Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Illustration Brief

BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design
1stYear Project Brief
“It’s Illustration Dahling!”
James Carver-Grenside - Matilda
Specialism:Photography & Illustration

TIME: 8 Weeks

In this project you will be responding to a piece of narrative text (selected from the works of Roald Dahl), initially through photography, which will give you the imagery to develop towards making illustrations in a range of media.
The final objective is to produce a 1m x 1m presentation board of your illustrations. Your final images could depict a sequence of events or you may wish to select and portray several different scenes from the same book.

WEEK ONE: Research and Storyboards
In the first week of the project you will need to select and familiarise yourself with a book by Roald Dahl, many of you will know these stories well, but refreshing your memory through some reading will help you to visualise characters and scenes more effectively.
A full list of Roald Dahl’s work can be found online at but here are a few you may want to consider:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, George’s Marvellous Medicine, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, The Twits, The Witches, The Magic Finger.

As soon as you have selected your text you need to start shortlisting scenes that interest you in terms of developing photographic and illustrational work. Choose at least 3 separate scenes. Now you need to deconstruct these scenes …what do they include in terms of characters? Props? Costume? Location? Make Up?
You need to consider all these things carefully as you will be need to be resourceful and prepared in order to get as good a photoshoot as possible. To help you prepare for this you need to complete several pages of storyboarding for your shoot.
Simple Storyboard
Use your storyboards to work out shot composition, use of props and location, camera angles and lighting. A good storyboard usually combines visuals with thoughtful annotation. Find some good examples of these online and include them in your sketchbook with some analysis on why they work well.
Remember a storyboard should be a functional tool that helps you resolve potential problems and prepare effectively, if it also includes strong drawing and good layout that is a real bonus. You may also find making some lists of props, models, costume, make up and locations required is helpful to your planning. Think ahead, if you need to book studio time then do this in advance (use photography if possible, otherwise a small space exists within the Art department).
This week you should also look at how others have responded the work of Roald Dahl, this will involve collecting imagery and analysing Quentin Blake’s original illustrations and 2 films that interpret Roald Dahl's stories such as Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. You should also find and analyse 2 existing storyboards, try looking at Josh Sheppard's work at

WEEK 2: Photography
This week you need to carry out your photoshoot(s). Remember the imagery generated from this shoot will be sustaining your work for the next 6 weeks. If you get fantastic photos you are already a huge step down the road towards a successful project, poor or limited imagery will make the next 6 weeks a real struggle.
Consider every aspect of your photos and be resourceful. If you have ambitious ideas about location shoots make every effort to carry them out, if you need time away from the college campus to do this, then this can be arranged, but staff must know of your plans in advance.
Use your storyboards for inspiration and direct your models to get the shots you need, don’t forget that dramatic lighting and camera angles can help create powerful imagery.
Take lots of photos and print off contact sheets for your sketchbook. Select your favourite 12 images to start your illustrations from and print these out at A5 or A4. You may need to tweak your selected images with Photoshop to ensure you have optimum colour, definition and contrast.
Alongside your photography you need to research at least 2 photographers who explore narrative or fantastical themes through their work. Some good examples of this are James Carver-Grenside, Ruven Afanador, Viona Ielegems and Annie Liebovitz.

WEEK 3 and 4: Drawing
Through weeks 3 and 4 we will be concentrating on making a range of good drawings from your photographic source imagery. We want to see you explore drawing more thoroughly than you have done before: sustained studies, quick sketches and experimentation with a range of media.
Research 2 Artists/Illustrators whose work is focussed on strong drawing technique for example David Foldvari, Esra Roise, Hope Gangloff, William Kentridge.

WEEK 5 and 6: Printmaking and Mixed Media Experimentation
Some time will be focussed on producing strong monoprints and relief (gold card) prints from your photos. We will then use the work you have generated to this point in the project to experiment with a mixed media approach. Use the photocopier, drawn elements, text, image transfer, photomontage, collage, printmaking, paint, acetates, photoshop etc. to come up with some inventive responses.
Research the work of at least 2 of the following illustrators to gain ideas for ways of applying a mixed media approach Eduardo Recife, Martin O’Neill, Tim Marrs, Dave McKean, Nazario Graziano, Mario Wagner, Eva Han, Tez Humphreys.

WEEK 7 and 8: Selection, Presentation and Evaluation.
In the final weeks of the project you will select, scan and print your best work from the preceding weeks then compose these images onto a 1m x 1m board. You may want to enhance the presentation of your images by adding interactive elements to your board, cut throughs, raised sections, moving parts, lights, sound, real objects etc.
Be inventive, resourceful and ambitious. You may find some images need to be reworked through PhotoShop so that they interact together effectively. Other images might require further hands on work to give them some tactile qualities and avoid a board made up of flat computer print outs.
You should complete your project with a word-processed evaluation of 600 – 800 words (further guidance for this will be given out).

A full detailed list will be given towards the conclusion of the project, but the following will all be required:
1 (or more) Sketchbooks with all the relevant research, storyboards, photography, drawing, printmaking and mixed media work.
A 1m x 1m Presentation board showcasing your best work from the project effectively.
A word-processed Evaluation of 600-800 words.
REFERENCES: See the text in the brief. Use the internet, use the library, use your imaginations!

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