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  2. How does one artfully navigate a creative landscape in CG character and environment design despite the deluge of derivative art and industry homogeneity? This class challenges students to swim against the current, to create a character and setting design that is unique and amazing. Sessions will be a balance of critical thinking, through ZBrush instruction, studio work and class critique. Critiques will focus on the inventiveness of the character and environment, the credibility of essential form, legibility of the designs and their suitability to the narrative outline.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $25.00
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. Animals have enjoyed a prominent place in art for as long as humans have been creating it, beginning with the caves in Lascaux. Along the way they have figured prominently in myths fables and allegories, fulfilling symbolic roles in a wealth of picture books, and appeared as frequent players in visual metaphors employed by editorial illustrators. This course will provide opportunities for students to work within a variety of illustration genres, finding their own approach to working with representations of animal life. There will be in-depth exploration of creature anthropomorphism and its uses- from social and political satire to its capabilities in a wide range of storytelling methods. From JJ Granville to Spiegelman's Maus, to children's book greats like Richard Scarry and Arthur Geisert, the human-animal/animal-human is an enduring motif that will continue to be reinvented and expanded upon. Students will have the ability to channel projects and assignments towards formats of their choosing - including painting and other gallery-based practices, children's publishing, artist books, comics and zines.

    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 Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  5. In this course students explore the fundamentals of animated movement, timing, and materials through various animation techniques, including working directly on film, drawing on paper, pixilation, cut-out animation, and modified-base processes. Over the course of the semester, students will create six short animations and a wide range of animated films will be studied to augment the student's understanding of the field.
    Major elective
    Permission of Instructor required. Course not available via web registration.
    Restricted to Illustration and FAV majors; contact FAV Department Coordinator to register.
  6. 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.
  7. This course introduces students to the creative possibilities of Virtual Reality (VR) and related design strategies as they apply modeling, drawing and animation. Emphasis will be placed on VR-based professional tools such as Tiltbrush, Quill and Gravity Sketch currently used in the fields of illustration, animation, interactive arts and game design. Students will learn the professional game engine Unity 3D and will be introduced to the fundamentals of designing assets, multimedia components and interactive strategies. Oculus and HTC Vive platforms will be accessible to students through the semester. Although not mandatory, knowledge of modeling and basic coding is strongly recommended.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  8. Previsualization is an essential tool in both animation and live action filmmaking. Whether it is a feature film or a commercial, a television show or a short film, it's critical that storyboarding is the first directorial step of translating the written word to the screen. In a medium where collaboration is the norm, a story artist inherently becomes one of the most influential figures in a film's production, as every department builds upon the foundation of their work. In this course, we will go over the building blocks of visual storytelling and traditional filmmaking, culminating in a final project at the end of the semester. Lectures and screenings will explore the tenets of story structure, visual language, film grammar, and performance, all of which will be integrated into weekly assignments that exercise tried and true techniques of storyboarding method. The lessons in this course will give you a firm understanding of the art of storyboardinging as it applies to the film and animation industry, and also a greater understanding of how to visually communicate with a level of clarity that you had not known before.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  9. A Collaborative Study Project (CSP) allows two students to work collaboratively to complete a faculty supervised project of independent study.
    Usually, a CSP is supervised by two faculty members, but with approval it may be supervised by one faculty member. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses, though it is not a substitute for a course if that course is regularly offered.
    Register by completing the Collaborative Study Application available on the Registrar's website.
  10. 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. Students will be engaged in analysis of narrative content, preparatory drawings and finished work and requires the student to construct a portfolio of solutions in various genres of publishing and other media packaging: Mystery, Science Fiction, Literature, Non-Fiction, Biography, products etc. Particular attention will be given to the successful integration of type and image essential to each genre. Such work may serve as the nucleus of a larger portfolio requisite for freelance work in this field, or as an adjunct to a professional portfolio of editorial illustration. 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; open to non-majors, juniors and above as a non-major elective.
    This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 juniors and seniors; second preference given to FAV majors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
    This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
  13. 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.
