Illustrating animals workshop

Course Dates: 02/10/24 - 16/10/24
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Animals are all around us – even in London! From Trafalgar Square’s flocks of pigeons, to rodents on the Underground, to the dog-filled squares and parks. Despite their ubiquity, animals are notoriously hard to draw – as, anatomically speaking, they’re so different to humans – as well as to each other! And, they don’t like to pose!

Learn how to overcome these challenges in our ‘Illustrating Animals’ workshop.

Our Workshops enable you to take a deep dive into a specific process, media or tool.
They throw the spotlight onto niche areas of the visual communication field, enabling you to hone higher-level skills and gain deeper insights.

Workshops tend to have a practical focus, with little or no theory or context, although this varies by course.
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Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
Choose a start date

Illustrating animals workshop
  • Course Code: VZ431
  • Dates: 02/10/24 - 16/10/24
  • Time: 10:30 - 16:30
  • Taught: Wed, Daytime
  • Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Ciara Flood

Course Code: VZ431

Choose a start date  

Wed, day, 02 Oct - 16 Oct '24

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

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

What is the course about?

The emphasis of this course will be on drawing from life, and experimenting with a wide range of traditional media (pencil, paint, ink, collage – you name it).

There will be at least two field trips to draw animals from primary sources (including taxidermy), as well as from secondary sources such as videos and photographs, back in the studio.

We’ll study the underlying bone-structures that give animals their unique forms and movement styles, as then explore how to capture their many and varied skin patterns and textures, from fur to scales! Lastly, we’ll look at how to capture ‘character’, for example, the friendliness of that dog in the park, or the curiosity of that meerkat at the city farm. And how these traits can be exaggerated, to create illustrations for, for example, children’s books, or advertising.

What will we cover?

• Overcoming challenges of drawing on location
• Overcoming challenges of drawing animals from life
• Studying animals’ underlying anatomies
• Studying animals’ skin patterns and textures
• Experimenting with a wide range of wet and dry media
• Translating drawings from life into illustrations.

Conceptual skills:
• Critical evaluation of your own and others’ work will be facilitated throughout the course.

• Examples of relevant works by historical and/or contemporary creatives will be drawn upon at strategic points throughout the course.

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

Use the specific process, media or tool you have been studying – at least to a competent skill-level.

In particular:
- Draw on location
- Draw some animals – from ‘life’, as well as secondary sources, using your understanding of their anatomy to improve your drawings
- Use a range of media
- Translate some of your ‘life’ drawings into illustrations.

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

‘Intermediate’ learners with experience of drawing will get the most from this course. However, beginners are welcome to try their hand.

English-language competency is required: you should be able to follow verbal and written instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information. You may need 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?

- Presentations
- Demonstrations
- Practical work
- Individual and group tutoring
- Group discussion

Additional/extension activities 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.

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 City Lit 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?

At City Lit, access to basic materials and resources are available as part of this course. We advise you to bring a A5/A4 sketchbook for the recording of ideas and an A3 folder and/or a USB drive, to transport work to and from City Lit. Additional materials required as part of the course will be discussed by your tutor if required.

Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencils to printing services, at 15% off.

To get 15% LGC discount, you will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment and being a student at City Lit. You can apply in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation. 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 recommend looking at our range of programmes in graphic design, illustration, children’s book illustration and graphic novels.

For more information about any of the courses on offer, please visit our website.

Ciara Flood

Ciara Flood studied Visual Communications at Technological University Dublin and has over 20 years industry experience working as an illustrator, graphic designer and art director. She has worked for a wide range of clients and in different working environments; small design studios, corporate offices, fast-paced advertising agencies and also her kitchen table. Ciara has always been passionate about children’s books and her first author/illustrator picture book, Those Pesky Rabbits, was published by Temper Books in 2015. She has gone on to illustrate and/or write more children’s books published in the UK by Bonnier Books, Andersen Press, Farshore and Guppy Books. Her books have been translated into many co-editions around the world. Ciara has taught workshops in schools, libraries and various literary festivals. Most recently she has been working with The Hampshire School Chelsea as their artist in residence. Ciara believes strongly in adult education and encouraging students to develop and enjoy their creative abilities.

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.