Thursday, January 24, 2013

Spring 2014 Course Description and Syllabus

Illustrative Mask-Making, CDIL319-01 , 3 Credits

Fridays 9am-1pm in Room 914, Tower 

Mark Reusch, instructor, office T625 .  Office Hours:  Fridays, 8:30am-9am, 1-1:30pm

Design office phone: 617-879-7650.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  In this course students are challenged to create 3-dimensional painted masks as mixed-media solutions to illustration assignments. Projects will focus on 2D and 3D character design, the history of masks in various world cultures, and puppets. Students will experiment with various traditional and non-traditional materials in making a series of masks, simple costuming and puppets, with a strong focus on research, sketching, painting and personal voice.  All students will wear their masks as models for at least one special session of Open Drawing Spring 2014, in solo or group poses.

DEPARTMENTAL GOALS for Juniors & Seniors:  Understanding a range of drawing/ painting materials & methods ;  Expertise in using tools to advance craft; Understanding use of image making technology ; Understanding implied & sequential narrative ; Acquiring conceptual thinking skills; Valuing experimentation, investigation & risk taking; Developing strong personal voice; Embracing cross cultural awareness; Importance of effective creative collaboration; Understanding professional ethics and practices ; Understanding the role of artist/ illustrators (historic & contemporary); students are expected to develop their abilities to engage in critical, reflective discourse about their work and the work of others

COURSE OBJECTIVES:  Students study the creation and use of 3-dimensional masks and puppets as solutions to traditional illustration assignments, through experimentation with conventional and unconventional materials.  Students are expected to learn to combine drawing, painting, digital art, and photography with mask making to create unique illustrations ready for print.

COURSE CONTENT: Four illustration assignments that require research, and conceptual thinking;  creating thumbnail sketches and 2 strong final sketches for 2-d illustrations that will include collage of 3-dimensional elements, and color studies of approved sketches; traditional and/or digital drawing and painting;  building 3-d masks and puppets; photography of your 3-d projects; and collage. Process work must be completed before moving onto completion of both the 2-d illustrations and 3-d masks, and will count towards your grade for each assignment.  Process work, 3-d projects, and 2-d final illustrations must all be completed by the specified deadlines.  Each class meeting begins with a critique of homework assignments before switching to studio work; there will be 2-d and 3-d demonstrations by the instructor, as well as a presentation by a visiting artist.


Friday January 24:  Syllabus reviewed.  Galvanized wire and tape mask structure building technique demonstration.  Project one assigned:  CRYPTID mask illustration!!!!  Research Cryptids from around the world and choose one that you will build a mask/ illustration of.  The illustration will show your Cryptid interacting with at least one person in a specific environment related to the Cryptid.  You will build the mask, photograph it, and collage the photo into your finished illustration.  Minimum size for finished illustration is 11" x 14".  Students will examine the work of Dave McKean for inspiration of 2-d/ 3-2 photo collage.  Homework:  buy mask-making materials, do at least 10 thumbnails and 2 finished sketches for your Cryptid illustrations, and do 360-degree view sketches for the Cryptid mask.

Friday February 7:  Critique of Cryptid illustration sketches and mask sketches.  In-class work & homework:  begin construction of wire framework and layers of tape.  Homework: continue working on mask and illustrations.

Friday February 14:  Critique of mask frameworks-in-progress and Cryptid illustrations in progress.  Classwork & homework:  Finish Cryptid mask, and continue working on the full-color illustration of your Cryptid, minimum size 11" x 14".

Friday February 21: Critique of finished Cryptid masks.  Classwork: Project 2 assigned: The chapter, "What You Did Not Know About  Hoboes", from John Hodgman's book, THE AREAS OF MY EXPERTISE, featuring “700 Hobo Names”. Instead of illustrating the chapter with a 2-d drawing or painting, you'll be creating a 3-d, wearable, mixed media illustrated mask with the human face as the basis, building off it with a variety of materials to convey Hodgman's narrative.  These finished masks will be photographed and submitted with your names and websites to an online gallery featuring illustrations of the “700 Hoboes”. Class will examine the work of Stasys Eidrigevicius for inspiration. Homework: 1. finish up the Cryptid illustrations; 2. Pick 3 Different Hobo names from Hodgman's list, and do thumbnail sketches and 360-degree view, full-color concept sketches for 3 DIFFERENT illustrated masks.