  14. Magazines, newspapers and other publications rely heavily on pictures to illuminate messages initiated by writers, and unlike 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 Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  15. 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 junior and above as a non-major elective.
    Open to sophomores pending seat availability and permission of Instructor.
  16. Done well, respectful, original, and inventive adaptations can deliver fresh interpretations of original sources that are themselves new works of art that stand on their own merits. In this course, students will adapt written works from a variety of source materials into multi-page comics stories - demonstrating how form, narrative arc, cultural context, character, and emotion can be translated faithfully and artfully from one medium to another. In the process of doing the work, students will master the language of comics, a medium with its own vernacular, using unique combinations of words and pictures to form meaning - and will gain insights into shared principles of story-telling that apply both to prose and to visual narrative. After deep reading of the texts, to understand structure, story, and meaning, students will interpret and visually amplify the adapted texts, taking the new work from thumbnail, to full sketch, to final art, to self-published mini-comics.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00
    Major elective; Restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  17. This course surveys the history of illustration from prehistory 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. Emphasis is placed on Illustration's role in reflecting and influencing culture, and its variable relationship to its sister arts. The required class includes lectures, critical writing and discussions, weekly readings, a research project involving museum or special collections objects, quizzes and a final exam. Textbook required. Textbooks will be on reserve at the RISD Library and available for purchase at a student discount. Study images are made available on Canvas.
    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.
  18. One commonality amongst all illustrators is the ability to draw. This course builds on principles of traditional drawing, color theory, composition, and with a focus on observational drawing using digital tablet devices. Students will expand on techniques learned at the introductory level to broaden their use of digital mark making tools. Weekly classroom exercise in the first two-thirds of the semester range from careful studies of objects and figures in space, to capturing landscape settings; with the last third engaged in exploring painting from imagination. More involved homework assignments will challenge students to adapt previously acquired drawing skills translated into the digital medium. The main computer application to be used in the course is Photoshop, with an introduction to Painter toward the end of the semester. The goal of the class is to give students a strong foundation in digital painting that can be adapted to their future professional Illustration practice.
    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.
  19. This course introduces digital media for Illustrators using computer applications: image drawing, painting and editing in Photoshop, and vector graphics using Illustrator. 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 in Fall and Spring; open to all during Wintersession.
    This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
  20. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty-supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses.
    Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.00 or higher is required.
    Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration
  21. 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 reportage (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.
  22. 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 junior and above as a non-major elective.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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 must plan and register for both LAS-E416 and ILLUS-3612 and will receive 3 studio credits and 3 liberal arts credits.
  26. 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 novels and picture biographies of musicians and musical movements, the tradition of connecting the visual to the acoustic has a rich history. Music is often celebrated in larger and in a more tactile ways than on a screen-and we are seeing the enduring inventiveness of the gig poster, and even the 12 inch 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. This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  27. This course surveys a wide range of effects possible through versatile printmaking methods including monotype, relief printing and drypoint. The emphasis is on experimentation rather than editioning prints.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  28. The professional internship provides valuable exposure to a professional setting, enabling students to better establish a career path and define practical aspirations. Enrollment in an internship requires approval of the student's Department Head, using the online form available through the RISD Career Center website. Internship proposals are carefully vetted to determine legitimacy and must meet the contact hour requirements listed in the RISD Course Announcement and must involve immersion in a professional setting under supervision. Grading is Pass/Fail only.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; permission of Illustration Professional Development Advisor required; registration only allowed through RISD Career Center website by posted deadlines. All internships must be approved in advance.
  29. 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.

    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  30. The student's project, designed in consultation with the faculty will be evaluated by the faculty and visting critics and the end of the semester. The levels of concepts, skills and commitment constitute a mjor part of the criteria in the evaluation fo the work.
    Permission of instructor required
    Senior Illustration majors only
  31. "Sequential art" is an evolving and global art form whose recent history is grounded in three distinct forms: Comics, Manga, and Bande Dessinee. 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 dessines work by artists including: Winsor McCay, Osamu Tezuka, Herg, 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.
  32. 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 Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  33. 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 in 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.
