Module 1: Graphic and Narrative Resources (10 ECTS)
The main aim is to help the students to identify and perfect their graphic style so that it can evolve more efficiently in other subjects. The programme covers three areas:
Story boarding and outlining
Students will learn to differentiate clearly between the various uses of the drawing as a tool intended to think, analyse, design and research, in contrast to the use of the drawing in creating end products in which the aesthetics go on to play an essential role. This will help them detect and correct common drawing and concept errors in the outlining stage, which will lead their graphic style to evolve, eliminating faults from the very start.
Sketching and documentation
Through drawing the natural or the use of appropriate documentation, students will be helped to establish a better connection between the representation of reality and their own graphic style for when, for example, they need to synthesise or construct these elements in their illustrations. The aim is to gain in agility and confidence in observation, as well as greater skill in the execution, in order to achieve a better final quality. Students will learn to work with appropriate documentation, and how to use it and obtain it.
Analysis of dossiers and style orientation
Formal and conceptual analysis of the narrative ability of the students’ drawings with the aim of orienting their style and potential as illustrators. Distillation of the aims in terms of graphic style with regard to the other course subjects.
Drawing Applied to Illustration
This subject will take an in-depth look at analysing the way in which illustrators construct their narrative using drawing. In other words, analysing the different graphic resources available to them to draw characters, draw spaces and complete each illustration imbuing it with their own style and with the most suitable tools for each commission depending on the characteristics of each student’s drawing.
CIt consists, therefore, of three sections:
Analysis and creation of characters through reviewing reference drawings by various creators and the creation of sketches that reflect a detailed study of their physical and motion characteristics, facial expression and character traits. Students will work on drawing, paying attention to approaches based on the visual in light of those founded on proprioception; composition and interaction between characters and between characters and objects; the personification of animals and the animalisation of characters; and also experimenting with other character creation sources.
Analysis of and search for the expressive and narrative possibilities of the different ways of drawing space when illustrating, based on the study of various creators and through drawing exercises aimed at helping find appropriate solutions in each student’s graphics, including a theoretical-practical look at the different perspectives: oblique, axonometric, conical and other ways of viewing space.
Light and colour
Analysis of the expressive and narrative aspects of drawings (light, colour, outline, etc.) that make up illustrators’ style.
Work Processes aims to provide students with a suitable work methodology for all illustration commissions and the final submissions; as well as to provide them with digital tools to ensure that their manual work is as outstanding as possible.
It consists of two sub-sections:
Digital laboratory of manual techniques
Analysis and enhancement of the possibilities that the link between manual and digital work offers illustrators.
Work methodology and preparation of final artwork
Review of the methodology that students will be able to apply in all their work, bringing together everything they have learned over the rest of the module and completing it with what they need to know with a view to sending work to a printer or to be disseminated in areas other than on paper.
Module 2: Leisure and Education Projects (10 ECTS)
Projects 1: Illustration of leisure and education contents
The course consists of three sections: Publications for Pre-Readers; Magazine and Game Illustration; and Textbooks and Educational Contents.
Publications for Pre-Readers
Study of the psychological and perceptive characteristics of children aged between 0 and 3, and creation of a project adapted to these requirements. The following aspects will be covered:
- Introduction to books for pre-readers and their role in publishing.
- Development of the imagination and capacity for play and empathy with the child “reader” to help develop a taste in books and future reading, given that on the basis of the illustrations, the child will work on verbal communication, the expressiveness of the recited voice, oral rhythm, corporal communication, trust in the adult, motor control, self-control, mutual trust, touch and affection, involvement, coordination and imitation of gestures.
- Ability to plan a collection and propose it to a publisher.
- EExploration of specific formats for these ages (e.g. pop-up books).
Magazine and Game Illustration
Analysis of the characteristics of illustration applied to periodical publications aimed at children and teenagers, and of the different types of contents (comic strips, games, pastimes, short stories, etc.). Development of a project aimed at this medium.
- Understand how a paper or digital support works and what possibilities they offer. Guide skills towards meeting the needs of this type of publication.
- Establish basic criteria for each of the sections of a periodical publication aimed at children and/or teenagers.
- Establish the bases for developing a one-off or ongoing collaboration.
- Implement our knowledge of the medium and the current situation.
Textbooks and Educational Contents
Study of the determinants of textbooks (conciseness, clarity, speed of understanding, etc.) and the resources needed to achieve a good balance between the educational functions and the pleasant, original and often fun presentation, aimed at aiding school learning.
- Know and analyse the type, function and characteristics of a school textbook.
- Work on illustration suited to textbooks and the different stages of the education system.
