Illustration: Books And Publications

This course will focus on developing the skills to illustrate a range of books including children's picture books, fiction, cookery, book jackets and more.

Who is this course for

Suitable for all levels, but ideal for those students who have done a bit of drawing or illustration before but might wish to develop a style, and for students who want to prepare an illustration portfolio or just learn more about illustrating for books. You will learn to follow a brief and deliver a finished piece of artwork within a set time frame.

What does this course cover

The first half of term we will focus on the specific skills needed for book illustration in a series of shorter briefs. You will learn about sequential imagery, narrative drawing, character development and storyboarding. We will examine how text and image work together and you will be shown examples of leading illustrators in the field of book illustration. The second half of the course we'll focus on a longer project - for example developing a picture book idea or developing a series of illustrations for your portfolio such as food illustration.
This is a practical, drawing based practice, rather than digital and students will be introduced to a range of different materials provided on the course and encouraged to experiment with different ways of working. We will look at drawing based media such as pen and ink and wash. We'll also look at watercolour, acrylic and collage as well as other media.

What will it be like

The learning atmosphere will be one of self-directed exploration and development with the encouragement of a practicing illustrator and your peers. You will work individually on briefs that are set or develop your own projects such as a children's picture book. During each class you will have one to one individual advice and support from the tutor.
A typical class begins with a quick 'round the table' look at student work in response to the current brief. This is a chance to learn to critique the work of your peers in a positive way, as well as being inspired by others' work.
Your tutor, Sophie Ambrose is a published children's book author and illustrator who has worked with leading UK publishers such as Walker Books and Heinemann, as well as experience illustrating for design and advertising briefs.

What else do you need to buy or do

All materials are supplied but you will need to pay for some of the more expensive specialist papers if you wish to use them, such as watercolour paper. You may need to supply your own good quality paint brushes if you require them and so that you can work on projects in your own time. You should also be prepared to buy and use a sketchbook for personal development and research which can be used on the course.

What this course could lead to

Other illustration and print courses at the Mary Ward Centre, or elsewhere.
Working freelance as an illustrator, sometimes choosing to maintain links with the course while working.
Exhibiting/selling work.
Individual advice will be available

mwc logo

I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’