  34. This course combines the business of art and design, transforming the creative impulse to a marketable deliverable. Students are encouraged 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; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  35. Throughout time, man has punctuated his existence with ritualized celebrations in honor, life, death, time, nature, love, God and country. Students will strive to invent imagery and objects inspired by those traditions but informed by a contemporary sensibility. The goal is to make art that piques the curiosity and engages the imagination through symbolism, structure, anticipation + revelation, humor and a surprise.
    Major elective; Illustration majors 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.
  36. 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 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.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
    Statement of Intent required; Permission of instructor required.
    This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
  37. 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.
    This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  38. Illustration is visual communication: meaning made visible. Visual thinking, the creative process by which all successful illustration is developed, constitutes the development of an articulate images 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.
  39. 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.
  40. When we read, retell, or illustrate, a story, we reveal something about ourselves. What motivates an artist to explore one particular theme over another? Whether it is a political issue, a personal obsession, or of "purely aesthetic" interest, this course will require students to find personal meaning in the narrative sources they select for class projects. Assignments will include the creation of a visual development project that culminates in a singular narrative illustration, as well as a series of sequential images for a text, and a final project that may be formatted as book, comic, toy, game or other translation of visual narrative. Discussions will include the integration of text and image, POV, composition for storytelling, character turn-arounds, media usage, and style concerns in the service of communicating the essential meaning of a story.
    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 Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  41. This course is a short introduction to the use of game engines for the production of realistic interactive environments-- whether for architecture, industrial design, VR, or animation. The class is intended for people who are already comfortable with 3D modeling and texturing and will cover the basics of scene creation, modeling, the particular requirements of PBR texturing, animation, and simple interactivity through the use of blueprints. Topics will include basic setup; import of 3D assets, including materials, animations, polygonal models, and custom hit-detection meshes; setup of input methods, lighting, sky-boxes, and atmospherics; and output to various devices. Professional workflow considerations and naming conventions will be covered, as well as an overview of useful third-party software for modeling and texturing.
    Major elective; priority given to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of department.
    Students must register for workshops during the registration period and add/drop regardless of start date of class.
  42. A one month basic introduction to Maya for 3D image-making. The class will introduce polygonal modeling, UV-mapping and normal-map generation, texturing, lighting, and advanced shader options, the Mental Ray renderer, and some particle, fluid and atmospheric simulators. Animation will not be taught beyond basics required for particle and other effects.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration during initial registration; open to Graphic Design and Industrial Design majors following initial registration period; open to other non-majors pending seat availability and permission of department.
    Students must register for workshops during the registration period and add/drop regardless of start date of class.

  43. This one-month workshop will explore the creative potential of ZBrush, the 3-D sculpting application from Pixologic. With so many uses, it's difficult to cover ZBrush completely, but by the end of the class you will have a solid understanding of the program, all its component tools and how to customize them and use them in your workflow, whether it's sculpting for game detail, animation, visualization, or rapid-prototyping. This workshop is a one-credit course that emphasizes skills and techniques. This class is part of a group of offerings by the departments of Illustration, Industrial Design and Graphic Design that are offered on Friday afternoons and are open to all students to facilitate cross-departmental enrollment.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration majors during initial registration; open to Graphic Design and Industrial Design majors following initial registration period; open to other non-majors pending seat availability and permission of department.
    Students must register for workshops during the registration period and add/drop regardless of start date of class.

Wintersession 2021

  1. This is a co-requisite course. Students self-register for ILLUS-3912 or IDISC-3912: Art of Communicating Science via Student Planning. Registration for the co-requisite course, SCI-W912: Art of Communicating Science, is processed by the Registrar's Office.

