Children's book illustration: developing personal projects

Course Dates: 22/10/21 - 17/12/21
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Develop your own style and characters while exploring a variety of media, techniques, design and layout possibilities. Learn how to research and develop ideas in response to a relevant brief. Basic materials included. Image - Harriet Lynas.
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
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Full fee £309.00 Senior fee £247.00 Concession £188.00

This course has now started

Course Code: VK379

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Started Fri, eve, 22 Oct - 17 Dec '21

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?

On this course you will be encouraged to explore your own style and characters through developing a picture book or portfolio of work. You will learn about design and layout and how to research and develop ideas. Please note: This is not a computer based course as you will be working directly with materials. There will, however, be limited access to computer equipment for tasks such as scanning and printing.

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 intermediate course, which is an ideally suited progression for those who have completed Children’s book illustration for all levels or Children's book illustration for beginners.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and 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?

The course will combine demonstration, workshop tasks, group discussion and critique, and individual tuition. You will be encouraged to contribute ideas and present your work. You will examine different approaches and styles of illustration, and through experimentation with a variety of media, will learn how to tackle the development of ideas and character. Homework will include research and image development.

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

Please bring an A4 or A3 sketchbook and notebook to record your ideas.

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.) CDs/DVDs are available.


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

You can develop your skills further on VK400 Children's book illustration: advanced practice , VK547 Children's book writing and illustration workshop or compliment your illustration skills with a range of courses in illustration, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.You will have the opportunity to discuss your own possible directions following the course. These might include taking other illustration courses, drawing classes, portfolio-building courses, art foundation, BA courses, or approaching publishers and agents for relevant illustration work (depending on previous experience).

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.