Children's book illustration: developing stories and narratives

Course Dates: 06/02/23 - 03/04/23
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: Online
Develop your knowledge of the children's book industry and your professional children's book illustration practice. Get creative and innovative in your character design, storyboarding and layout skills, develop your portfolio and get feedback in a supportive environment.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £269.00 Senior fee £215.00 Concession £175.00

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Course Code: VO272

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Started Mon, day, 06 Feb - 03 Apr '23

Duration: 8 sessions (over 9 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

An opportunity to develop your character design, layout and story-boarding, whilst gaining a greater understanding of the industry. Explore a variety of media as you hone your style and clarify your personal visual language. A supportive forum in which to develop ideas in response to a given brief, using your research and reference collecting skills.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

Session 01: Narrative driven character development
Session 02: Process and storyboarding
Session 03: Using tone as a narrative tool in image making
Session 04: Fantasy & Fairy tale: old stories, new solutions
Session 05: Mark making and texture – experiment with media
Session 06: Perspective and pattern – playing with space
Session 07: Black and white - generate ideas in response to a middle grade brief.
Session 08: Design and page layout, adding text, finished artwork.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Develop consistent characters
• Research, generate and communicate ideas in response to a brief
• Work with a range of media and select the medium appropriate to subject matter
• Explain the dynamic relationship between text and image and evaluate context
• Communicate a narrative through single and sequential images.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an ideal next step course for students who have completed the Introduction to Characters and Ideas course or who have previous experience.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Course content will be delivered via illustrated presentations, demonstrations, practical work, group discussion, handouts and tutorials.
You will be encouraged to contribute ideas and share your work with the group. You will also be encouraged to develop work outside the class. This will include research as well as idea and image development. Where required your tutor will discuss these with you during each session.
This course is supported by Google Classroom as a Virtual Learning Environment. When you log on you will be able to access course material, presentations and handouts etc. and may be asked to complete learner progress records. You can find help via the student help centre on the Citylit.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

It would be useful for you to have the following equipment for the first session: sketchbook/paper of your choice, pens and pencils, coloured pencils.
Some basic art materials would be ideal:
- A5 hardback sketchbook
- A3 quality cartridge paper
- charcoal
- soft graphite pencils (6B)
- HB pencils, an eraser and a sharpener.
- A black drawing pen and/or a dip pen with a Gillot 303 nib & permanent Indian ink
It would be great if you also have:
- Some coloured pencils – e.g. Caran d’Ache supracolour
- Chalk pastels/pencils or Caran d’Ache water soluble wax crayons
- Watercolour paints (eg White Nights whole pans)
- Dr Marten or Luma Bleed proof white
- Watercolour paper

- Watercolour brushes (round size 4 & 12)
- Daisy wheel palette
- jar for water

During the course you will be introduced to a variety of art materials, which you may find useful for your personal practice.
Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencil to printing services, at 15% off.

To get 15% LGC discount, students will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment of them being a student at City Lit. You can apply in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation. The student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. More information can be found here-

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

We offer a range of courses within Children’s book illustration including our advanced children’s book illustration course. For more information and a full list of courses available, please visit our website.

Dee Shulman Tutor Website

Dee studied English at York University, and Illustration at Harrow School of Art, and has worked as a writer and illustrator ever since – from book-jackets, theatre posters, magazine illustration, graphic novels, to Young Adult and children’s books. She has written and/or illustrated over 50 books ranging from board books to Young Adult. She is published in the UK by Penguin, Random House, Harper Collins, OUP, Barrington Stoke, Heinemann & A & C Black, with co-editions in Germany, Russia, China, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Serbia, Poland, France, Finland, Italy, Holland, Korea, USA, and Japan. Dee has exhibited at the Illustration Cupboard London; Royal National Theatre; Barbican Centre; AOI Gallery; Lyric Theatre Hammersmith; Arnolfini; Ulster Museum; Nottingham Museum; Stirling Gallery; Rochdale Gallery; McRoberts Gallery; and Citylit Gallery. Dee loves tutoring at Citylit, and runs courses on Children’s Book Illustration, Drawing for Graphic Novel and Illustration. It is her mission to create a warm, supportive and creative workplace to help students explore and develop their skills, imagination and potential.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.