Friday February 28: Critique of Critique of Project 2 Cryptid illustration, & Critique of Hobo mask sketches.  In-class work & homework:  begin working on mask and illustrations that will go on it.

Friday March 7:  Critique of masks-in-progress.  Project 3 assigned: research folktales/ myths/ legends/ fairytales pertaining to your own individual ancestry, and begin brainstorming concepts for a mask based on one story.  Begin sketching out full-color comps for your 3-d mask.  For this project you will create illustrations that combine digital photography of you or a model wearing your mask, with the rest of the image created by either traditional or digital collage. Homework:  Finish Hobo mask; choose your specific myth/ legend/ folktale for a mask & illustration, and do at least 10 thumbnails & 2 finished sketches for your mask & illustration


Friday March 21:  Critique of Project 2 Hobo mask, and Project 3 thumbnails, sketches, and mask sketches.   Classwork & Homework:  Begin construction of your ancestry/ folktale mask, and continue to develop the composition for the final illustration.

Friday March 28:  Critique of Project 3 masks-in-progress and comps.  Classwork & homework:  Complete at least 50% of project 3.

Friday April 4:  Critique of Project 3 in-progress.  Live presentation by visiting artist.  Homework:  complete Project 3 mask.

Friday April 11:  Critique of finished Project 3 masks.  Mexican Day of the Dead art and masks examined.  Puppet project assigned: create a Day of the Dead self-portrait, as a hand-puppet.  Your personality, everyday habits, favorite colors, favorite clothing should play a part in your design, not just physical appearance.  You'll photograph the puppet interacting with you in an interesting composition for the final product.   In-class work & homework:  finish Project 3 final illustration, and begin full color sketches for your puppet self-portrait, and thumbnails and final sketches for the final composition of you and your puppet interacting.

Friday April 18:  Critique of Project 3 illustrations, and self-portrait puppet sketches.  In-class work and homework: Begin constructing your puppet.

Friday April 25: Critique of puppets in progress.  Classwork & Homework: complete Day of the Dead self-portrait puppet. 

 Friday May 2: Critique of finished puppets.  Classwork & Homework: photograph yourself with your self-portrait puppet.  The photograph may be digitally altered or painted on traditionally.  Email a 72dpi 8” x 10” jpeg of your completed photo collage to by 9am, Friday May 9th.

Friday May  9:  : READING DAY,  NO CLASS MEETING. Good luck at Reviews, and have a fun summer!!!


Students will receive a checklist after each project deadline, indicating a check-minus, check, or check-plus for the completion of the following categories: Thumbnails, 2 Final Sketches, Color Studies, 360-degree Mask Studies, 3-d Mask/ Puppet, Final Illustration, as well as a letter grade for the entire project, in addition to instructor’s notes and feedback. Each of the four assignments carries the same weight in determining the final grade for the semester.  Student’s conceptual thinking, experimentation with materials, craft, professionalism, and class participation will be noted with a check minus, check, or check plus on project deadline forms, and are all factors in determining a final grade for each individual project, and for the final grade of the semester.


Professionalism in the Illustration business is an absolute MUST, so make sure you are on time and ready for class every week! Homework turned in late will be penalized one full-grade each week it is late.  Students in the Illustration department must maintain a C+ or better average for each of the department's classes, and end of semester reviews determine whether or not students are allowed to continue within the department.

*ALL CELL PHONES MUST BE TURNED OFF AND PUT AWAY WHILE IN CLASS.  TEXTING IS NOT ALLOWED IN CLASS.  Students who do not follow this rule are not allowed to stay in class. 
Materials List:
Pencils, erasers, & pens
acrylic paints
fluorescent paints
2" wide (or wider) masking tape
coils of 14 gauge galvanized wire, 100'
coils of 24 gauge galvanized wire, 250'
strong wirecutters
needlenose pliers
air-dry clay
sculpting tools
joint compound
respirator mask
xeroxed images
matte medium
blending marker
fake fur
LED lights
found objects

A  Exceptional work in all respects

B  Above average work, distinguished in certain but not all respects

C  Adequate work

D  Below average work. This is the lowest passing grade.

