Basic Course information

Ill 362 M001 Credits: 3
Sec, M001, Wednesday 8:30pm to 12:30pm
Room/Bldg. 332 Shaffer
Dates: 01/17/17 – 04/02/17

Instructor: Associate Prof. James Ransome

Office: Shaffer Room 347, Ph 315 443-1138
Office hours: Tues., 9:00 am-12:00 (by appointment)
Wed., 1:00pm- 3:30pm  (by appointment)

Mail box: Viscom office

Learning Objectives:

After taking this course, the students will be able to:

  1. Understand the creative processes and client communication used in illustration
  2. Apply research in the development of a creative solution
  3. Apply personal artistic identity to visual problem solving

Prerequisite / Co-requisite:
ILL 261, ILL 262, ILL 361

Second semester junior level illustration majors

Illustration Principles to build visual problem-solving skills,  procedures, and the practice of illustration, while each student will develop their own individual visual voice.

The course is directed towards professional level assignments both in and outside of class.  Students will develop an understanding of how to communicate visual ideas (the interpretation of words in a pictorial form),  while creating a personal visual voice. Emphasis will be placed on conceptual thinking, picture making, along with challenging their imagination.
The ultimate result is to have the students find their own personal way of communicating visually. Students will choose their medium for each assignment.

Additional Course Description:
We will have two types of classes drawing from the model or in class assignments always  followed by lectures, presentations, assignments, and critiques.
We will use the following processes for each assignment:

  • 15 to 30  small thumbnail sketches in your sketchbook
  • sketches–three  4 x6′” or in proportion to your assignment sketches that are displayed for group critiques
  • research
  • revision
  • final art


Required Reading:

Suggested Readings:
Communication Arts magazine
The Society of Illustrators Annual 59
American Illustration
The New York Times
The New Yorker

Make up work:
Assignments that are not handed in on their due dates can be handed in during the next class but late assignment will not receive a grade better than an B+.  All students can receive extra credit for doing additional work throughout the semester, visiting museums and any lectures or exhibits on art.
There is no makeup class for in class work.

Class Policies
No texting or phone calls during class. You will be given 2 warnings about texting in class, your 3rd offense will reduce your grade a half a letter grade for each subsequent offense.
All instruments that receive calls, messaging or anything else that makes a sound should be put on vibrate.
If you receive an emergency phone call or text you should leave the classroom to answer it.

Attendance is required. One absence for the semester will be tolerated; however, you are still responsible for turning in assignments on time. Two unexcused absences will lower your final grade by one letter grade. You will FAIL the course in the event of a third absence!  Mechanical failures (alarm clocks, car failure, etc.) are not valid excuses.  Lateness of an hour or more will count as a half absence.  Chronic lateness or skipping out early will also count towards an absence and will lower your grade. There is a 10minute grace period and then class will begin.

Presentation of assignments:
reflects attitude and is part of the classroom participation component of your grade.

Thumbnail sketches:
Small sketches created in your sketchbook so you can see how your thoughts work on paper.  These sketches are for personal critiquing    only. This method should help you see if an idea can work visually. Since thumbnail sketches help you resolve your ideas, you should complete as many as possible.  A good amount of thumbnail sketches for each assigned is 15 to 30.

For each assignment you should create 15 to 30 sketches in your sketchbook. Students should indicate, with an asterisk, which 3 sketches are their favorite or redraw them as a group on a separate sheet(s) in their sketchbook. Your favorite sketches, called rough sketches, should be clear, clean and easy to read. These rough sketches should be completed in black line and/or with 3 values -black, gray and white, and composed of simple shapes that can be “read” from about 10 feet away. They also need to be in proportion to the final illustration.  If the final image is going to be vertical, your rough sketch should also be vertical.

Review assignments: are evaluated by the class during critiques but are not handed in. 

A final review by the class and handed in at the end of class.

The syllabus is subject to change as the need arises.

At the end of each semester, your work will be displayed and individually assessed by department faculty.  All illustration majors must participate in the end of the semester survey.
This is not a portfolio class.  We are here to experiment and learn.
The objective of this class is to experiment and learn, not develop portfolio pieces. Relax and enjoy yourself.

Disability Statement
Any student who needs special consideration in the course due to a disability of any sort, please make an appointment to discuss accommodations.
Students who are in need of disability-related academic accommodations must register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS), 804 University Avenue, Rm. 309, 315/443-4498.  Students with authorized disability-related accommodations should provide a current Accommodations 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,

Each assignment will be given a NUMBER  grade and handed back to the student so they will know where they stand in the class after the critique.


A   achievement is outstanding relative to the level necessary to meet course requirements

B   achievement is significantly above the level necessary to meet course requirements

C   achievement meets the course requirements in every respect

D   achievement is worthy of credit even though it fails to meet the course requirements

F   achievement is not worthy of credit or was not completed / represents failure

You will receive addition grade points for the following

  • Any additional reading or research on websites, blogs or articles
  • Class participation
  • Visiting museums and galleries
  • Additional drawing, painting and experimenting
  • Subscriptions to magazines

Grading Standards:

A = 90 and above       D = 60-69

B = 80-89                     F =59 and below

C = 70-79

Grades will be based on:
In class work 25%
Assignment 65%
Participation in classroom critiques 10%

Incompletes will be granted only in extenuating circumstances.  If you have a valid medical excuse or family emergency, and you’ve completed the bulk of course work for the semester, an incomplete is possible.  You are responsible for initiating the paperwork for an incomplete.