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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.

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

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)
  • Ruler
  • Eraser

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

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. swalter.scholeacademy@gmail.com

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. ssilkwood.scholeacademy@gmail.com

Red checkmarkComputer: 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.

Red checkmarkHigh-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.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: 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

Red checkmarkZoom: 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. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.

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