Childrens book illustraion course

Children’s Book Illustration

Children’s books play a critical role in childhood development, emotional intelligence, fostering creativity and intergenerational bonding. Essential to the success of a children’s book is the imagery behind the words. In this course students explore visual strategies that support a child’s cognitive progress and align with age-appropriate material. Students will work with a variety of material, from drawing, to an introduction to watercolor, to mixed-media and media of choice, which may include digital applications. Lectures, discussion and hands-on book sharing in the RISD Library’s extensive collection provide insight into character development, pacing, text interpretation and storyboarding.

Sessions on figure drawing, animals as characters, symbolism and illuminating a scene help students understand how to ‘stage’ a story. Sensitivity to multicultural illustration and cultural appropriation is reviewed. Emphasis is placed on conceptual interpretation and the development of a personal approach in method and materials, culminating in a collection of illustrations that can inform future work. Professional child models of varying age groups serve as models.

Students exhibit their work at Open Studios held 4–6 pm on the final day of class.

Prerequisite: Basic drawing experience

Course #0903
Cheryl Kirk Noll

Schedule A
June 22–July 28, 2020
Mondays + Tuesdays
9 am–4 pm

Tuition $2,975
Tuition for RISD Alumni and Students $2,380

3 Credits


Cheryl Kirk Noll

Cheryl Kirk Noll is an award-winning children's book illustrator who has illustrated more than 20 books for clients including Scholastic and Harcourt. Her work focuses on historic and multicultural stories. She was a 2008-2009 RISD Continuing Education Teacher of Excellence. She holds a BS in education from Lebanon Valley College and a BFA in illustration from Rhode Island School of Design.