Illustration: Visual Storytelling - RISD Summer Programs course

Illustration: Visual Storytelling

Storytelling is a fundamental human act that crosses cultures, ages, ethnicities and genders. Each of us are walking, talking, living stories—from the time we wake up in the morning, imagining what our day will be like, to the plans we make about who we want to be. This course explores the act of visual storytelling in illustration. Students begin with an exercise in iteration of character ideas that informs a visual theme. Additional characters are then created to provide the foundation for illustrated environments and a story concept. Creative problem solving is explored through studies in composition, color, style, format and transferring drawings. Lectures and demonstrations review illustration artists, styles and a variety of media. Research in costume and anatomy further refines concepts that are compelling and resonant. Emphasis is placed upon an expressive creative process—from initial sketches to the formulation of a final series of three illustrations. Students may work in any medium they are comfortable with or want to experiment with. Prerequisite: Basic drawing skills

Illustration (detail) by Amy Chen 19 IL

RISD degree students: This course offers 3 transfer credits with pre-approval from your department head using the “Transfer Credit Prior Approval for Major/Non Major Credit” form, found on the Registrar’s Office Forms page. Submit the signed form to the Registrar’s office and then complete the online course registration.

Course #4090
Mary Jane Begin

Schedule B
June 24–July 30, 2021
Thursdays + Fridays, 10 am–1 pm ET
Online, Live

Tuition $2,300

3 Credits



Mary Jane Begin

Mary Jane Begin is an award-winning illustrator known for her acclaimed children’s picture books, including The Wind in the Willows, A Mouse Told His Mother, Little Mouse’s Painting and R is for Rhode Island Red. Begin’s first authored series, Willow Buds, published by Little Brown and Co., has recently been optioned for children’s television animation. Begin has exhibited nationally at Storyopolis, the Society of Illustrators, and Books of Wonder Galleries in New York and Beverly Hills and locally at the National Museum of American Illustration and the Fleet Library at RISD. She is the recipient of the Steven Donahos Award from the Society of Illustrators, multiple Awards of Excellence from Communications Arts, the Irma Simonton Black Award and the Critici Erba Prize at the Bologna Book Fair, Italy. She is a senior critic for RISD’s Illustration department.

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