Cartooning and Animation

Course Description: What Is This Class About?

Cartooning and Animation is a Marking Period course worth 1.25 credits. We will be creating sequential works of art (art that unfolds over time).

Rationale: Why is it Important To Learn This?

Cartooning and Animation are forms of sequential art: combining image and language in a dynamic fashion. Sequential artists generally create simplified drawings or sculptures and use them to tell stories. Stories can be based on personal experience (or drawn from the artist’s imagination) and are often told for humorous effect. Narrative art allows for character development and reveal social interaction in a way that a singular image cannot.

Course Goals:What Are We Going To Do In This Class?

Over the duration of the Marking Period we will be: drawing caricatures, drawing an original comic strip, animating a digital flip book, and filming a sequence of stop-motion animation. In addition to making art: we will be looking at exemplary artworks and analyzing how the formal decisions made by the artists help communicate meaning. The technical processes studied will include: facial analysis, comic layout and inking, still image capture, building a stop-motion armature and character, and using stop-motion software.

Course Concepts: What Will I Learn In This class?


Unit Major Concepts
Caricature How to draw the correct proportions of the human face.
How to use exaggeration and distortion to make social commentary.
How to use shading to make a drawing look three-dimensional.
Comic Strip How to layout a comic strip.
How the draw a character from basic shapes. Strategies for developing a meaningful storyline.
Hand Drawn Animation How to use registration to align the cels of your animation.
How to capture images in registration.
How to create a digital flipbook using inexpensive software.
Stop Motion Animation How to build a wire armature.
How to build a plasticine character.
How to use computer software to animate sculptural objects.


Students will be expected to turn in 4 completed projects by the end of the Marking Period. As part of the learning process, students are given a self-evaluation rubric for each project. Criteria for getting an “A” are listed on the rubric. Students are expected to assess their own artwork based on these criteria. This process allows students the opportunity to continue to refine their artwork until they feel it meets the standard set out in the rubric. Writing about their artwork allows students the opportunity to earn extra-credit.