FINAL Project: Narrative Illustration


Narrative Illustration Lectures and Examples

Hello Class, below is a ton of information!   Pace yourself. Its all important, but just check out a couple of these posts and Lectures at a time, and then give yourself some time to consider the material before you continue.





In this multilayered assignment you will reinterpret a classic folk tale or fairy tale through your own creative lens.  You will, through the course of the assignment develop characters, setting, and finalize illustrations featuring the same character in two very different settings and situations.

DUE:  DEC 18 | Week 15

Final project will be reviewed during Individual In Class 5 minute Presentations

A complete project will include:

  • 1 FULL COLOR ILLUSTRATION (Book Cover or Interior Illustration Full Bleed )
  • 2 FINISHED Pencil Drawings
  • Story Description
  • Process Work including: Character Sketches, Reference Sketches, Photo Reference*, Color/ Value Studies.


Final Art can be made using any combination of traditional drawing / inking skills and digital coloring. Final art must make full use of value and read as a finalized piece of art work.  Choosing a limited palate is highly recommended. 




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

  • Carefully SCAN your process work. This should include : Your brief Story Proposal,  Brainstorm, Character Designs, Thumbnails, Concept Sketches, Value 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






Editorial Illustration Resubmission


Hey Class-


If you wanted a second shot at Editorial Illustration here it is.  You all received a class wide, week long extension.  If you have the time to apply the critique you received, please do! Even if you do not make changes, be sure to submit the project for grading!


Editorial Submission – Submit Your Work




Project 3 – Editorial Illustration



Hello Class!  Here is the Lecture on Editorial Illustration and Visual Metaphors.


Project 3: Editorial Illustration Overview:

For the next project you will be creating an editorial illustration for use to accompany an article in a magazine, printed or online.

The illustration must be created using a limited palate of black, white, and 1 other color and should be made using a combination of traditional drawing / inking skills and digital coloring.  Final art should be made to fit the real magazine’s specs. (Approx 9” x12”)

Final work will be judged on the uniqueness, clarity and cleverness of overall the concept, utilization of composition, skillful use of media, use of a full range of value, and of course overall technique.


IMPORTANT You MUST post your article and response in OPENLAB in order to meet project deadlines. 

DUE next week: PROJECT RESEARCH including your Article, your written response, facts and visual research, Brainstorm, and Thumbnails.

Editorial Assigment PART 1


Marcos Chin’s insight into editorial Illustration process

Hello Class-
Illustrator Marcos Chin an award winning artist whose work has appeared as surface and wall designs, on book and CD covers, advertisements, fashion catalogues, and in magazines.  His editorial illustration work has appeared in Time, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, GQ, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and others.  He recently posted about the editorial process he learned in school and how his process has evolved.  Check it out!

Marcos Chin Process

Whenever I work on editorial projects I distill the brief, or article into one or two simple sentences because it helps to focus my imagery towards communicating the essence of the story. I learned this from my teacher in art college @pauldallas_art … Nowadays I sometimes I go even further and distill the story into only a few words. I learned this method of working while teaching alongside my friend @chrisbuzelli who taught me to locate the action within the story and then visually describe it. Doing so will aim to help create pictures that have a strong idea and immediate read without being too obvious, or cliché… I’ve incorporated this way of working into my illustration practice and now I feel like I have a new super power 

I’m going to have this piece of paper up where I can see it while I brainstorm concepts for an editorial project I’m working on right now. #marcosprocess #match#connect #respond #ocaduillustration



Student Examples MIDTERM

MIDTERM Examples:

Project 1:

Project 2:





brandy ortiz – Brandy’s process book

amir tamang – atamang_processbook

Dana Moreno – DanaMoreno_Midterm_Processbook

Jessica Hernandez – Jessica Hernandez_Process Book

Heather Parton – illustrationmidterm



Overall Assignment:

You’ve been contacted to produce a poster for a special event for a dream client!  Choose a favorite band, show, or cause and represent the feeling of it through skillful design and composition.

CHECK OUT Concert Posters from the San Francisco Fillmore for inspiration.  Try searching for different years.  The Fillmore has had an illustrated poster for every concert since the 1960’s, when its doors opened.

Text should be minimal and complementary to the Illustration, which should be the focus of the project.

  • Choose something you truly care about.
  • The cause or event can be a real or made-up.
  • The copy can be real or made up.
  • The subject is totally up to you.

Final art needs to be black-and-white and 11″ x 17″.

Note: If you have the opportunity to use this assignment to make a poster for a real event, school play, friend’s band, and so on, it’s recommended that you go for that!


DUE next week:

  • Choose your topic and thoroughly research it.
  • Brainstorm thoroughly on your topic to help you come up with UNIQUE concpets.
  • Decide on Copy and create at least 20 thumbnail designs, demonstrating at least 5 different concepts, for a poster advertising the event or cause of your choice.
  • Post a short description of the idea for your project and why you chose it, the copy for your event, and your inspiration. You may begin to assemble a library of reference for the project as well and you can feel free to share it.

Be sure to COMMENT on at least 2 of your classmates’ ideas!


FINAL DRAWING PROJECT 1 : Beverage Label Reboot



Be prepared to critique and turn in for grading Project One at the start of class next week: Friday 9/28


Brandy Ortiz – Celestial Seasonings Morning Thunder Tea





Incorporating the feedback you received on your concept sketches for Project 1, create a final pencil drawing to present to your art director.  This should be drawing at 1.5 or 2 times print size.


  • Base these drawings on the feedback you received on your concept sketches. These drawings must be in proportion to the specs of your final art.
  • This drawing should be done at your highest level of finish, and should incorporate the use of reference to improve upon your chosen concept sketch.
  • Use Adobe PS or a photocopier and light box to scale UP your drawing and transfer it to drawing paper or bristol board.
  • Create a digital mock up of your art with the text on the can or Box using InDesign.  Print this for submission with your illustration.


* Continue Collecting Reference Images related to your concepts as well as inspirational images and reference. Be prepared to share your inspiration by next class.


*Be sure to ensure your art is drawn to the correct proportions BEFORE you begin.

*Be sure to tape down your edges clean finished edge.






Project 1: Beverage Label Reboot, Part 2



Bitter American



PART 2: Concept Sketches


  • Create between 3 and 4 concept sketches to present to your art director in your sketchbook.
  • Base these drawings on the feedback you received on your thumbnails. These drawings should be in proportion to the specs of your final art. They should fully and accurately describe your visual concepts to your art director and provide clear images for him/her to choose from.
  • These sketches should be done at a high level of finish, and should use your sketchbook work as well as your reference to help you come up with the best possible sketches.


* Continue Collecting Reference Images related to your concepts as well as inspirational images and reference. Be prepared to share your inspiration by next class.


*Be sure to use a ruler to ensure your rough sketches are the correct proportions  BEFORE you begin them.