    This 6-credit course fuses studio investigations and science topics in a studio/seminar model that is centered on the Sixth Mass Extinction and how biodiversity is changing because of humans. Coursework invites undergraduate and graduate students to consider complex issues impacting the environment through lectures, readings, videos, visits to local sites (nature sanctuaries, watersheds, and the zoo) while improving their skills in recording observations through drawing. Methods of visualizing information synthesized from a variety of sources will be presented, discussed as students discover that science communication is more than delivering just the facts: it can be entertaining, surprising, and controversial. Each week we will focus on one of the major drivers of extinction today: Agriculture, Hunting/Fishing, Habitat Destruction (urbanization, pollution, resource extraction) and Climate Change. Each will devise a personal approach to the goals and format of a field-journal. For their final project, students will research a topic in depth relevant to human impacts on biodiversity, and create original artwork designed to communicate the topic to the public.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00
    The Departments of Illustration and History, Philosophy, and Social Sciences teach this course collaboratively. Students must plan and register for ILLUS-3912 or IDISC-3912 and SCI-3912 (HPSS).
    This course fulfills Illustration Concepts for Illustration majors.
  2. A Collaborative Study Project (CSP) allows two students to work collaboratively to complete a faculty supervised project of independent study.
    Usually, a CSP is supervised by two faculty members, but with approval it may be supervised by one faculty member. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses, though it is not a substitute for a course if that course is regularly offered.
    Register by completing the Collaborative Study Application available on the Registrar's website.
  3. 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.
  4. Design For Good sits at the intersection of illustration, graphic design, and brand identity, with a focus on non-profits and social issues. Working across print and digital media, this course will challenge students to create innovative visual communication that motivates people around a social cause. Students will learn what makes a compelling visual identity, as well as a compelling story. Throughout the course of the semester, students will create brand identities based in illustration, along with visual and typographic guidelines, and apply it to creative campaigns, packaging design, and social media platforms. Through a series of weekly & bi-weekly assignments, students will build a portfolio of pieces that tie together as a unified, illustrated brand identity. Students are encouraged to conduct their own research & interviews with non-profit organizations as part of this course. Group work in class, research, individual presentations & group critiques are an essential part of this course.
  5. This course introduces digital media for Illustrators using computer applications: image drawing, painting and editing in Photoshop, and vector graphics using Illustrator. 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 in Fall and Spring; open to all during Wintersession.
    This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
  6. 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.
  7. Whether Yellow Clay spread across the cave walls of Lascaux or modern pigments made in industrial factories; the painters fascination with all aspects of color spans millennia. In this introductory course we will use water media to create an understanding of what paint is, how it works and move from that understanding into the observational and expressive power of color. Through a combination of exercises exploring various techniques of material and approach including; opacity and transparency, value relationships and color, optical and physical color mixing, warm and cool colors, and many others we will create a foundational understanding of how paint and color work together. Students will leave the class with a expansive understanding of how to see color, mix color and use color as the most vital and fascinating tool in the artist toolbox. No previous painting experience required.
  8. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty-supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses.
    Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.00 or higher is required.
    Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

    This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
  11. 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
    Major elective; open to non-majors sophomore and above as a non-major elective.
  12. The professional Internship provides valuable exposure to a professional setting, enabling students to better establish a career path and define practical aspirations. Internship proposals are carefully vetted to determine legitimacy and must meet the contact hour requirements listed in the RISD Course Announcement.
  13. 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 materials 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.
  14. As worldwide consumerism is becoming more and more internet driven, emerging markets for new products that can be enhanced by visual stimulation are creating new opportunities for illustrators/designers. No longer constrained by point of purchase or the burden of owning specific technical equipment, creative makers can now produce and display products in the virtual world. This course will be offered exclusively online and is meant to give students insights and experience in creating for this exciting contemporary outlet as well as the opportunity of self-employment. Included will be discussions about starting a business, keeping records, branding, online marketing sites and making a profit! Assignments will focus on themes generated through crowd-sourcing and current events with an emphasis on concept- driven illustration and design specifically for everyday utilitarian forms like apparel, coffee cups, ceramic tile, phone cases, etc. Assignments will be reviewed weekly and surveyed for the best examples to be test printed. Learn to utilize your skills now to earn a living for a happy life!!
