COMD3313, Illustration1, FA2022

Professor Diana Schoenbrun | COMD 3313 | SP22

Final file prep

Due December 16th


At the end of the semester, you will need to send files of your work. This will be due on December 16th. (You will not receive your grades unless you send your work.) The department asks to see student work so you will need to send the following.

  1. Create a folder with your name.( ex: DianaSchoenrbrun_Illustration1)
  2. Create three folders labeled Spots, Editorial, Movie Poster
  3. Save a hi res, 300 dpi file(RGB is fine), jpg or tiff of each project.
    For Assignment 1 you can send all the spots on 1 page.
  4. Label the files with your name and project. For example:


Create a pdf of the sketchbook assignments after the midterms. See below.

label the pdf

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11 (scroll down)

Place this pdf inside your folder with your name.

Zip the folder Firstname_lastname_Illustration1

Send me the files via wetransfer, via drop box, or google drive.

Final Project: Part 1


  1. Illustrate and design a movie poster for a film. Preferably a classic film or film older than 10 years.
    First, choose a film from your list or another film.
    Look at films listed on the Criterion Collection website, Rotten Tomatoes, or IMDb for lists of films.
  2. Top Criterion Film Poster Designs for some ideas as well.
  3. Remember your poster can be viewed on a theater wall or it could be used online on a website such as Netflix, Apple Movies, HBO, etc.
  4. Watch the film. You can choose a movie you have already seen of course.
  5. You can do 2 poster designs for extra credit.
  6. Final art will be full color in any medium you choose.
  7. You must include the title of the film and director’s name.
  8. Final Size should be 8″x10″. However you may want to work larger at 16″x 20″ and save down later.
  9. Final poster can have lettering (illustrated type) or typography in the title name or director’s name.
  10. Save one final file version as CMYK and a second as RGB to compare the colors.
  11. Hi res final color version should be printed out for the class critique.

    PART 1
    PITCH due after Thanksgiving on December 2nd.
    Include the following in your pitch:
    1. What is the movie name? Post a previous movie poster design or designs for the film. What do you think is successful or not successful for the design?
    2. Write a brief summary of the film, telling what it’s about. 2-4 sentences.
    3. Make sure to mention any important characters and setting.
    4. Who is the audience for the film?
    5. Jot down a few key words or ideas you want to focus on in your illustrated poster design. These could be descriptive words, words related to the film’s tone. Think word web.
    6. You can start drawing thumbnails. I suggest doing 10-20 thumbnail sketches. Size 2″ x 2.5″ Choose the best two thumbnails and sketch at least two concept sketches. You will present the two concept sketches during the next class.
    1. Post to Openlab>Activities> Final Project: Part 1

Week 11

Class Info

  • Date: Friday 11/11/22

To-Do Before Class

Assignment 2, Editorial Illustration Assignment 2, part 5

Sketchbook/Reading Exercise Week 10 : Listening and Drawing

Field Trip
Society of Illustrators

The Original Art 2022


Writing assignment during the field trip. Email small photos of the art chosen.

Due Next Week

  1. Homework:
    Make a list of at least 5 classic movies you enjoy. Preferably, movies older than 5 years. Don’t include animations. Our final semester assignment will be an illustrated movie poster. More info to come.
  1. Sketchbook:
    LISTEN! Part 2 (this is a little different from last week’s sketchbook assignment because this assignment is based more on what you hear for the starting point.)
    Eavesdrop and listen to conversations you hear at school, at the park, coffee shop, bus/subway, etc. Do the sounds of the city inspire you? Or listen to music. Fill three pages in your sketchbook inspired by the conversations, sounds, or music you hear.
  1. Make sure to have your editorial illustration posted on Openlab completed and your printed image ready for class next week.

We will have another Professor observing our class next week.

Sketchbook Week 10

The illustrator John Hendrix draws and records in his sketchbook when he goes to his Sunday church services.

John Hendrix

Go to a place that you enjoy and feel comfortable sketching at. Listen to the conversations, music, noise, any sounds. Write down words and phrases. Based on your observations and inspiration create a spread or fill 2 sketchbook pages.