- Study the diversity of the problems that are posed in illustrating for textbooks and setting solutions for each case.
- Optimise the way of working to take on textbook illustration commissions.
- Develop illustrations adapted to this medium that will serve as an example in the student’s future professional dossier and orient their skills in this sector.
Projects 2: Children’s album illustration
Narrative analysis and analysis of the synergies between texts and illustrations, based on reviewing leading albums in the history of children’s and teenagers’ literature.
Its aims include:
- Analysing the different aspects involved in stories with text and image.
- Knowing specific aspects applicable to illustrated books aimed at children.
- Knowing and applying some of the reading keys of albums.
- Reflecting on the different options that authors have for telling a story with text and images and for communicating.
- Knowing the process of creating an album.
- Knowing the parts involved in publishing an album and the way in which they work to achieve the end result.
Through writing, this section will look at different methods for unlocking and enhancing creativity, with special attention to the relationship between artistic creation and emotional expression.
Its aims are:
- An introduction to the use of writing to generate stories intended for children’s albums, taking into account the links that the text and the image establish in any illustrated album.
- To be able to recognise – through the experience of writing, drawing or painting – their creative potential so that they can capture it fluidly.
Illustrated children’s album
Analysis of the formal and narrative characteristics of the illustrated album from the illustrator’s point of view. Development of a personal children’s album project, with special attention to enhancing the artistic quality of the work.
Module 3: Narratuve Illustration Projects (10 ECTS)
Projects 3: Illustration of children’s and teenagers’ literature
Illustration of children’s stories
Study of the technical, narrative and artistic characteristics of a black and white collection book. Creation of a project adapted to this medium, stamping the student’s own style on the project as a whole.
Illustration of teenagers’ stories
Illustration project of a literary text for a teenage audience, paying special attention to the narrative resources used in literature (such as rhythm, viewpoint, emotional adaptation, character descriptions, the importance of settings and voice registers, etc.) and their translation into visual equivalents (or alternatives), that work well when establishing a good connection between the literary and the visual narratives.
Projects 4: Comic and digital fiction illustration
This will provide an overview of the mechanics and particularities of creating stories using scripts: structure, construction and different ways in which a story can be transferred in sequential or animated formats.
Analysis of digital formats
Interpretative analysis of the poetic, aesthetic and communicative particularities of digital fiction aimed at children and teenagers based on specific examples.
- Reflect on the different relationships between structure and space that the digital terrain allows when constructing your discourses.
- Understand the sense of interactivity and play participation in digital fiction works.
- Reflect on the importance of the different forms of communication in the multimedia ecosystems that comprise the digital work and learn how to assess their balance.
- Have representative knowledge of the different forms of children’s digital fiction based on the works that can currently be found.
- Start to assess and critically interpret their sense and internal construction.
- Acquire basic notions of the forms and places of circulation in which digital fiction works move.
Digital fiction project
Students will work on the essential concepts to complete the adaptation of illustrated images to audiovisual production, in any of the media that the broad digital spectrum allows (video clips, short films, experimental, motion graphics, commercial, etc.).
Through a variety of style exercises, multidisciplinary artistic proposals and an extensive reference to animation, students will be able to use the knowledge gained at a theoretical level in the same subject, and they will recreate a fiction project, either original or an adaptation, where they will learn how to translate from the static image and text to the moving image through the creation of storylines, boardamatics and, finally, animatics, the fundamental part for producing any audiovisual piece.
- Analyse the different criteria involved in the transcription of illustrated work to audiovisual work.
- Essential knowledge of the visual narrative applied to animation and moving image.
- Knowledge and development of a pitch, the creative process to secure an audiovisual commission.
- Know, manage and analyse the processes involved in creating an audiovisual production, pre-production, production and post-production processes.
- Creation of an animation based on an original or adapted creative proposal.
Students will work on the creation of a project for a children’s comic where they will work in an applied and simultaneous way on the three fundamental aspects that comprise this graphic storytelling medium, placing special emphasis on the individual abilities of each student. First, the creation of a story and the subsequent adaptation to a comic script, preferably without words. Second, the creation of the characters who will be appearing in the story, taking into account the reading age we are aiming at. Finally, an introduction to the language of sequential art and its narrative resources, at all times to boost the graphic nature of each one and their ideal fit within the personal project.
Teaching Staff in previous editions: Ricardo Alcántara, Arnal Ballester, Santiago Beascoa, Rosa María Budó, Anna Castagnoli, Teresa Duran, Sebastián García Schnetzer, Flavio Morais, Helenio Picó, Imma Pla, Pep Rosell