  15. Ludwig Wittgenstein proclaimed that "The limits of my language means the limits of my world." This class explores the intersection of two languages: verbal and visual. Words can be generative to art-making, substantive and integral to our art, and woven into our work as an integral dimension of the art experience. This class aims to liberate creative processes with the use of these two languages in tandem, exploring how verbal language may play a significant role in not only what you create but how you create. Students experiment with both verbal and visual vocabulary-sometimes together, sometimes apart from each other-with the goal of forging provocative, communicative art that includes words as a central component.
    This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts requirement for Illustration majors.
  16. In this studio class with liberal arts content, you will be making one zoom presentation and three art projects inspired by historic and contemporary female, female-identified, and non-binary illustrators, designers, and cartoonists. Until very recently, illustrators were restricted to certain subjects and career paths according to their gender, and women historically and still receive less pay and recognition. Here, we develop an understanding of historical "women's work" and how to navigate contemporary opportunities and barriers through projects about individuals, collectives, traditionally female-gendered media, issues, and other relevant aspects using original research to inform artistic expression. Work is supported by readings/videos that range from things written by the artists themselves to period commentary to theory and criticism concerning how gendering has impacted careers in illustration and visual culture at large. Projects that include writing integrated into them (such as a zine, comic, poster, story, website, etc) are encouraged. Medium and approach are open and drawing is not necessary.
  17. 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 Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  18. An all encompassing visual autobiography won't happen in five weeks but Wintersession does give us the exceptional opportunity to embrace the spirit of memoir, here brought to life as illustrations. Your personal stories undoubtedly touch on universal themes : childhood, coming of age, cultural identity, navigating the unfamiliar, overcoming obstacles, among countless others. We'll use journals to recollect the past and examine the present as part of the creative process - transforming raw material into reworked sketches that ultimately become polished illustrations with you at their center.

Spring 2021

  1. In this course we will seek to visualize complex information by developing multidimensional concepts, exploring new modes for narrative through simulation, crossover experimentation, collaborative processes and connective environments. Using visual expression, interactive media, sound, animation, and spatial concepts.

    In this collaborative research we will explore new relationships between advanced technologies, public environments, and personal experiences. We define these interactions as Adaptive Ecologies, the technological interfaces that exist between "beings" and "surroundings." Beings now include both living organisms and machines, while surroundings embody the vast spatial and material structures of nature.

    We will examine topics ranging from community design and biomimicry, cellular life and biosensing, to natural resource systems and infrastructures. Within each of these topics, nature is conceived of as a complex and technologically mediated point of departure for new ways of viewing and making the world. How can artists and designers use technology to build connections and shared experiences? The Hyundai Collaborative Studio is organized into four courses. These courses offer different perspectives and technological tools to answer this question under a common framework of shared workshops, critiques, readings, and guest lectures. This course is supported by Co-Works Research Lab and students will have access to equipment and space under social distancing guidelines.
    Permission of Instructor required.
    Open to juniors and above.
  2. 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 juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
    This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
  3. In this course students explore the fundamentals of animated movement, timing, and materials through various animation techniques, including working directly on film, drawing on paper, pixilation, cut-out animation, and modified-base processes. Over the course of the semester, students will create six short animations and a wide range of animated films will be studied to augment the student's understanding of the field.
    Major elective
    Permission of Instructor required. Course not available via web registration.
    Restricted to Illustration and FAV majors; contact FAV Department Coordinator to register.
  4. Children have an underestimated capacity to process complex stories, and are often misunderstood as an audience. Their hungry minds depend on imagery to make sense of life and to navigate through their evolving worlds. In this course, students will explore a variety of art forms destined to educate, stimulate and delight children-books, displays, characters, games. Assignments will include works for a variety of industries including publishing, advertising, gift/novelty, and focus on a range of age groups: toddlers to teens. Students will be challenged to create opportunities for discovery that are worthy of this curious and gracious audience. Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 majors.
