Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Intermediate Illustration
ILL 361.2

Instructor contact information and office hours:
John Thompson
109 Euclid Terrace
Syracuse, NY 13210
Office Phone: (315) 443-1293 or 4613 (Sandra Puro)
Home Phone: (315) 256-8201 cell
Email: jmthom01@syr.edu
Office Hours: Wednesday 2:00-5:00PM
Room 349 Shaffer

Basic course information:
Credits: 3
Room/Bldg: 307 Shaffer
Day/Time: Tuesday 1:30 PM-6:00 PM
Dates: 08/26/14 – 12/02/14 

ILL 261, 262, 283, 284 (or by special permission of the professor)

Course description:
The primary emphases of this course will be the use of the figure in illustration. There will be three major assignments. We will explore the single figure in an environment;
two figures in a composition; and three to five figures in a more complicated environment. We will use a creative process to solve each assignment. Each finished piece will be preceded by conceptual drawings, research and finished drawing. All of the assignments will begin with a power point presentation that will explore classical as well as modern variations on each theme, including how other students have approached the subject.
Each person should have a digital camera. Do not rely on your phone to take pictures. We will work on improving your photographic skills as an aid in making better illustrations. The final choice of technique will be up to you. For this semester, all assignments will be completed by hand (no digital solutions will be accepted for this class). I will look at everyone’s portfolio to evaluate your skill level and to help guide each of you on possible directions for the future.
Most classes will be divided into two parts. Lectures, presentations, assignments and critiques will make up 1/2 of the class. Drawing and painting from the model will make up the remainder of the class. The medium for the in-class painting sessions this semester will be acrylic.

This is your junior year. While I expect you to venture out from what is safe, both in ideas and technique, I also expect you to improve your drawing and painting skills. We will critique your work in class. Revisions will be part of the process. This course will have a bus trip to New York on November 14th to view current exhibitions and museums. I expect you to participate in this field trip. Your success is the goal of the class.

Learning outcomes:
  • To develop an understanding of the use of the figure in illustration
  • To learn a creative process in the creation of an illustration
  • To become proficient in painting directly from the model with acrylics
  • To search for a personal artistic identity in problem solving

Academic Integrity Statement:
The Syracuse University Academic Integrity Policy holds students accountable for the integrity of the work they submit. Students should be familiar with the Policy and know that it is their responsibility to learn about instructor and general academic expectations with regard to proper citation of sources in written work. The policy also governs the integrity of the work submitted in exams and assignments as well as the veracity of signatures on attendance sheets and other verifications of participation in class activities. Serious sanctions can result from academic dishonesty of any sort.                                                                                             
For more information and the complete policy, see http://academicintegrity.syr.edu

Disability-Related Accommodations:
Students who are in need of disability-related academic accommodations must register with the Office of Disabilities Services (ODS), 804 University Avenue, Room 309, 315-443-4498. Students with authorized disability-related accommodations should provide a current Accommodation Authorization Letter from ODS to the instructor and review those accommodations with the instructor. Accommodations, such as exam administration, are not provided retroactively; therefore, planning for accommodations as early as possible is necessary. For further information, see the ODS website, Office of Disability Services http://disabilityservices.syr.edu 

Texts, Readings, Research, Supplies:

Suggested readings:
Revealing Illustration, by James McMullan
The Red Rose Girls, by Alice Carter
Art is Work, by Milton Glaser
Richard Schmid Paints the Figure, by Richard Schmid
American Realists: Homer to Hopper, by Mahonri Sharp Young
Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud
Plus:  The Illustrator Annuals published by The Society of Illustrators
          Communication Arts magazine
          The New Yorker magazine
          The New York Times

Suggested blogs and websites:

Course materials:

You may complete each assignment in any medium you wish. Use the art materials you already own, and are comfortable with. Feel free to add to these materials as the semester progresses.

For in-class paintings from the model we will work in Acrylic.
Purchase the following materials:

Medium: Acrylic
Colors (Either Golden or Liquitex)
The following colors are required for this class:
Mars Black
Raw Umber
Burnt Umber
Burnt Sienna
Raw Sienna
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Cadmium Red Light
Naphthol Crimson
Titanium White
Ultramarine Blue

You may also bring the following recommended colors:
Cerulean Blue
Hookers Green (warm)
Viridian Green (cool)
Lemon yellow (cool)
Cobolt blue (cool)
Permanent Green Light
Naples Yellow

Hogs Hair (flat) #10
Hogs Hair (Rounds and filberts) #2, #4, #6,
Sables # 2, #4
You may add to add to this list, but bring these brushes.

Other materials
Paper towels (white)
Matte Medium (Small Bottle)
Container for water
Kneaded Eraser
Palette (An enamel tray is best, or a disposable palette. Do not use a plastic palette)

We will be mostly painting on paper.
Strathmore Bristol Vellum, 19” x 24”
You may also bring other surfaces (masonite, canvas, etc) for longer poses if you wish.

The bulk of your grade will be based on the three major assignments (attached). I expect improvement in your work no matter what your skill level was coming into this course. You will not only be evaluated on your skill, but your attitude and effort as well. The process is just as valuable as the idea and the technique. I will be available in class, in my office and/or by email for continuous advice and evaluation.
Major Projects                     65%
In class figure studies          10%
Creative Process                  10%
Attendance, attitude, effort  15%

Three major assignments:
Single figure in an environment
Two people in a room (not touching)
Inside/Outside with three to five figures

Creative process:
Each assignment will involve a step-by-step creative approach. While these steps may vary from one assignment to another, they will usually be: Concept, Research, Reference, Sketch, Final Drawing, Finished Painting, and Revisions.

Each class will begin with critiques of ongoing assignments. We may be working on two or three assignments simultaneously, each at different stages. You are being prepared for a career that involves communication with Art Directors and/or Editors. You will eventually be working on assignments from multiple sources. It is very important that you be to class on time and bring in each assignment progressed to the proper stage.
Failure to attend critiques, or bring in assignments will result in having your grade lowered.

I expect you to be on time to class. This class will meet 14 times this semester plus a Junior Review. I will give you one excused absence. The second absence will lower your grade one letter grade. Chronic lateness or leaving early may add up to an unexcused absence. The third may result in failure. All assignments must be completed to pass the course and you must take part in “Survey” at the end of the semester.

Junior level students will show work from all Illustration classes as well work produced in Studio Arts classes on December 9th.  Survey is mandatory for all Illustration majors.