Introduction to Illustration (Fall)
Through this course, students will be encouraged to explore the endless possibilities in illustration through a variety of mediums and illustrative styles. Students will develop narrative and sequential illustrations that clearly communicate ideas and are visually and aesthetically compelling. After experiencing the work of contemporary illustrators and identifying the qualities of successful illustrations, students will begin creating their own designs, original characters, and settings. Through demonstrations, personal instruction, and creative exercises, students will explore different subjects/compositions, textures, papers, and application techniques suitable for each unique medium.
Students will be encouraged to practice exercises taught in class and may need to work outside of class to complete projects. Along with hands-on studio work, students will participate in regular class critiques, creating a forum for the group to constructively collaborate and discuss creative outcomes. Individual artist statements will be required with most finished pieces of work, giving students another opportunity to articulate their interpretive intent and their understanding of process and design concepts.
Students can also expect ongoing dialogues about contemporary illustrators, the rich history of Biblical imagery, and illustration in the Church. This course is supplemented by readings and reflections on art and faith by authors such as C.S. Lewis, Francis Shaffer, Pope John Paul II, and Makoto Fujimura, which will be provided by the instructor. The hope of the instructor is that, through engagement in the class, students will be brought to a deeper appreciation of the visual world and the creative love of its Maker.
For each skill instructors have determined whether it is a prerequisite skill or a skill to be developed throughout the course. For lower school, instructors indicate where parent support is expected.
- With Parent Support: Skills that most lower school students will need help with.
- Developing: Skills that the instructor will help develop and emphasize throughout the year.
- Mastered: Prerequisite skills that the instructor is expecting students to possess.
- Be able to manage Canvas assignments and submissions (view assignments, check for teacher messages, submit homework as pdf file, submit revisions if necessary, set Canvas notifications for the class, view class notifications when posted, etc.).
- Be able to set notifications settings to alert the student of class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to review notifications ongoing throughout the year; notifications which include: class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to respectfully and wisely engage with other students and the instructor on Canvas discussion boards.
- Be able to respectfully, wisely and formally engage with instructor through private Canvas messaging.
- Be responsible for reviewing teacher feedback, suggestions and comments about student work and employing that feedback as necessary.
- Be able to self-edit written submissions for grammar and spelling mistakes.
- Be able to write sentences with basic sentence syntax (i.e. capitalization of first word in a sentence, punctuation at the end of each sentence, space between sentences, capitalization of proper nouns, each sentence having a subject and predicate, etc.).
- Be able to build well organized paragraphs which employ (among other skills) topic sentences, transition sentences, clear linear thinking throughout the essay.
- Be able to employ the feedback of the instructor into future edits and submissions of the assignment.
- Be able to read material independently and identify the information which might be relevant to course discussions and objectives (even if the student doesn’t fully understand all of what’s being read).
- Be able to type paragraph essays (short essays, and 5 or more page essays).
- Be able to type short answers in complete sentences.
- Follow class discussions and seminar conversations to record notes without the instructor identifying specifics.
- Be prepared to thoughtfully answer questions when called on in a group setting, during class.
- Be prepared to volunteer thoughtful comments, answers and ideas in a group setting, during class.
- With Parent Support
- Be able to schedule and manage multiple projects from multiple instructors and courses.
- Understand the difference between assignments given by an instructor and the necessary and independently initiated need for private study of material.
- Be able to schedule time outside of class to complete independent review of materials.
Required Course Materials:
Teaching art online is a unique learning experience to navigate. If at all possible, buy the version of supply linked below. I can help students navigate obstacles more effectively when we are all using the same materials. If you have any questions regarding supplies, please feel free to email me.
- Any kind of sketchbook (minimum size 8″x10″): We will use these for exercises and notes. If you already have one that you use, that will do!
- Document camera (such as Ipevo), or equivalent*
- 11×14” drawing paper pad (link)
- Pencils for drawing
- At least 2 Micron pens, 005 (link) & 05 (link)
Optional Course Materials:
Have your student pick a color medium they enjoy and/or are comfortable with from the list below.
- Colored pencils
- Alcohol markers
- Marker paper, if using alcohol markers
- Set of watercolor paint (link) and palette** (link)
- Short handled watercolor brushes
- Size 2 round (link)
- Size 6 round (link)
- 1/2” or 1” flat (link)
- OR a set like this (link)
- Water cup
- Watercolor paper pad for studies and final projects, if using watercolor (link)
- Rags or paper towels
* Required materials not included with course enrollment
Sara Silkwood holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Syracuse University. Sara has several years experience teaching in a variety of areas including college level, church-run camps, Classical schools and privately. She also serves as the fine arts teacher at Valor Preparatory Academy. Currently, Sara works out of her home studio in Waco, Texas where she lives with her great dane-lab mix, Oberon. She spends her free-time backpacking, reading and illustrating her own stories.
Samuel Walter received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Haverford College, and a M.M. and M.M.A. from the Yale School of Music. During his time at Yale University Samuel established himself in New Haven as a commissioned portrait and still-life artist. He has been awarded in numerous international and national competitions including the 2022 ARC International Salon competition, the 2022 Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition and the 2021 Portrait Society of America’s Future Generation award. He has also been featured in the International Artist Magazine, The Art of The Portrait Magazine, and the American Art Collector Magazine. Samuel has received portrait commissions from presidents, professors and administration at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Swarthmore College, Haverford College, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. In his portraiture, Samuel tries to emphasize that all are created in the image of God.
Samuel is also a passionate teacher and has provided both art and music instruction for nearly a decade. Teaching art is a wonderful way to open students’ eyes to the beauty of God’s creation all around them: to notice beautiful colors, shapes, lighting and compositions. Art can be an act of worship in which we appreciate what God has created, and imitate Him, the great Artist and Creator. email@example.com
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.