Intro to Illustration


Welcome to Intro to Illustration at Creative Arts Workshop

Transform your ideas and thoughts into graphic novels, greeting cards and more. This course will introduce the basics of visual communication with an emphasis on rendering ideas as clearly and vividly as possible.  

This page will serve as our home base. You will find lesson handouts, tutorials, and links to a variety of art and illustration related things.

Through a series of exercises and assignments, this course is designed to help you create a personal, unique approach to image making. We will also examine the ways words and images communicate meaning. Check this site weekly...I will be updating often!

I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen...
— Frederick Franck


A color scheme is a way to organize colors in an image.

Different color schemes:

  1. Primary colors (red, yellow, blue)
  2. Secondary colors: mixing two primary colors (red + yellow = orange, blue + red = violet, yellow + blue = green) 
  3. Intermediate colors: mixing a primary color with a secondary color (red + orange = red orange     yellow + green = yellow green)
  4. Monochromatic colors: many different values of one color
  5. Analogous colors: colors that are "neighbors" on the color wheel (red, red violet, violet, blue violet)
  6. Warm colors: colors that are bright and pop out (red, orange, yellow)  *you CAN have a warm color that recedes...these are very general rules.
  7. Cool colors: Colors that recede (blue, green, violet)  *you CAN have a cool color that pops out...these are very general rules.
  8. Neutral colors: Colors that are desaturated and have more value than hue (white, tan, brown, gray)

COMPOSITION IN STORYTELLING: This is a really informative, interesting examination of how composition works to help you tell a story. As we watch this, you can substitute "when composing an illustration" anytime the narrator says "in cinema" or "in a film" and it works great! The only aspect that is markedly different is the concept of movement. Our images are still, but you can imply movement through a variety of drawing methods.

Movement in Akira Kurosawa films: We can't create actual movement in an illustration, but there are still some valuable ideas in this mini doc. We won't watch in class, but I encourage you to take a look.


Linear Perspective:

One, two, three, and four point perspective!


Gesture drawing handout


FABLES, FOLKLORE, MYTHOLOGY: For our next assignment, please create an illustration or series of illustrations based on a myth, folktale, or fable. Greek and Norse mythology, Grimm's Fairy tales, Creation myths are all great places to start. Below are a variety of illustrations depicting Theseus slaying the Minotaur, Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox, and a few different variations on the Little Red Riding Hood Fairy tale.