Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Introduction to Visual Narrative

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION A study-unit intended to introduce the student to the theory and practice of illustration as a commercial and fine art form. Through understanding the many forms and formats the genre can take, the student is helped to understand better how illustration can 1) clarify, 2) illuminate, 3) amplify and 4) complement text. Illustration can also stand alone, with no accompanying text, but be used decoratively and/or suggestively, creating inference, mood, and/or be specific content-significant. The unit also contains a short history of illustration from prehistoric times to the present day. It examines different style formats of traditional, hand-drawn illustration, as well as found-image, text-as-image, and collage productions. Materials pertaining to these are also discussed. It also explores digital and digitally enhanced illustration. Contexts are also examined for explicit effects on output. This includes: books, magazines, comics, graphic novels, newspapers, stamps, cards, fashion, the internet, gaming, animation, etc. A hands-on component encourages students to create their own illustrations, working to specific briefs. These are assessed by the lecturer, and also by each member of the class through instructive, guided peer evaluation.

Study-unit Aims:

- Introduce illustration in its different forms, styles and formats;
- Explain the theory behind the art: contextual, aesthetic and commercial;
- Be informed about the history of the genre;
- Help foster the practice of illustration, with assessed and criticised output.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Comprehend the concepts infusing the aesthetic theories of illustration;
- Demonstrate the ability to problem-solve the translation of text into images;
- Demonstrate knowledge of the history of illustration and how different movements and styles influence present-day output;
- Demonstrate an understanding of how to fit the style to the text, context and readership;
- Comprehend individual contexts for illustration;
- Evaluate text to image inter-relationships.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Interpret texts in visual terms, resulting in the practical creation of illustrations following a brief;
- Utilise different artistic and found materials to produce hand-made illustrations;
- Enhance hand-produced illustrations or completely generate digital illustrations on-screen.

Reading List

Heller, S., and Chwast, S. (2008). Illustration: A Visual History. New York, NY: Abrams.
Male, Alan (2007). Illustration: A Theoretical and Contextual Perspective. New York, NY: Watson-Guptill Publications.
Whalley, J. I., and Chester, T. R. (1988). A History of Children's Book Illustration. London, UK: John Murray and The Victoria and Albert Museum.
Zeegan, L. (2012). The Fundamentals of Illustration (2nd ed.). Lausanne, SW: AVA.

Other books and journal articles related to the topic will be suggested throughout the duration of the study-unit.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Taught with hands-on application

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Project SEM1 Yes 20%
Classwork SEM1 Yes 20%
Project SEM1 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Gorg Mallia

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.