I offer classes for adults and teens interested in exploring the many exciting forms of illustration, including graphic fiction or memoir, illustrated journals, posters and cards, and illustrations of a variety of texts, including children’s books, poetry, fiction or non-fiction. Classes may be focused on one specific form—for example, illustrated journals—or may introduce participants to a number of different types of illustration.
I define illustration as any work that employs both visual art and text to covey meaning. This covers a huge range of possibilities, from so-called “fine-art” illustration to graphic novels and comics, from graffiti to illuminated manuscripts, from advertising and poster art to children’s books. Participants in these classes can be both writer and illustrator or can bring texts they want to illustrate.
Although I concentrate on the craft of illustration in my classes, the theme or subject-area may be determined by where they are being offered. At a nature or environmental center, for instance, I offer classes in keeping a nature journal, using materials from nature to create relief prints, techniques of field sketching, painting and writing, and designing posters about environmental issues. In a library or cultural center I offer classes in illustrating a memoir or family history, creating a group literacy mural, and illustrating for children. Through museum programs in science, history and natural history, I offer classes in illustrating non-fiction texts for exhibits, signs, magazine articles and other specialized publications.
I encourage the participants in my illustration classes to work in a variety and combination of mediums. I teach techniques such as woodcut or linoleum cut relief print- and stamp-making, multi-media collage, drawing in pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil, conte crayon and pastels, painting in oil, watercolor, latex and acrylic, and suggest ways participants might experiment in combining different mediums in non-traditional ways, such as the photo cut-outs, oil paint washes and pencil I use in my own work.