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Common Courses in Book Illustration Programs

Higher Education Articles October 13, 2015

Overview of Courses in Book Illustration Programs

Illustration is the use of pictures on a printed page to exemplify an idea. It is an art, and can be learned by attending a related graduate program or a standalone format. Creating an illustration therefore, requires some basic knowledge in technical and digital media. Below, are some of the main courses that a student pursuing a degree or certificate program in book illustrations will have to learn.

Quick Notes

It is possible to learn about illustrations through either credit or non-credit formats, which are both available in continuing education departments. A bachelor’s or a masters degree in illustrations is however more formidable in order to learn deeply about practical arts, illustration itself and the technology used in the field, along with an understanding of the history and current practices regarding book illustrations. The programs take between one and four years.

List of Common Courses

The following are the common courses offered in most book illustration programs.

Basic Illustration Concepts Course

The basics of book illustrations involve learning how to draw, how to compose, design or color the illustrations. The basic course enables students to use varying mediums to gain knowledge on how to communicate one idea in several ways. The course also helps students learn proper drawing skills notwithstanding helping them to be creative in their own rights.

Introduction to Book Illustration Course

At this level, students learn how to create interesting stories using illustrations. The students are given stories to read and then illustrate the stories using pictures based on their own interpretations. Moreover, students get access to varying book genres from which they can illustrate different stories.

Children’s Book Illustration Course

In this course, students learn how to illustrate stories in such a clear way that one can tell the whole story from the look of one picture. The students begin by reading a lot of children’s books, especially those books that attract and target not just the children, but also grown up audiences. This course is mainly offered in the middle of an illustration program although it can also be offered as an elective course at the certificate level.

Comic Book Illustration Course

Comic book illustration is a bit more sophisticated than the other related courses. A comic illustration is supposed to not only tell the whole story, but also to tell it in a clear, captivating and entertaining manner. The course explores a lot of designing techniques relating to illustrations, story boarding, layout and the sequence of creating a great comic illustration. As mentioned, comic illustration is more sequential; hence, students have to fully understand the whole process. It also looks at the history and growth of comic books and the graphic novel media.

Digital Media in Illustration Course

This common course aims to equip students with knowledge about illustration software, such as Adobe Illustrator and Coral painter, help them harness their skills in hand drawn illustrations and teach them how to create new illustrations. Lastly, students learn how to use the required tools and how to illustrate their pictures accordingly and techniques and other features relating to the software programs.

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