Professor Diana Schoenbrun | COMD 3313 | SP22

Tag: WEEK 2

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

Lecture 1

Conversation between Soojin Buzelli and Jon Han


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

Review thumbnail drawings and concepts for Assignment 1, Part 1

Due Next Week

Sketchbook Week 2: Visual Vocabulary

Illustrator Yuko Shimizu on Visual Vocabulary

SVA New York subway poster series, Yuko Shimizu

“ I believe many of you who are reading my blog are aspiring illustrators. If you are, here is something you may want to remember, or to work on, if your art school instructors haven’t taught you already: we have to be remembered by something we are good at, so when a prospective client sees a topic that needs to be illustrated, they know who to call.

The most obvious themes prospective clients think of in connection with my work are Japanese or Chinese themes. I am Japanese, but I had also studied Cantonese for three years, and I have strong interest in Chinese culture. And people somehow see that in my work. There are other themes, like sexy girls, action and sports, comic-book look, snow, and water and underwater themes.”

This short excerpt from Yuko Shimizu’s blog post considers the importance of developing a unique visual vocabulary. After reading this article, consider how you can use your sketchbook as a tool to developing your own visual vocabulary.

Check out her working process too! Here is a STEP BY STEP guide!

Be sure you consider your personal interests and how they relate to ASSIGNMENT ONE. Remember, the things you draw here in your sketchbook can be same things you are studying for your first assignment.

  • What kind of things are you interested in drawing?
  • What visuals might become important visual signatures for you?
  • Write a few sentences considering these things.

Fill 3 pages in your sketchbook with things you are interested in drawing and that could be part of your unique visual signature.

Post when complete:



Sketchbook Week 2: Visual Vocabulary, Write post and upload sketchbook pages.

Choose CATEGORY (bottom right side): Sketchbook, Week 2


Assignment 1, Part 2

You will work on your concepts and thumbnail drawings.

  • Write your concept or concepts out in the form a of a sentence in your sketchbook if you have not already done so.
    Here is an example for Strawberry Ice Cream
    1. illustration of a strawberry and strawberry leaf design that appears like wallpaper.
    2. illustration of a girl eating strawberry ice cream and sharing it with her pet dog.
    3. illustration of an ice cream truck with anthropomorphic animals waiting in line for ice cream

You may draw multiple compositions per concept.

Draw thumbnail sketches. Download and use the thumbnail template provided.

What is a thumbnail?

A thumbnail sketch is a small quick drawing that can help you to plan out a, larger painting or drawing. Thumbnails should be drawn smaller and proportionate to your final art specifications. Draw loosely and focus on the big shapes. They are especially useful for understanding the main light and dark values in your composition. You can take your thumbnail drawings and enlarge them later to create your final sketch.

Thumbnail samples

Full-scale templates (pg 1 container, pg 2 top, page 3, banner)

  1. Narrow down your thumbnails to 3 directions.
  2. Take a look at the full-scale templates provided. Will you need to adjust the art to fit the the full size template with logo/text?
  3. Place the thumbnails in the template and test out how they fit.
  4. Save your .psd files. Save the three separate files as .jpgs.


  • Post your thumbnail sketches in Open lab in Student Posts>Work in Progress. Label with your name and date and a description of the concepts illustrated.