Monthly Archives: November 2010

Christmas Card for the New Ventures Challenge

So I’m now in the New Ventures Network Small Business Program and one of the first things we’re doing is a little challenge of establishing a business in basically two days. So what we’re doing is… selling Seasons Greetings Cards. And who made the card? I did. Here it is. Obviously imagine it folded in half since it’s a card. Printed super short notice thanks to Vincent Parker. Thanks bro!

Filed under Sketchbook & Projects

Illustration for Children’s books level 2: Writing & Illustrating the Dummy Book/ Course Outline

For all of you who have taken my ‘Illustration for Children’s Picture Books’ level 1 course at ECUAD. Here is the Course outline for the level 2 class. Subject to change a tad, but overall that’s pretty much what it will be like. I’m excited for it! If you are too, sign up and let’s make some dummy books! Hurrah!

Class Outline for Illustration for Picture books Level 2: ‘Writing and Illustrating the Dummy Book’

Instructor: Lisa Cinar

CEIL 340

8 Sessions



From the idea, to the writing and illustrating to the actual creation of the dummy book. This course offers students who have completed Children’s Picture Book Illustration Level 1 the opportunity to develop their very own written and illustrated dummy book in class building on concepts such as composition, layout, pacing and character development covered in level I. Special focus will be placed on the art of visual storytelling, relationship of text and image and the concept of the book as a whole.


  • Learn how to write a story using an image
  • Become less intimidated by writing and more excited by it

  • Learn how to get ideas to come to you in fun and easy ways

  • Learn about basic story elements, structures and guides

  • Know how to assemble a proffessional looking and easy to make dummy book for submission

  • Learn how to successfully edit your own as well as other’s stories

  • Become more aware of the book as a whole, building on your skills in composition, layout, pacing, perspective and the synergy of text and image.


  • In class exercises designed to inform and aid with homework assignments

  • Learning through example: Looking at other writers/illustrators creative processes

  • Develop technical and conceptual skills through in-class projects, exercises demonstrations and homework assignments.

  • Hardcopy and/or online handouts are provided

  • Additional resources are provided weekly via instructor’s blog on children’s picture book illustration

  • Presentations and lectures

  • Take-home research and technique assignments


  • Various in-class writing and idea generating tips and techniques

  • Variously structured types of feedback sessions to help you edit your dummy

  • Looking and deconstructing stories for their basic structure, elements and rhytm as well as realtionship of image and text

  • In class colour pallete and tonal exercises to improve your compostions
  • Discussions of the various views and approaches towards the creation of dummy books
  • More on the relatives of the children’s picture book: The artist book, the adult picture book and the graphic novel
  • Building on concepts and techniques from level 1


Suggested supplementary Books: Illustrating Children’s Books’ (By Martin Salisbury, Barron’s, 28.99$).


* Completion of Homework assignments is crucial and integral part of this class as it is build upon the students own book projects. Please be prepared to spend at least 5 hours per week on your homework assignments. There will be an assignment for every day of class. (7 total)

* Students are expected to bring to each class:

– a small selection of pens, pencils, markers, etc,.. that they like to work with.

– a sketchbook or loose pages of paper

– homework assignments from the previous class

Session 1


Introduction of students

Go over Course outline and goal expectations/ supplementary blog

– What we will concentrate on

– Generating Ideas (Handout)

– On Creativity (Handout)

– Finding your OWN processes/ every book is different

– Writing techniques

In Class exercises:

1) Writing brainstorming exercise. (Handout)

2) Lynda Barry writing exercise

Go over Homework assignment

Session 2


–       Writing exercises with Images and Words

–       Main elements of a good story: about general plot

In Class Exercise:

–       Ad Hoc image generating techniques/ Pulling an image out of thin air (Handout)

–       Image bag writing exercise

Go over Homework assignment

Session 3)

The importance of editing!

In Class Exercise:

–       story editing assembly line

–       rewriting our story in class.

Go over Homework assignment

Session 4)


Presentation of homework and critique: Critiquing our rough dummies, and sample illustrations

In Class Exercise:

– Colour palettes and mood

Go over Homework assignment

Session 5)


–       more on pacing a story (Handout/ Scott Mc Cloud)

–       the book as a whole

–       basic dummy book making process


Presentation of homework and critique

–       Comparison of two styles/which is more suitable?

Go over Homework assignment

Session 6)


– Creating stronger Images & Compositions


In Class Exercise:

– Tonal exercise (Handout/Tamaki)

Presentation of homework and critique:

– Looking at the tonal values in our images/compositions

Go over Homework assignment

Session 7)


In class anonymous editing assembly line

-Prepping for final book dummies

-Writing positive and negative reviews

– Situating your book

Presentation of homework and critique

– Ask anything or show anything you are struggling with or would like to have input.

Session 8) (last class)


-Final Presentations

– reading our dummies to the class

– presenting our 3 finished illustrations to the class

-Go over any other questions that students have

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