Possible places could be a restaurant, coffee shop, the park, a museum, the subway, the library, a friend’s house, your place of worship, etc.

Have fun with this!

Reading: John Hendrix article

Week 10

Class Info

  • Date: 11/4/22

To-Do Before Class

Assignment 2 Part 4
Sketchbook Week 9


Warm-up exercise

  • Masks

In-class work time

I’ll be reviewing Week 8/9 sketchbook assignments and color studies in individual meetings while you work on your editorial project.

Guest Speaker Christina Chung 3:30pm

Next Week

Society of illustrators Field Trip 2:30pm


Assignment 2, Editorial Illustration Assignment 2, part 5

Sketchbook/Reading Exercise Week 10 : Listening and Drawing

Assignment 2 Part 5

Reminder: Your composition can be vertical, horizontal square, round, etc.

After reviewing your sketches and color studies with me make any necessary changes and create your final editorial illustration.

I will review online and we will do a critique the following week in class on 11/18.

Please post on Openlab the following by 11/11

  1. Final art, article title, and link.
  2. The medium you used to execute the art. Digital, watercolor, acrylic, etc.
  3. Post your color inspiration and discuss why you decided to choose the color palette you did.
  4. Bring a color print of your work to class on 11/18. I want us to compare the cmyk print to the RGB version. There is a printing place near City Tech called Remsen Printing.

Week 9 Sketchbook

It is Halloween! It is Halloween!
Halloween is almost here. Do you like monsters? Ghouls, goblins, or ghosts?

Halloween promotion piece by Professor Schoenbrun

Based on our warm-up exercise you will be filling 3 pages in your sketchbook with Fall and Halloween-themed drawings. Here are some ideas. Try some color, collage, or ink!

  • Draw some creatures, monsters, or mythical beasts. They could be scary, terrifying, or cute.
  • Halloween character designs.
  • Draw some kids in costumes.
  • Design a Halloween costume you would wear as an adult or kid.
  • Fill a page with some spooky lettering.
  • Draw a haunted house, kids trick or treating, or an outside scene of a house decorated.
  • Draw a trick or draw a treat.
  • Draw a spooky dream.

(Make sure to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas sometime soon if you haven’t seen it yet. The character designs are very quirky and fun. It’s a stop-motion masterpiece by the artist Tim Burton. This was filmed in 1993. )

Assignment 2, Part 4

Tight Sketches Sketches to Color Studies.

Reminder: Your composition can be vertical, horizontal square, round, etc.

  • Assignment 2, Editorial Illustration part 4
    • Using any combination of Pencil, Ink, Collage, or Digital techniques create a limited-color palate illustration.  
    • You will start with digital rough color studies before going to the final art. Color studies are the step before your final.
    • How do you create a color palette?
      You can “steal” a palette as discussed in class. Look at books, artwork, other illustrations, and photography. Come up with your own. Or look to color theory for inspiration.
  • Color resources and inspiration
    Adobe color wheel
    Color maker
    Wes Anderson Color (steal from a film still)
Sam Bosma, Final Illustration for Plan Sponsor Magazine with digital color palate

Wes Andersen Color palette samples


  1. Create 2-3 color roughs. These can be messy! You can have two versions or more started and you will work more in class on your final which will be due the following week. Post your progress in Openlab. Discuss where you got your color inspiration from or what the different palettes are inspired by.
  2. You must use some color. If you have a really good argument for black and white you can do one version in black and white or greyscale and another with color added.
  3. We will have class time next week to work and finish up your final art by the end of class or over the weekend.

Week 8

Class Info

  • Date: October 21, 2022

To-Do Before Class

Editorial: Assignment 2, Part 2
Midterm Presentation/template


Editorial Continued


Guest speaker Nov 4th

Field Trip November 11th


Warm Up

  • Portrait sketch

Class Critique

  • Review Editorial sketches


  • Case study editorial Illustrators Ana Juan and Edel Rodriguez


Digital inking: portraits

Review Assignments and Expectations for Next Week’s Class

Due Next Week

Week 8 Sketchbook


Before photography, painting and drawing is how we captured a person’s image.

