Monday, January 14, 2019

Introduction to Illustration: Creating a Portfolio

For her project, Mariana Tapia made watercolor paintings illustrating Spanish words that don't exist in English. See more at

I've been teaching this illustration course for Pratt Institute's School of Continuing and Professional Studies for a couple of years now. Follow the link and scroll down to find the course. 
The new session starts next week, Tuesday, January 22.

In this class, we explore fundamental dichotomies within the field, such as static vs dynamic composition, realistic vs designed images, and organic vs architectural forms. We look at various styles, formats, genres, and media in illustration's history. We tackle a variety of sketchbook challenges: editorial concepts, sequential continuity, observational drawing and painting, and more. We discuss print and digital technology. We have field trips to lectures and life drawing sessions. A lot gets done in just ten weeks!

The course project is to create a related series of three or more illustrations to inaugurate a portfolio. 

Shanna Cho made a series of digitally painted scrolls inspired by Korean folk tales.

And I wouldn't neglect to cover comic techniques along the way.

Mariana Tapia's timely comic page.

It's an upbeat class. Students have been making friends and having a good time, while surprising us all with their inventiveness. I'm getting positive feedback: 
"This course was well structured and hands on. It guided me to work on my first illustration project which I really enjoyed"
"I really appreciate your joyful attitude and your willingness to share your knowledge and ideas"

Come join the fun.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Student Spotlight: G. H. Yamauchi

Check out this artful and moving comic by G. H. Yamauchi that just appeared in Electric Lit.
Yamauchi began the comic in my fall 2015 Cartooning Basics course & set it aside until, encouraged by a friend, she submitted it to this publisher, who suggested revisions, and voila. Way worth the time and effort.

Of Cartooning Basics, she says, "You were always so kindly encouraging to all of us in the class, and I really appreciated your support. So, thank you! Please know you made a difference for me." 

I believe comics is the finest medium for telling personal stories and putting thoughts and feelings down on paper, as this example beautifully shows. I encourage my students to take the time they need to produce their best work. For my part, I'm often finishing comics I began decades ago and starting others that may gestate for years. It's a happy day for me when a student project from months or years before appears triumphantly in my inbox. 

What stories are lurking in your heart? 
Winter/spring classes are enrolling right now: Figure Drawing for Cartoonists, Cartooning Basics, and Inking ComicsCome see me tomorrow, Jan. 10, at the Info Session.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Making MiniComics!

I'm conducting a cartooning workshop for middle schoolers on Saturday afternoons in Park Slope, Making MiniComics.

We have lots of fun jamming, brainstorming, experimenting, and self-publishing. This one really is a joy to teach.

The new session starts tomorrow (short notice, sorry) but I believe they'll prorate students who join later. That said, space is limited, so you should act fast, I reckon.