  7. 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.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  8. Previsualization is an essential tool in both animation and live action filmmaking. Whether it is a feature film or a commercial, a television show or a short film, it's critical that storyboarding is the first directorial step of translating the written word to the screen. In a medium where collaboration is the norm, a story artist inherently becomes one of the most influential figures in a film's production, as every department builds upon the foundation of their work. In this course, we will go over the building blocks of visual storytelling and traditional filmmaking, culminating in a final project at the end of the semester. Lectures and screenings will explore the tenets of story structure, visual language, film grammar, and performance, all of which will be integrated into weekly assignments that exercise tried and true techniques of storyboarding method. The lessons in this course will give you a firm understanding of the art of storyboardinging as it applies to the film and animation industry, and also a greater understanding of how to visually communicate with a level of clarity that you had not known before.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  9. This course is intended to help students design with color through the use of acrylics, watercolor, mixed media and a medium of their choice including digital. We will explore ways of creating harmony, contrast, hierarchy, focus, color as an element of expression, for composition and for developing an illusion of space in a work of art. By developing an understanding of opacity, transparency, temperature, value, complementary relationships, saturation and how all work differently depending on the medium, students will gain an understanding of how to create delicious color without fear. Students will be expected to experiment with various color grounds as well as a variety of limited palettes. Assignments will be working from models in costume, include color charts, color studies and culminate in a final series of the students choice.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  10. 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 more, 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.
  11. Illustrated typography and hand lettering are enjoying a wonderfully prominent place in the visual landscape of design, publishing and illustration, and have become an increasingly vital part of many illustrator's professional portfolios. What can illustrated type and it's particular characteristics provide as an alternative to established typefaces? How does an illustrator find the right balance between form and function, expression and readability? This course will provide the opportunity to employ drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, photography, digital tools and other media in the creation of unique letterforms. Students will be encouraged to experiment with non-traditional materials -including three-dimensional ones. Beginning with an introduction to basic typographic elements, terminology, and font families, students will move into creating their own unique lettering for projects including posters, book covers, and packaging. Typography will be the central focus, but students will have leeway as to the degree with which it is integrated with other illustrative imagery. Along with these projects students will create a complete unique typeface over the course of the semester. Relevant issues related to hand drawn text-type for comics, picture books, and graphic novels - including appropriateness, readability and voice, will also be covered.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  12. 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.
  13. This course will approach illustration with an eye on design, the goal being clear communication through the use of bold graphics and stylization. Naturalistic elements, such as rendering and perspective will play a supporting role rather than being the focus. At times they will not be used at all, since the organization of space in an unexpected manner can have a powerful impact and convey information in a more efficient way. How can we harness shape and color to communicate an idea to the viewer? This is the question we will be examining throughout the semester. In class exercises will introduce design principles and techniques, paired with assignments that provide opportunities to apply these principles in real world scenarios ranging from advertising, poster design, infographics, and publishing.
    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 Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  14. One commonality amongst all illustrators is the ability to draw. This course builds on principles of traditional drawing, color theory, composition, and with a focus on observational drawing using digital tablet devices. Students will expand on techniques learned at the introductory level to broaden their use of digital mark making tools. Weekly classroom exercise in the first two-thirds of the semester range from careful studies of objects and figures in space, to capturing landscape settings; with the last third engaged in exploring painting from imagination. More involved homework assignments will challenge students to adapt previously acquired drawing skills translated into the digital medium. The main computer application to be used in the course is Photoshop, with an introduction to Painter toward the end of the semester. The goal of the class is to give students a strong foundation in digital painting that can be adapted to their future professional Illustration practice.
    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.
  15. This course introduces digital media for Illustrators using computer applications: image drawing, painting and editing in Photoshop, and vector graphics using Illustrator. 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 in Fall and Spring; open to all during Wintersession.
    This course fulfills the Computer Literacy requirement for Illustration majors.
  16. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty-supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses.
    Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.00 or higher is required.
    Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration
  17. The New Yorker and the New York Times are among the most respected periodicals in America, if not the English-speaking world. Through commentary, analysis and interpretation of the broadest spectrum of cultural concerns, the content is almost always articulate and influential. Students in this course develop a portfolio of covers and spot illustration 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; open to non-majors junior and above as a non-major elective.
    Major elective; open to non-majors junior and above as a non-major elective.
