Illustration for beginners

Course Dates: 26/04/23 - 31/05/23
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: Keeley Street
Love to draw but lack direction? Want to bring more structure, and meaning to your art-work? Through a series of creative workshops, Illustration for beginners will equip you with the confidence and tools to bring content and purpose to your image-making. The course will provide a strong foundation from which you can build your illustration practice and exercise your unique voice.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £155.00

Course Code: VK476

Wed, eve, 26 Apr - 31 May '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?

Illustration is about image-making in context often aligned with graphic design to impart information to an audience. This course, will provide an understanding of illustration as a discipline and it’s ever expanding professional context, as well as equip you with the essential tools to inform and inspire your own practice.

Illustration for beginners introduces you to the essential aspects of illustration, laying the foundations of your practice by equipping you with the skills and tools necessary to tackle illustration assignments. Each week you will cover a new aspect of image creation, building your skill set and visual awareness. By the end of the course, you will consolidate your new found skills by responding to an industry realistic brief using the design process, the industry standard structure to methodically work through the assignment.

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?

• What is illustration?
• Presenting information through imagery
• Graphic tools for image-making
• Mood and atmosphere through colour and texture
• Narrative & story telling
• Tackling an industry brief.

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

• Identify what illustration is and how it is used in industry.
• Implement the design process, the industry standard structure required to answer a brief.
• Demonstrate creativity by generating a range of appropriate, original and effective ideas in response to a brief.
• Visually present a coherent narrative.
• Apply a variety of techniques, processes and technologies to generate imagery.
• Demonstrate your unique visual perspective or voice.

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

This course is suitable for all skill levels from beginners ‘picking up’ from secondary-school Art to experienced artists wishing to bring an illustrative direction to their art practice. Whatever ability or skill set, please bring your curiosity and openness to explore, experiment and play.

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?

The course will be led by an experienced practicing illustrator and senior lecturer. Content will be delivered via illustrated presentations, creative exercises and practical workshops. There will be one-to-one tutorials to provide encouragement and direction. Assignments will be set to apply your knowledge and develop you skills with regular group tutorials and critiques to monitor your progress, and enhance your skills in critical judgement and creative awareness.

Illustration for beginners requires a good level of commitment, and therefore independent study outside the studio is encouraged. Additional/ extension tasks may be set for you to complete at home and outside of the course hours. Completion of these tasks is encouraged to help you get the most out of the course. Reponses to extension tasks will generally be shared with the class as a discussion topic to advance your knowledge and understanding.

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 will 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 details will be sent to you via email (check your junk/spam folder).

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

It is advisable for students to have -
An A3 sketchbook for drawing, experimentation, and recording ideas.
A basic selection of artist’s materials including pencils, pens, paints, inks.
An A3 size plastic folder/ portfolio to transport work.

Access to basic materials and resources are available as part of this course.

Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencil to printing services, at 15% off. To get an LGC discount card, students will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment of them being a student at City Lit. You can apply for our card 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?

This course naturally prepares you for Illustration Projects.

Interested in developing your illustration portfolio to an advanced level? Why not apply for Illustration folio. For more information about the course and application process, please visit our website.

Guidance on progression will be provided on the course.

Adam Graff

Adam Graff is an artist, educator, and award-winning illustrator with a wealth of industry experience. His time is divided between his professional/ personal practice and teaching. Adam is a senior lecturer with over 20 years of teaching experience. He is currently the BA illustration pathway leader at the University of Hertfordshire and has taught, lectured, and spoken on the subject across the country. Having served 12 years on the board of the Association of Illustrators he has developed a broad understanding of illustrator’s needs as well as forging close links to industry. Adam’s illustrations have been internationally published, most recently in Le Monde Diplomatique Germany and received a variety of industry awards. His impressive client list includes ANORAK magazine, BBC Worldwide, British Telecom, The Guardian, Lazy Oaf, MTV, Sainsbury’s, Science Museum, TimeOut London, The Times, and Transport for London. Adam is co-director of the Illustration collective Hero of Switzerland who have exhibited at The House of Illustration, (LIF) London Illustration Fair, OXO Tower, PICK ME UP, Somerset House, and We Built This City, Carnaby Street.

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.