Children's book illustration: advanced practice

Course Dates: 01/05/19 - 19/06/19
Time: 18:30 - 21:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Tim Ellis

An intensive highly focused follow up course to develop design, drawing, imagination, characterisation and narrative skills. Ideal if you’re planning to prepare a portfolio for presentation to publishers or wishing to further develop your skills and imagination.

See what you could create –
view a selection of work made on our children’s book illustration courses



What is the course about?

You will explore character design, story ideas, themes, and page layout. Develop your own style while exploring a variety of media and learn to research and develop ideas in response to a given brief. Basic materials are provided.

What previous students liked most about this course:

“Tim’s enthusiasm, encouragement and knowledge of the industry. Also looking at other illustrators styles. I have enjoyed this course so much and it has really boosted my motivation. Sad that it’s finished. Thank you Tim!.”


What will we cover?

Over the course, you will have the opportunity to develop your work using a variety of media, including pen and ink, watercolour, crayon, pencil, charcoal and pastel.
You will examine different approaches and styles of illustration, develop research and reference material and explore the relationship between illustration and text. The workshops will cover character development and expression, page design and layout, relationship of illustration to text, and target age ranges.

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

• explore and develop character design
• explore and develop ideas in response to a given brief
• explore different methods of sequential story telling
• develop page layouts using text and image
• prepare a picture book dummy and manuscript to submit to an agent or publisher.

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

This is an advanced course, which is a progression and aimed at those who have completed Children’s book illustration for beginners.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

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

Emphasis of the course will be on individual tuition and development towards outcomes discussed with the course tutor. You will be encouraged to contribute ideas to group discussion and present your work in critiques.

You will examine different approaches and styles of illustration, develop your own ideas and characters, create illustrations and evaluate the success of these. Homework will include research and image development.

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

Basic materials will be provided but you should bring an A4 or A3 sketchbook and notebook to record your ideas. You may wish to bring your own B and 2B pencils, an eraser and a sharpener.

It would be useful to bring a memory stick (or portable hard drive – please note: PC formatted hard drives can be read by Apple mac computers, but not written to).

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

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

Please see the course guide, or browse the website, for details of our other children's book illustration and other graphic design courses.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 2 item(s)

Write a review
The individual feedback from the course tutor was always thoughtful and helpful. The course provided essential encouragement as I continue developing my picture book.

It was a shame I was unable to attend 3 of the sessions.
Course Rating
Review by Sarah / (Posted on 23/03/2016)
The course was tailored to suit the needs of the attendees and provided an extremely valuable insight into the illustration industry and opportunities within it. Review by ecyb / (Posted on 30/01/2015)

Book your place

Course Code: VK550

Wed, eve, 01 May - 19 Jun '19

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

Full fee: £319.00
Senior fee: £319.00
Concession: £195.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.