Theories of Illustration

Theories of Illustration

Theories of Illustration

1 Types of Illustration 

There are three types of illustration (Loomis, 1947, p.178): 
· Illustration which tells the whole story without any texts. This includes book jacket, displays, calendars, and cover posters using only a trade name.
· Illustration which describes a tagline, slogan, or messages, such as posters and magazine advertising. Illustrations in picture books are also included in this category. The story and the illustration works together as one.
· Illustration which tell a story incompletely. As a result, the illustration will cause a curiosity among viewers. The illustration persuades them to find out more what the answer is, which can be found in texts. This type of illustration can also be called “come on” or “guess what” illustration. This illustration is used by some stories and advertisements.
2 Media of Illustration 
Illustrations can be made mainly by two media, which are digital media and traditional media. However, some people create an illustration with both media, which is called mix media.
· Digital Media 
Illustrations made digitally through computer are called digital media. People use programs in doing their illustration, such as Adobe Photoshop and Corel Draw.
 
· Traditional Media 
Traditional media is a media to draw illustrations traditionally. People in the past who did paintings on rock walls, caves, canvases, and papers are included as traditional artists. Tools used in making a traditional illustration are also varying, such as pencils, colored pencils, markers, charcoal, drawing pens, watercolor pencils, crayons, et cetera.
· Mix Media 
Illustrations made by mix media is an illustration made by both digital and traditional media.
3 Essentials of Telling a Story through an Illustration 
Andrew Loomis (1947, p.179) pointed out what should be done in the essentials of telling the story through illustrations:
· Visualization 
After the idea chosen to be illustrated, the illustrator has to know the atmosphere of what they will illustrate. They should read the whole story to understand the subject, as well as the characters, setting, accessories, and costumes.
· Dramatization 
Commonly, there is a way to tell the story dramatically. The first thing we need to do is to think about an expected events happened in the story that others would think of. If the story is not interesting, we can emphasize the interest points to the characters through their gestures, expressions, and suggestions.
Angle is also effective in dramatizing a story. A good angle with a good composition will make the story more dramatic. Natural movements by the characters will make a good motion picture as well.
In dramatization part, the illustrators get an opportunity to be as creative as they can to show their originality.
· Characterization 
Characterization in a character tells who they are. For example, wrinkles on the face and white hair can tell that the character is an old person. Things spread messily in a room can tell that the owner of the room is a person who doesn‟t really care with tidiness. Accessories can also tell a story as well.
4 Layout and Composition 
According to Robin Landa (2011, p.132-133), an arrangement of a visual of type on a printed or digital page is called a layout. Layout is about how all the components of a design work together. Meanwhile, a composition, similarly to a layout, is a group or arranged parts or graphic elements. It is a result of a visualization and organization of type and visual elements. This result is meant to communicate.
Mark T. Byrne (1999, p.69) stated that a composition of a layout deals with the whole structure of a picture by manipulating the audience to look at where we want them to look, by manipulating the characters and props inside their settings.
4.1 Focal Point 
Composition, layout, and focal point are related to one another. Focal point is required in a layout in order to guide the viewers to where we want them to look into when they see the layout at the first time. (Byrne, 1999, p.70) The area of where we want them to look into is the main area of interest of the layout. Before making a layout, we need to think what we want to highlight and feature as the main object of the focal point. Commonly, people look at the picture by noticing the main object featured first, usually at the center of the picture, then look around at the rest of the image.
In making a layout, composition is important as well. Mark T. Byrne (1999, p.70) also pointed out that well-placed objects in a picture will make a good composition. Nevertheless, putting the main object on one side of the picture is not as strong as one on the center. Due to this matter, we can divide the picture area with imaginary lines for our aid. The points where the two lines meet are good places to place our main object of interest. These cross-over points are named the four key points which can be achieved by using the rule of thirds.
4.2 Rule of Third 

In the rule of thirds, we divide the image area into three parts, horizontally and vertically with the imaginary lines. From this point, we can place the focal point on the picture. However, the focal point doesn‟t have to be exactly in one of the meeting points of horizontal and vertical imaginary lines but near of it (Byrne, 1999, p.70).


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