Make a list of 18 childhood memories: (6) from ages 1-6; (6) from ages 6-12; and (6) from ages 12-18. Try to come up with specific events, not general situations (so, not simply “Fishing with Grampa,” but “the time I went fishing with Grampa, and I fell out of the boat.”).
From this list, select the three memories that seem the most compelling and personal. Take some time and write about each memory. Consider: Why is this event significant enough that you have bothered to remember it? What led to this event? What were you feeling at the time? What do you think other people were feeling? How would you react differently to this situation if faced with it today? What kind of specifics and concrete imagery can you remember? Chronologically, how did this event transpire?
Type up and edit each memory. Print off 4 copies of each piece (12 total). In class on Monday, break into small groups, give one copy of each memory to each member in your group, and read your memories to one another. Note your peers’ reactions and associations with the stories you tell.
Edit your peers’ stories. Specifically: note what isn’t clear narratively, what kind of specifics could use more detail, what is effective and what is too vague. Highlight as much concrete imagery as possible.
Using the feedback you received from your group, choose one of these as the memory you want to work with for this project.
Prepare 15 thumbnails of your memory. Do not look at any photographs during this time. Create the compositions based solely on your memory. Consider the Molly Bang principles: structure your compositions to heighten the emotions conveyed in your stories. From these thumbnails, prepare (3) 7” x 9.5” refined sketches. These presentation sketches should be refinements of the thumbnails, advancing your understanding of the composition, and clearly communicating your content.
In class, prepare a 7” x 9.5” painted study of the best of the three compositions. Only after this sketch is completed can you look at any photo-reference for this piece. Shoot or construct your own reference as much as possible.
Based on your painted study, develop the full-size composition, and lightly transfer it to your painting surface. The final illustration will be 11”x15”, and will be executed in either black watercolor wash or black and white gouache. Take care to ensure that your final is clean and isn’t warping.
A sheet of good paper: watercolor paper or Bristol Board
Black tube watercolor paint/Black and white gouache
Plastic mixing tray
Round watercolor brushes
11.9 - Assigned: Develop Memory List
11.14 - Memory stories due, peer editing. Begin thumbnails.
11.16 - Review thumbs, refined sketches due at end of class.
11.21 - Half-sized painted sketch due. Illustrator Paper DUE.
11.23 - Turkey Day Break!
11.30 – Illustrator Presentations DUE
12.5 - Memory DUE.
12.7, 12.12. – Illustration presentations, Last Day of Class.