Illustration: Childrens Books

A short course that enables you to build your practical illustration skills in different media and techniques. The course will also look at contemporary illustration trends and different approaches within the genre. Each course can be taken separately or taken alongside the Monday evening courses if you need time and support to complete a large project.

If you would like enrol at the concession rate, please request and complete your enrolment by contacting: or calling 020 7269 6000 Mon- Thu

Who is this course for

This course is an ideal starting point for anyone wanting to find out more about illustrating for the picture book market, ages 2 - 6. You may already have a story to develop and illustrate, or prefer to focus on illustrating a story supplied on the course.

What does this course cover

We will examine the importance of the story and the kinds of themes that picture books focus on. We will examine how text and image work together and you will be shown examples of leading children's book illustrators to inspire you and create an understanding of what makes a successful illustration and how it communicates to the viewer. We'll look at the specific skills involved in creating a picture book including storyboarding and character creation.

You'll have the chance to explore some of the materials used by illustrators such as pen and inks, watercolours and coloured pencil. Through experimenting with hand-made processes (not digital) you will start to develop a personal way of working and improve your visual language.

What will it be like

We will alternate between demos/talks and activities and time for you to explore and develop your own project with the encouragement of a practicing illustrator and your peers. There will be one to one tutorials for all students with the tutor. You'll see examples of published illustrators work through powerpoints and talks, and books to look at. You will then have the chance to explore and develop your own way of working, using the materials supplied on the course. We will look at and talk about each other's work which will develop confidence and inspire ideas.
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

You should be prepared to buy and use a sketchbook (preferably bound not spiral) for personal development and research and so that you can see how your work is progressing. 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.

What this course could lead to

Autumn term evening classes in 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

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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 choose Mary Ward?

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 and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

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.’