    This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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
    Major elective; open to non-majors sophomore and above as a non-major elective.
  21. The professional internship provides valuable exposure to a professional setting, enabling students to better establish a career path and define practical aspirations. Enrollment in an internship requires approval of the student's Department Head, using the online form available through the RISD Career Center website. Internship proposals are carefully vetted to determine legitimacy and must meet the contact hour requirements listed in the RISD Course Announcement and must involve immersion in a professional setting under supervision. Grading is Pass/Fail only.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; permission of Illustration Professional Development Advisor required; registration only allowed through RISD Career Center website by posted deadlines. All internships must be approved in advance.
  22. 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.
  23. The student's project, designed in consultation with the faculty will be evaluated by the faculty and visting critics and the end of the semester. The levels of concepts, skills and commitment constitute a mjor part of the criteria in the evaluation fo the work.
    Permission of instructor required
    Senior Illustration majors only
  24. This course is designed to help students find their way to the professional 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 most suited to each individual's talent and aspirations.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration seniors only.
  25. 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; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  26. 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 Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  27. The Changing Narrative will explore the challenges and possibilities of innovative storytelling structure: non-linear, interactive, multimedia. In this class, students will create inventive work at the intersection of physical and digital media, the old and the new. Students will be introduced to classic dramatic structures across cultures-Asian Kishotenketsu, Freytag's pyramid, Shakespearean tragedy-and learn fundamental digital skills via class demonstrations and exercises. Drawing from these patterns and tools, students will then seek to unveil new storytelling possibilities granted by modern technology (computer animation, touch screen interaction, hypermedia) to traditional artforms (illustration, comics, gaming). What happens when a comic's panel starts to move? Where does a story go if the reader is allowed to make decisions? Students will investigate these creative avenues and create playful, hybrid stories.
    Along the course of the semester, assignments will notably include short-form animated illustrations, experiments with gamebooks and cartoon strips, culminating in a final, long-form narrative project.
    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 Elective requirement OR the Computer Literacy requirement, not both, for Illustration majors.
  28. In this course students will learn to depict the human figure more effectively within a spatial and compositional context. The classical principles of pictorial design emphasized in the course will enable students to create compelling and visually dynamic work. These principles strengthen visual unity by strategically repeating various formal elements within an image while contrasting those elements in order to provide a sense of balance. Master works by Diebenkorn, Cassatt, Sorolla, Hopper, Degas, and Vermeer, among others, will be analyzed in order to gain insight from their compositions and use of color. Students will execute several small-- scale master studies to assimilate those lessons more deeply. Students will also explore the narrative potential of the human figure in context as they develop personal imagery. Sources for such imagery will be chosen by each student and may include observation, imagination, memory, photo reference or any combination thereof. Students may work in any color or monochromatic 2-D medium - drawing, painting, collage, mixed media, or digital - based on individual preference and expressive need. During each class, students will have the option to work from direct observation of human figures placed in environments. The models will be set in long poses to allow time for compositional and narrative ideas to develop. Students may also use class time to develop their own imagery from non-observational sources.
    Major elective.
    Open to all students; sophomore and above.
  29. As the world's first print technique, woodcut had a profound affect on the development of all printing -especially the Japanese woodblock process which has influenced so many artists. It uses minimal technology, requiring only a sturdy table, a few simple cutting and inking tools, and a wooden spoon to print the block. Despite the simplicity of the medium, resulting prints are as individual as the artist who makes them. An artist is able to make many identical prints of their image, which makes woodcut a great tool for experimenting with your ideas. Whether you enjoy work with a bold graphic quality or a delicate organic line, woodcut is an ideal medium for those that enjoy the physicality of materials. The class will cover the basics of woodcut prints to gain an understanding of the three components of this process: color separation, carving, and printing. Participants will learn about the required materials and tools, how to safely and effectively cut an image into the woodblock, and how to print it. The class will focus on how to organize and print large scale, complex, nuanced multicolored woodcuts. Reduction and multi-block techniques will be shown as a means of developing personal imagery. This one-of-a- kind course gives students a traditional printmaking skill that is environmentally friendly, can be done at home, on any scale.
