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Book Illustration Classes and Training Programs

Illustration is the art of making a story come to life through pictures on the printed page. Illustrations are created through a variety of technical and digital media. Book illustration classes can be found in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as in standalone formats.

Essential Information

Courses in illustration are available in both for-credit and non-credit formats through continuing education departments. Students can also complete a certificate or an associate, bachelor's or master's degree program in illustration to gain hands-on training in art, illustration and the technology used in the field, along with an understanding of the history of book illustration. Most programs are offered through fine arts departments and can be completed in 1-4 years.

List of Common Courses

The list below represents some of the illustration courses that students can take at scholastic institutions.

Basic Illustration Concepts Course

This introductory course covers basic drawing techniques, such as composition, design and color. Students explore working with various mediums for communicating an idea through an illustration. The course is designed to give students a firm understanding of proper drawing techniques while also allowing them to develop their own techniques and artistic persona.

Introduction to Book Illustration Course

The course teaches students to create a story utilizing illustrations. Throughout the course, students read a story and then create illustrations based on their own interpretation of that story. Additionally, they explore various book genres to observe how illustrations vary between genres.

Children's Book Illustration Course

This genre focuses on bringing out a narrative through illustrations so that the pictures tell the story. Participants investigate a variety of children's books, including those that go beyond the children's market and require illustrations that speak to a larger, more mature audience. Students take this course in the middle of an illustration program; it is sometimes offered as an elective course in certificate programs.

Comic Book Illustration Course

Comic book art is a unique area of illustration, because the illustrations are used to tell the story. This course inspects the elements and design techniques used in comic books, such as storyboarding, layout, composition and sequential illustration. Students learn the different stages of comic book creation and story development. The course examines the evolution of the comic book or graphic novel media.

Digital Media in Illustration Course

Students learn to use illustration software, such as Adobe Illustrator and Coral Painter, to enhance their hand-drawn illustrations and create new illustrations. Participants learn to use the tools, layouts, coloring techniques and other features of these software programs.

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