F   Failing work. No credit is given.

INC  Incomplete. A temporary designation indicating that at least 80% of the course requirements have been met and that the remaining course requirements are expected to be completed by no later than the subsequent mid-semester. Incompletes are offered at the discretion of the faculty, and only under dire circumstances. It is the student's responsibility to complete the required work by the agreed-upon deadline. If the student does not complete the course work, a non-passing grade will be issued.


COURSE ATTENDENCE  Students may miss no more than 2 classes or they get no credit for the class. Students are required to arrive for class no later than 9:10.  2 late arrivals equal one absence. Students must email instructor ahead of time if they know they’ll be absent, or immediately after an absence, to go over course material that was missed ( ).  Students are also encouraged to meet with instructor during office hours regarding questions or concerns.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES STATEMENT:  "Massachusetts College of Art and Design is committed to fostering the academic, personal, and professional growth of our students. We are especially committed to ensuring that students with documented disabilities, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), are provided equal access to all campus resources and opportunities. If you believe you have a disability that may warrant accommodations, I urge you to contact Ms. Erla Shehu ( or 617-879-7692) in the Academic Resource Center, Tower 8th floor. The Academic Resource Center provides access to a learning specialist, an academic coach and professional tutors."

PLAGIARISM:  In creative work, plagiarism is the inappropriate and unethical representation of another's work as one's own. In those instances where a significant portion of a creative work is intentionally "appropriated," plagiarism is the failure to note, orally or in writing, the source of the appropriation. In expository or academic writing, whenever your work incorporates someone else's research, images, words, or ideas, you must properly identify the source unless you can reasonably expect knowledgeable people to recognize it. Proper citation gives credit where it is due and enables your readers to locate sources and pursue lines of inquiry raised by your paper. Students who do not comply may be penalized.

Academic Misconduct Procedures: A faculty member who suspects cheating or plagiarism in work submitted in fulfillment of a class requirement should confer with the student submitting the work in an attempt to determine whether a violation has occurred. The faculty member has the discretion to accept the work as academically and/or artistically honest, or to resolve the issue as a classroom issue, or to refer the matter to the department chair.

In the event the student does not concur with the disposition proposed by the faculty member, the student may refer the matter to the Department Chair.

If the matter is referred to the Department Chair, the Chair and faculty member will meet with the student to pursue information that may be pertinent.

In the event that the Chair and faculty member determine that a violation has occurred, they will review the student's educational record to determine if a prior sanction for academic misconduct has been imposed and may impose one or more of the following sanctions:

  • The student does the assignment over or retakes the test.
  • The student receives no credit for the plagiarized assignment.
  • The student fails (or receives no credit) for the class.
  • The student is referred to the senior vice president for academic affairs for further academic sanction.

The chair will inform the student, in writing, of the finding and the sanction imposed. If the sanction imposed is failure (or no credit) for the class, the chair's letter to the student constitutes a letter of reprimand. A copy of any letter of reprimand is retained by the college as a component of the accused student's educational record.

An academic sanction imposed or approved by the senior vice president for academic affairs is not subject to further review or appeal.

If just cause is determined by the senior vice president for academic affairs, in consultation with the department chair and the faculty member, the matter may also be referred by the senior vice president to the chief student affairs officer, to be dealt with as a disciplinary matter under the general provisions of these Community Standards.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spring 2012 CRYPTID masks

The Spring Semester students created illustrations featuring CRYPTIDS, and built large Cryptid masks, too!!!
Vessela as the Fancy Chupacabra!
Liam as the Dover Demon!
Eliza as Ahoul!
Simon as Kappa!
Stephanie as Ahuizotl!
Marc as "SadSquatch"!
Makeba as Kitsune!
MBostic2 MBostic1
Cameron as Lizard Man!
Michelle as MothMan!
mr2 mr1 mr3
Andrew as Black Shuck!
Melissa as Kikiyaon!
Daniela as Quilin!
Dm2 DM1
Zoe as Black Annis!
Dan as Owl Man!
Robert as Deer Creature!
Deanna Burke's Beast of Gevaudan!
Project 4 was "Day of the Dead Puppet Self-Portraits" where students photographed themselves interacting with their own 3-d calavera self-portraits. Here are some photos of the puppets in progress.