Cartoon art classes are typically offered in degree programs that include cartooning, illustration and animation. These classes are usually available as part of programs at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Through these courses, students learn how to draw characters, create stories and develop the key points of an idea or concept.
Here is an outline of common concepts taught in cartoon art courses:
- Story through image
- Illustrating scenes
- Character creating
- Graphic novel study
- History of cartooning
- Media exploration
- Tools and methods
- Creating a portfolio
List of Cartoon Art Classes
Principles of Cartooning Course
Introductory cartoon art classes teach students how using certain images, such as landscapes, cars, bars or schools, can create a specific feeling within a cartoon. Students learn techniques for using simple pictures accompanied by well-chosen words to create meaning for the reader. They study comic books, comic strips and graphic novels to determine how cartoon communication works. Typically, the course includes lessons on creating cartoon characters, story lines and sample cartoon strips.
Drawing and Developing Characters Course
This specialized drawing course focuses on developing believable characters that can carry a story. Students develop unique characters by determining what they look like, their personalities and their purpose in the story. Basic techniques for animating characters and using the principles of storytelling are covered, including procedures for creating graphic novels.
History of Cartooning Course
By studying the history of cartooning, students become familiar with how humor is used in cartoons as a political tool. Students analyze work from different cartoonists and discover how they capture and present various elements of American history. This study allows students to see the role cartoons play in shaping people's perspectives.
Tools and Colors in Cartooning Course
In cartooning art classes, students learn the different mediums and tools available to cartoonists, including pencils and different types of inks. Students examine how elements of character presentation, including color palettes and clothing, affect the way people perceive a cartoon and its validity. Techniques for illustrating the passing of time and ways to express feelings, often with the use of shadows, are identified. Students learn how to capture images using photography and transfer them to paper with ink.
Cartooning Portfolio Course
This advanced cartooning art class, typically completed during a senior year of college, gives students the opportunity to compile their cartooning pieces and finish them for display. The work is then critiqued by students and professors, so students can present their best pieces to potential employers. This cartoon art course provides students with information about where they can market their work and how to start selling it.