    Major elective; open to non-majors junior and above as a non-major elective.
  30. 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.
  31. For half a millennium, posters (or "broadsides" as they were called) have attracted the attention and sparked the imagination of viewers through much of the 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 serigraph 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.
  32. In this course, students will create a comprehensive visual essay on a topic that they propose. Participants will engage in extensive investigation and create a series of images that explore, reveal, and/or explain a particular subject or concept. Emphasis will be placed on the development of content through research, and the organization of consistent refined works through presentations that synthesize ideas as pictorial or graphic imagery that may include or refer to textual information. Final presentations may be printed, digital, exhibited as originals or include cross-platform or time-based imagery. A wide range of commercial applications and opportunities will be explored. The semester will begin with short projects that introduce useful skills and approaches. The remainder of the term will focus on a single conceptual endeavor. Contemporary and historic examples of visual essay will be examined and discussed. Student research may lead beyond campus.
    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 Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  33. This course in visual story-telling will examine the impact of human society on natural systems. We will begin with focused readings on the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of Rhode Island, learning how the native native flora and fauna have been affected by deforestation, invasive species and diseases, exploitation and pollution. We will investigate how these stories are told, by whom and to what end. In the studio, we will pull narrative threads from the data in our readings and practice weaving them together to create visual tableaux that relate to natural histories, real and imagined, that incorporate themes such as colonialism, exoticism, immigration and industrialization. Students will work on a major visual narrative project that grows from our investigation of past, present or near-future ecological problems worldwide, addressing the cultural factors that lead to environmental degradation, the impact of these changes on human society, and possible avenues of remediation. We will take inspiration from historical and contemporary artists, including RISD alumnus Walton Ford (BFA '82) whose exquisitely detailed watercolors of wildlife make allegorical allusions to everything from conservationism and consumption, war, colonialism and imperialism. Ford will join the class virtually for discussion. Taught by interdisciplinary artist, Illustration Professor Jean Blackburn with lectures by HPSS-Science Senior Lecturer Lucy Spelman.
    Open to juniors and above.
    Also offered as IDISC-3058; Register in the course for which credit is desired.
    This course fulfills the Illustration Concepts Elective requirement for Illustration majors.
  34. 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.
  35. The relationship of images and words is a long and interesting one. At times images lead, and text follows, providing descriptions of images, and at other times text leads and images illustrate that text. By examining the history of their relationship from a coterminous presence in pictographs and printmaking, to early forms of art writing, and contemporary criticism, students will produce coercive images and writing, which together are mutually exploitative. This course explores the juxtaposition of image making and writing as a method of thinking through and evoking ideas. By examining the Surrealist art magazine Documents, 1929-1930, edited by George Bataille, participants in this hybrid creative writing and image making course will produce different forms of writing such as ekphrasis, poetry and short essay, along with producing images through photo, lino-cut and Risograph printmaking to produce posters, zines and a collaborative publication.

    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 Elective OR the Computer Literacy requirement, not both, for Illustration majors.
  36. As visual artists, we all have a story to tell.
    One of the keys to creating a convincing narrative is persuading your viewers of the believability of the world into which you invite them. The creation of graphic novels, games, animations, movies and theater sets often start with a world guide - a document that fully describes the setting. Sometimes these are simply textual or visual references and sometimes they are books in their own right; but regardless of form, their purpose is to make sure that all the creative people working on a project will build a consistent "reality".
    This course is intended to familiarize students with the process of generating and illustrating the visual parameters of an invented environment in which a story happens - defining first the umbrella under which the story unfolds, then establishing a more particular space/time/habitat that includes anything relevant to the story: environment, history, culture, clothing styles, architecture, animals, etc.
    Beyond the invention of a setting for a visual narrative, in this course students will also learn how to design a style guide for intellectual property worlds (IP). Each will create a visual "bible" for envisioning their IP world-a document that clearly defines and describes the world within which the narrative unfolds.
    Major elective; restricted to Illustration juniors and seniors; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.