Your assignment is to draw three portraits. You can draw a person in any view, front view, 3/4, profile, etc. You can focus on just their head or from the waist up.

Who should you draw?

Ask a friend to sit for you, draw a family member, a person on the subway, a park, a train, etc. Try not to worry about getting the portrait perfect or exact. You may want to capture a likeness but you want to create it in your own way. Feel free to exaggerate proportions. Show their emotion. Do not only draw people staring at their phones. If you need to finish it after their sitting session that is fine too. You may want to go back and add details.

Use at least half a sketchbook page for each drawing. Experiment with materials. I suggest spending at least 20 min per portrait. Use some color in at least one portrait.

Assignment 2


Overall Project Description:

Create an Editorial Illustration for an article in a magazine printed or online.
You will be choosing the article.

Work will be judged on the clarity and cleverness of the overall concept, thoughtful utilization of composition, the use of value, and of course the skillfulness of overall technique.

The final illustration may be traditional or digital.

Note the faster turnaround time for this assignment! Illustrations meant for publication in Magazines and Newspapers, digital or traditional, have very quick deadlines.

So does this project. Work efficiently.


50 % project grade Submit a PDF PROCESS BOOK guiding us through the project from inception to conclusion.

  • Carefully SCAN/photograph all your process work. This should include a link to your article, or scan of article in print, Brainstorming notes or word web, Thumbnails, Concept Sketches, Value Roughs, Color Roughs, Related Sketchbook Work, and Final Art.
  • Carefully Label all of your work so that your thought process is CLEAR.
    Be sure all of it is presented well: facing the right way, no shadows in the picture, good contrast, etc.

50 % project grade Submit a publication ready 300 DPI JPEG of Final ART


  • The final color illustration must be created using a limited palate.
  • It can be made using a combination of traditional and digital drawing,
    inking and coloring skills.
  • Final art should be made to fit the real magazine’s specs if there is a print version, 8″x10″ approximately. Discuss size with professor.
  • Students will be required to present the illustration alone, as well as a digital mock-up of the illustration with the Magazine Masthead or logo if it makes sense.
  • Work in Progress should be posted for feedback to the OPEN LAB, (categorize as work in progress)

Due Date(s)

Week 7

Class Info

  • Date: Friday, October 14

To-Do Before Class

Editorial Illustration Assignment 2 (just reread)

Assignment 2 part-1

Sketchbook-Week 6

Catch up on assignments missing or behind


Warm Up Exercise

  • Editorial warm-up article
    “Why Strangers are Good For Us”
  • read, brainstorm, and sketch thumbnails


  • Small group sketchbook share of Food drawings

Share your article with the class


Case study editorial Illustrators Ana Juan and Edel Rodriguez

Victo Ngai

traditional line to digital


Due Next Week

Editorial: Assignment 2, Part 2
Midterm Presentation/template

No sketchbook this week

Assignment 2, Part 2

Thumbnail Sketches for an editorial assignment


  • Write your concept out in the form of a sentence in your sketchbook, to refer back to as you sketch.


  • Using a Ruler make 10 -15 boxes in your sketchbook approx 2-3″ on the longest side. You can also make the boxes in InDesign and print them out if that is easier.

  • Always draw thumbnail boxes in proportion to your final art!
    • Be sure thumbnails don’t share edges. Leave a space between boxes.
  • Fill these boxes with 10 – 15 thumbnail sketches exploring your concepts.
  • Look at your word web/inspiration board as you explore your concepts visually.



Concept Sketches

  • Decide on your top 2-3 thumbnail sketches.
  • Research : Collect any reference images needed to fully realize each design concept. Photos online or take photo reference.
  • Create mock-ups using digital media to aid in rapid work.
  • Sketch At least two concept Sketches.


