Children's book illustration for beginners

Course Dates: 08/06/23 - 13/07/23
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: Keeley Street
Start your journey into the world of Children’s book illustration. Develop characters and learn how to communicate ideas through image making processes. Start the process of laying out your ideas and narratives.
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Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £155.00

Course Code: VK604

Thu, day, 08 Jun - 13 Jul '23

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 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?

This beginner’s course in Children’s book illustration will introduce the process of developing characters and narratives. You will focus on character generation, through a range of image-making processes, working with a range of mediums.

You will learn about ways to research a subject, and how to begin generating ideas visually. Throughout the course you will explore both traditional and contemporary tools and techniques including collage, cut-outs, drawing, paint, 3D objects and potential digital tools, allowing you to evaluate the relevance in order to select the most appropriate.

You will leave the course with a range of creative ideas and starting points, including characters and narratives ideas can be developed further.

What previous students liked most about their course:
“The teacher was very encouraging and there was a good, friendly and supportive atmosphere in class.”
“The tutor was brilliant – she helped us explore our ideas and become more confident in our techniques.”
“Learning so many new things. The freedom to create in a supportive environment.”


What will we cover?

• Children’s book illustration. Where to start and how to communicate an idea
• Material exploration and selecting appropriate mediums
• Character design and development
• Constructing images and visual narratives on paper
• Layouts and story development.

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

• Explain various approaches and styles in relation to Children’s book illustration
• Explore working with a wide range of media, select medium appropriate to subject matter
• Discuss the relationship between text and image
• Develop character illustrations in relation to own ideas
• Design and communicate a narrative through a single image and sequential narratives.

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

This course is ideal for beginners and is aimed at those who are new to the field of children’s book illustration. It is also a great refresher for those with some skills in drawing that may wish to develop a more illustrative approach. No particular skills are necessary, we welcome all those who are looking to be creative.

You should be able to follow verbal and written instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information. You will be encouraged to take short written notes for your own use and take part in group discussions.

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

You will be taught via practical demonstrations and supported by 1:1 guidance. Please note City Lit uses Apple Mac computers and the latest versions of Adobe Creative suite.

Additional / extension tasks may be set for you to complete at home or outside of the course hours. Completion of additional tasks is encouraged to help you get the most out of the course. 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 website.

Please note it is important that you sign up and log in to your course Google classroom prior to the first session. Joining detail will be sent to you via email (check your junk/spam folder).

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

Access to basic materials and resources are available as part of this course. You are advised to bring a sketchbook of your choice and any visual material that you wish to work with. Any additional materials required as part of the course, will be discussed by your course tutor.

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?

Develop your skills further with our Children’s Illustration projects course or continue your creative ideas on one of our personal project courses. For further details and the full range of courses available within illustration and graphic design, 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.