Illustration Capstone and Portfolio Review course at Sessions College

Illustration Capstone and Portfolio Review

3 credits

ILL 260: Illustration Capstone and Portfolio Review

A portfolio project and portfolio review for Illustration majors

The Illustration Capstone and Portfolio Review class offers an opportunity to develop a multifaceted portfolio piece and hone your creative work into a polished presentation for future clients and employers.

The Illustration Capstone Project provides students the opportunity to complete a multidimensional illustration project in three stages, working closely with a department head. A children's book publishing and promotion project will challenge students to demonstrate their proficiency in key aspects of the Illustration program. The project will require research, concept development, and critical thinking, providing students with the opportunity to explore a professional, iterative process as well as experience simulated client interactions.

Students participate in Portfolio Review in weeks 9-15 of the semester. This provides students the opportunity to gather and develop a portfolio of work and present it to faculty and classmates for feedback. Students will learn to recognize strengths and weaknesses in their work, and feedback will help students identify specific works or subject areas that need improvement.

Course At A Glance

Course Features

  • 100% online
  • Project-based
  • Instructor-led
  • Credit-bearing: 3 Credits
  • Classes start January, April, and August


The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

Course developed by: Jordon Schranz and Dr. Meryl Epstein

Take this course as a standalone or as part of the following program(s):

Course Projects

    1. Choosing a Client

      Students will develop a concept based on a creative brief and present their research and concept for initial feedback.

    2. Preparing the Design

      Students prepare character studies, compositional studies, colors, and typography based on their concept and submit them for additional feedback.

    3. Creating Your Final Deliverables

      Students will create a finished book cover, a set of illustrations for the story, and some promotional material for the new book. They are expected to present final work professionally and create a presentation that details their thought process and explains the illustration techniques used.

    4. Portfolio Guidelines

      Students are expected to create a portfolio that is useful to their future creative development, and to do so with attention to quality and detail. The final student portfolio will demonstrate professional presentation techniques and a written summary of the student's design capabilities.

    5. Final Review

      Student portfolios will be evaluated to assess the achievement of program outcomes defined for the Associate Degree in Illustration program.

Sample Student Work

by Renee Gerstein

Course Outcomes

What Are The Course Projects?

In this multifaceted portfolio project, student develop or adapt a story and character designs for a children's book, creating layouts, cover, and a promotional poster. Students will also assemble a high quality final portfolio of work for instructor review and peer feedback. Student work will be evaluated to assess the achievement of program outcomes defined for the Associate Degree in Graphic Design program.

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?
  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Various drawing supplies as desired.
  • Experience in the above software.
What Will I Learn?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Support your design project with research of companies and products in a specific genres, design trends, and marketing initiatives.
  • Research an illustration concept for a children's book publisher, identifying genres, stylistic trends, and reference illustration work to influence the direction of your concept.
  • Use brainstorming, sketches, mood boards, and other techniques to formulate a coherent design concept.
  • Create character sketches and compositional sketches for a book illustration project.
  • Develop colors, typography, and other design elements to consistent with your book illustration concept.
  • Illustrate at least three scenes from a children's book story laid out with the appropriate text.
  • Create an eye-catching cover with text and illustration(s) for a children's book.
  • Create an effective, stylistically consistent poster design to promoting the release of the children's book.
  • Create a polished presentation of your final work including a 500 word professional summary to accompany your materials.
  • Assemble a portfolio of work, identifying and describe strengths and weaknesses in your work.
  • Develop a plan for portfolio development and identify a desired career direction.
  • Develop a professional summary of your design capabilities.
  • Present a finalized portfolio of creative work.

Getting Started

Course Registration

  • Classes start January, April, and August
  • 3 Credit Course
  • Project-Based: Exercises, Discussions, and Critiques

Course Tuition and Fees
Registration Fee* $200
Total Course Price $1730

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for course content.

Course Registration Form

To register for this course, use the form below to enter your information and desired start date. An Admissions Advisor will contact you to arrange payment and provide you with an Enrollment Agreement.

PD: Course Registration

Contact Information

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What Are The Courses Like?

Our courses are project-based. In each course you’ll enjoy a series of lectures, projects, discussions, and critiques designed to stretch your creative skills, earning college credit for your completed course.

How Much Time Do I Need?

Classes start January, April, and August, and this course can be completed in a 15-week term. College credit from this course can be applied to a range of degree and certificate level programs at Sessions College.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our faculty of professional artists, designers, and photographers. This means that you’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work.

Is Sessions College accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).