Children's book illustration: advanced projects

Course Dates: 17/04/24 - 05/06/24
Time: 18:30 - 21:30
Location: Keeley Street
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.
100% of 100
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £409.00 Senior fee £327.00 Concession £286.00

Course Code: VK550

Wed, eve, 17 Apr - 05 Jun '24

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 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?

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).


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

Develop your skills further with VK110 Children's book illustration to animation. City Lit offer a range of courses in Illustration, Graphic Design, Animation, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to enhance your illustration practice.

Tim Ellis

Tim is passionate about illustration, books and storytelling and loves teaching at City Lit. He runs a number of courses in children’s book illustration and illustration. He’s thrilled that a some of his past students from his courses have gone on to gain recognition in the highly esteemed Macmillan Prize competition, including a second place win for Harriet Lynas in 2016. Tim’s past students have also gone on to get artists agents (United Agents, Bright Agency, Plum Pudding, Advocate) and have had picture books, early readers and non-fiction books published (Nosy Crow, Andersen Press, Oxford University Press, Hodder Children's Books, John Lewis, Caterpillar Books, Child’s Play Library, Orangutang Books, Sky Pony Press, New Frontier Publishing and Little Simon). Tim studied illustration at Anglia Ruskin University and Central Saint Martins. Since graduating, Tim been working as an illustrator and teaching, with commissions across editorial, design and advertising. Select clients include The Guardian, The Financial Times, Penguin Books, Make a Wish Foundation, BBC, BT, Orange Mobile, and Honda. Tim’s illustrated debut novel Harklights will be published by Usborne Books this autumn.

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.