Compare the approved thumbnail sketch with the corresponding concept sketch. Consider where changes were made.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2020-08-11-at-11.51.41-PM.png


Post your

  • Post your concept sketches and thumbnail sketches carefully labeled, with name of the client(magazine/newspaper), a link to the article you chose, and a description of the concepts illustrated, along with any additional sketches you may have done.
  • Categorize your post Work in Progress, tag week 7

Week 6 Sketchbook

Food drawings

Document three things you eat in a week. This could be a snack or meal. Use 1 page per food/meal/snack in your sketchbook. You do not need to fill the whole page . Label the food and feel free to write any important notes about how you feel about what you ate. Was the food eaten at a restaurant, home, school, or outside? Was the meal shared with a friend? Use color in at least 2 of the three drawings. Use any materials you prefer. Draw the food in a more traditional/realistic way or feel free to be imaginative with your food drawings!

illustrator: Wendy McNaughton

Assignment 2, Part 1


Overall Project Description:

Create an Editorial Illustration for an article in a magazine, printed or online.

In Part 1 of the assignment, you’ll find an article for source material for your editorial illustration. You’ll generate ideas through brainstorming, and you’ll find new ones through research. Make sure you have an article that you are passionate about. You’ll need to do some reading! (If you are feeling stuck you can bring two articles in. It might also be good to have a back-up.) We can discuss which one makes more sense. I also suggest using an article this is not older than three months. It’s best to stay current. The more recent the better.

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, etc.

Magazines: Feel free to use others. I’m open to magazines of specific interests; skateboarding, cooking, pets, video games, etc.


Research:  Find an article from a legitimate news source, online or printed, about a topic that you are passionate about or find particularly interesting, as source material for your editorial illustration. Carefully read and analyze the article.

Brainstorm:  Using the Word Web method we’ve used for earlier assignments, write down all of the key words you can think of related to the article.  Be sure to include the actions – what is happening, not just who, what, or where.

Word Web Method using JAPAN, NEW YORK, CENTRAL PARK as key words

Write: A short blog post on open lab in response to the article.

Who does this article matter?  Highlight particular areas of interest to you.  Share the article (a link or scan in the first page of the article) as well as your brainstorm and any images you may consider using in the future as reference material.

Discuss: Prepare a brief presentation of your chosen article and brainstorm ideas.

You’ll come up with concepts during next week’s class.

Week 5

Class Info

  • Date: Friday, September 30th

To-Do Before Class


Inking Continued


Warm Up Exercise

Exquisite Corpse collaboration

Exquisite Corpse 2000 Jake Chapman and Dinos Chapman born 1966, born 1962


  • Share your artist-selfies

Inking: Artists who Ink


  • Small break-out Group Critique


  • Taking art to Finals Spot Art

Due Next Week

Assignment 1-Part 5

Sketchbook: Pet Portraits

Week 4

Class Info


Design Concepts in Illustration


Warm Up

  • Welcome Fall


  • Sketchbook share of Visual Vocabulary


Design Concepts in Illustration


Assignment 1 Part 3
  • Revised sketch review

In Class Demo 

From sketch to final-Inking your spots

Review Assignments and Expectations for Next Week’s Class

Due Next Week

Assignment 1 Part 4

Take one of your spot drawings, perhaps the simplest one, and practice different methods of drawing in ink. Based on our in-class inking practice I want you to try at least 5 styles for one spot. See samples from the class below.

Try different approaches. Here are some examples or ideas you can try.

  1. Contour line drawing with a felt tip pen (micron/staedlater) in a size of your choice
  2. Line drawing with value (cross-hatching, stippling, short/long lines) and drawing pen
  3. Brush pen
  4. Line drawing with a brush such as a 0 or 1
  5. Line drawing with a brush such as a 0 or 1 and a grey wash for added value or a spot color
  6. Silhouette, if it makes sense
  7. Dip pen or bamboo stick
  8. Color marker or pen
  9. In high contrast, use a pen for contour lines and fill in certain areas in black (bottom left sample).

    How else can you make marks? stencil, added pattern, thumbprint, old brushes


I suggest working larger and scaling down later.

I recommend working no smaller than 2 x 2inches. And No larger than 5×5 inches.

You will be trying out different inking materials to see which style you like. Next week in class we will take a look at the different approaches and you will then complete all the spot illustrations in this style.

