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8-12 yrs World of Illustration



(8-12 yrs)

2 hours weekly,

online: $150 monthly

Materials purchased individually, according to the list provided.

Have you ever wanted to take your beautiful drawings/paintings and use them to tell a story? Illustration is the art of creating a piece of art that conveys a narrative. Whether it’s children’s books, comics, manga, or webtoons-- this class will not only teach you technical skills that will help you improve your art but you will also learn tools and tricks for being able to compose an image that tells a compelling tale.

Students are encouraged to use whatever drawing/painting medium they wish to learn with or have fun working with!

It will be held ONLINE via ZOOM video conference. Students will need access to a computer / tablet / phone with internet connection and After the lecture and demonstrations teachers regularly check and correct the digital image of a student's work, explain what works in particular cases and what does not, and why.

Week 1:

Theme: Medieval World (knights and dragons)

We learn how to use basic shapes to create medieval fantasy characters, such as dragons, knights, and princesses. We will learn what makes these characters fit inside a fantasy based world.

Week 2:

In this class will begin with a brief demo about how to plan and set up an illustration with the characters we created! After the demo we will take the characters we came up with and put them in a background.

Week 3:

Theme: Sci-fi (robots and spaceships)
We learn all about how to create characters and landscapes that fit into science fiction! Robots, spaceships, aliens and much more.

We will begin the class with a demo on how to draw shapes and objects in 3D! This technique is tremendously helpful in creating fun and engaging sci-fi illustrations with depth. After this demo, we will spend the class creating fun sci-fi worlds and characters based on what we learned!

Week 4:

After beginning the class with a brief demo on how to set up our sci-fi illustration, we will take the characters and sci-fi worlds we previously came up with and create a full sci-fi illustration with a background.

Week 5:

Theme: Superheroes (and villains)
In this class we learn about characters! What makes a hero a hero! What makes a villain a villain!

We will start off the class with a demo on human proportions, drawing the human figure, and learn about how to use this information to come up with fun and unique superheroes. Students will learn how to come up with their own original superhero/villain!

Week 6:

In this class we will use our heroes and villains we created to create a comic page! We will learn how comics work-- what makes a comic a comic.

For the remainder of the class, students will have the option of either creating a comic/comic page with their heroes/villains or creating a full illustration with a background.

Week 7:

Horror (monsters and scary forests or castles)

We begin by learning what makes a drawing spooky! How to draw mummies, vampires, zombies, and other classic monsters.

Students will spend this class learning how to come up with spooky characters, creepy critters, and haunted backgrounds.

Week 8:

This class will begin with a lecture on shading, lighting, and how to effectively use these techniques to create a mood within our illustrations. Students will then take what they learn from this demo and use it to create a full illustration or comic based on the spooky characters and backgrounds we created!

Week 9:

Fairytale or Aesop's fable (animal characters and Children’s Books)

This class is focused on fairy tales and children’s books illustrations! We will begin by learning about how illustrations are used in both children’s books and fairytales.
After this brief lecture is a demo on how to draw animals and animal characters! In addition to learning about the structure of drawing animals, we will also learn to draw fur, scales, feathers and other textures that will bring life to our characters.

Students will spend the rest of the class coming up with their own fairytale/animal characters and settings.

Week 10:

We will begin with a small presentation on how to set up our fairy tale illustration as pages in a picture book! We will show how to use illustrations to bring writing and storytelling to life.

Week 11: 
Theme: Wizards, Witches and Magical Creatures
We will learn different techniques on how to use color to create magical worlds, characters and creatures. This will include how you can use color to create different moods in creating vivid and imaginative magical characters and settings.

We will start off learning how color is used in creating different characters. After that we will expand on techniques on rendering and shading in color.

Week 12:

We will take our characters from last week and put them in a full-color illustration in a magical world. This can be a magic school, a castle in the sky-- whatever your imagination can come up with!

After a lecture on planning out placing our characters in a colorful illustration, we will spend the class putting our characters in a full-page illustration with a background. The focus will be on the techniques we learned on using color to evoke a specific mood that tells a story.

Week 13:

Book Cover Project (Part 1)
In the first week of our final project, we will begin with a lecture on how to set up/plan a book cover illustration! This could be your own imagining of a cover for a classic story that already exists, or a completely new story that you have come up with!  The book cover will be for either picture books, comics, manga, chapter books and can be in whatever genre the student is most excited for.

After the lecture we will spend the day planning out the characters, and backgrounds for our project.

Week 14:

Book Cover Project (Part 2)
Using the characters and backgrounds we came up with in the previous week, we will do detailed sketches and drafts on what we want our covers to be.

Week 15: Book Cover Project (Part 3)

Week 15:

During the final day, we will add color to our book cover project and do the finishing touches on any projects we may have. When we are done with our covers, to celebrate we will play a fun game where we combine different animals to create crazy creatures!

Day & Time
Class Teacher
Tuesday 4:00 - 6:00 PM

Materials we provide for in-studio classes,

and recommend for the online lessons:

- set of acrylic paint (at least these colors - black, white. red. blue. yellow, green. brown, orange, purple). Recommended brand - Basics by Liquitex 
- watercolor paint, preferably in dry pans form. Recommended brand - Artist’s Loft by Michaels
Set of soft pastels. Recommended brand - Artist’s Loft by Michaels 

Drawing Medium:
- regular HB pencil
- eraser
- optional: set of graphite pencils of different softness (2H, H, B, 2B, 4B etc)
- colored pencils. Recommended brand - Prismacolor 
- optional: markers. Recommended brand - Copics 
- liners or sharpie pens. 

- brushes - flat and round (pointy). Use separate brushes for acrylic and watercolor paint.
- wooden clay sculpting tools
- paper plates for mixing paint
- water bucket or cup
- scissors 
- glue stick

- Air-dry clay - white. Recommended brand - Crayola 
- Oven baked clay - white. Recommended brand - Sculpey 
- Modeling clay - multiple colors. Recommended brand - Claytoon 

- painting boards or mixed media paper, 8’’x10'’ or bigger - good for acrylic paint, coloring pencils, markers and graphite pencils.
- canvases, 8’’x10’’ or bigger - for acrylic paint only
- watercolor paper, 8’’x10’’ or bigger - for watercolor paint
- sketchbook or loose sketch paper (printing paper is ok) - any size
- construction paper (multiple colors), 11’’x14’’ or bigger

My kids have been taking online classes for over a year now with John DePianto, and he is marvelous — very talented, patient, and kind. His classes are creative and zen, and the mediums vary: painting, drawing, and clay, and the kids get to learn about different cultural approaches to art. My kids love it.

Ashley Proctor


My child really enjoys this class as it allows her to use her creativity to develop story telling in her drawing.  The format is great, and it allows for her to be able to feel comfortable in the class.  If there is feedback for her to improve her art and what to work on for "homework" for the next class then there is a good continuation for her to work on something consistently.  Just little reminders for the younger kids like mine.

Sonya Jones


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