Illustration Courses and Illustration Studies Coursework Info

Illustration coursework covers the essential skills needed to work as an illustrator for newspapers, ads, websites and other media. Keep reading to get more details about illustration coursework.

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Essential Information

Illustration courses are offered through associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in majors including fine arts, illustration and illustration design. Students in these courses develop their own sense of style while preparing work that can be used in print and web publications for ads or design purposes. Coursework includes the study of figure drawing, editorial illustration, and visual metaphor.

Here is an outline of common concepts taught in illustration courses:

  • Anatomy
  • Proportion
  • Composition
  • Editorial advertising
  • Fundamentals
  • Style and approach

List of Illustration courses

Figure Drawing

This illustration course prepares students to draw lifelike, proportionate people by rendering arms, legs, faces and hands separately, and then as part of a body. In most figure anatomy illustration courses, professors use a skeleton so students can draw simple poses. Later, they progress to drawing people brought in as models, both clothed and nude, which allows students to practice drawing from life and create more complicated poses. Through this course, students draw people in a unique style, which is practical for video games and animated films.

Concepts and Metaphors in Illustration

With an introductory knowledge of the primary uses, methods and possibilities of illustration, students explore image creation and the power of metaphor. Students examine the work of well-known conceptual illustrators in the corporate, advertising and editorial arenas. Illustration courses emphasizing concept and metaphors teach students to develop word lists and perform research which aids in the creation of strong visual messages. Students enrolled in these Illustration courses develop traditional and digital media skills and learn to make professional presentations.

Illustration in the Media

Media illustration coursework explores illustration concepts in multiple forms of traditional print and web media, such as books, magazines and ads. Students analyze forms and techniques used in each style, emulate it and modify their work to create pieces that could fit each media form. This course is often coupled with an illustration internship, which provides practical experience and allows students to publish and gain exposure for their art.

Editorial Illustration

Having become well-practiced in the concepts and methods of successful illustration, students take advanced courses in illustration to develop mastery in specialized areas, such as editorial illustration. Editorial art accompanies magazine covers, feature articles and short stories, luring the reader in and visually communicating the main idea of the text. In this advanced illustration studies course, students survey the editorial market via lectures, which demonstrate the possibilities for invention and imagination in editorial illustration. In addition, students complete projects in health, science, finance, lifestyle or editorial opinion articles, which use diverse formats.

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