Sketchbook Week 4: Artist Selfies

Please check out Art Director LAUREN PANEPINTO’s blog post on, Artist Selfies, everybodys doing it.

“ Starting to shoot reference very often brings a huge leap forward in the work of young artists, yet it’s also the piece of advice I hear the most excuses about. I hear “My friends don’t like to pose.” “I’m not a good photographer.” “I don’t have money to hire a model.” “I don’t have good props.” “I don’t have a good camera.” and I say the best artists in the world use themselves for reference all the time. With rulers standing in for swords, with any kind of camera or webcam, and without even cleaning their studios, if these guys are shooting themselves, you can too. You, yourself, are the most reliable model. You know what you want, you are always available, and you work cheap.”

This short excerpt from Lauren Panepinto’s blog post demonstrates the importance of working from reference. After reading this article, shoot digitally and use a prop to stand in for any objects.

Do not overthink this.

This is PRACTICE to learn how to shoot and work from reference.

Make sure to get some help. Shoot many photos and then pick 3 Photos. Then fill 3 pages in your sketchbook with drawings based on these photos / digital collages.


Here are some previous student sketchbook samples.

Post when complete:



Write your post. Add a Descriptive title.

Choose CATEGORY (bottom right side): Sketchbook


Please add your introduction by [DATE AND TIME]. It should be between [200-250 words].

Tag sketchbook and week 4 on Openlab

Week 3

Class Info

  • Date: Friday, September 16
  • In person N-1118

To-Do Before Class


Inking Techniques


Warm Up Drawing exercise

  • Postcard inspiration


  • group sketchbook share of Windows

Inking demos and practice



  • Small Groups Critique Assignment 1, Part 2 sketch review

Review Assignments and Expectations for Next Week’s Class

Due Next Week

Week 2

Class Info

  • Date: Friday, September 9, 2:30-5:50 pm

To-Do Before Class




Warm Up Drawing

  • Window Views
top left, Artist: Henri Matisse, The Open Window 1905
top right: Pierre Bonnard, French Window with Dog, 1927
bottom left:  Utagawa Hiroshige final masterpiece, a series known as ‘One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 1858
bottom right: Katherine Lam, untitled, 2020



  • Let’s share our Meet the Artist


  • The importance of multiple solutions.  
  • Personal Vision         
  • Thumbnails: How to and how many is too many?

Lecture 2

Illustration Process and Workflow

Conversation between Soojin Buzelli and Jon Han


Review thumbnail drawings and concepts for Assignment 1, Part 1

Lab time to work

Due Next Week

Week 1

Class Info

  • Course Goals: To familiarize students with the field of illustration including its basic working methods, industry practices, basic history, and philosophies. Artistic techniques will be taught as well, however, this is a class focused on concept generation, and the creation of thoughtful illustrations, as opposed to a drawing or painting technical course.



Class Introductions

Everyone introduces themselves!


  1. Syllabus
  2. Materials
  3. Join Openlab
  4. Openlab site overview
  5. Course Structure


Professor’s presentation: Who am I?
Lecture: What is Illustration?   


Introduce Assignment 1: Spot Illustration

Activity: Group brainstorming and word web

Due Next Week

Assignment 1, Part 1

Spot Illustration

(See the class presentation for an overview and details)

Assignment 1, part 1

1. Brainstorm and research:
Start with writing, make a list and create word webs for each concept. Doodle and sketch as needed.

2. Concept:
Come up with at least 2 solid ideas to present, you can present more if you like. Write out each concept in a sentence. We will critique in class and help decide which direction to go in.

3. Sketch:
Have at least three thumbnail sketches for each concept.  6 small sketches in total. Sketch in your sketchbook or on paper. You’ll have the option to do digital later.

5. Post homework to Openlab.
Post word webs, concepts, and sketches to Openlab. Post all jpgs and writing to Openlab in STUDENT POSTS>WORK IN PROGRESS>Assignment 1, part 1

Make sure to always have your sketches or files with you in class even if posted to Openlab.

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