Children's book illustration intensive

Course Dates: 06/02/20 - 09/04/20
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tim Ellis
Dee Shulman

A great opportunity to develop your illustration skills, your professional portfolio and your own children’s book illustration project. Invaluable for both artists and illustrators.

See what you could create –
view a selection of work made on our children’s book illustration courses


What is the course about?

Develop your own style while exploring a variety of media and learn to research and develop ideas in response to tailored briefs. Over the course you will be introduced to character design, story ideas and page layout, and encouraged to generate ideas during the break towards a final project. Basic materials are provided.

What previous students liked most about this course:
"It is of a very high standard. The tutors are absolutely excellent, the briefs, advice and technical help were great.!”
“I have learned a lot about the industry and process of creating children’s books. My skills have also improved immensely with new skills and using different mediums.” JL
“I enjoyed the course greatly. I learnt different ways of approaching illustration work; manipulating drawing, preparatory work as well as developing a character from a sample sketch to a finished dummy book. It encouraged me greatly to work on my personal project. “ DK


What will we cover?

Over the course, you will have the opportunity to explore a variety of media: pen and ink, watercolour, crayon, pencil, charcoal and pastel. There will also be the opportunity to work digitally with Photoshop. You will explore the relationship between illustration and text, familiarise yourself with research strategies, and begin to develop a personal visual language. The workshops will cover character development, design and layout, relationship of illustration to text, understanding of target age ranges, portfolio presentation and approaching industry.

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

• understand character design and development
• research and develop ideas in response to a given brief
• understand the relationship between illustration and text
• understand page layout and composition
• understand how to approach an agent or publisher.

What previous students have achieved on this course:
“Developed knowledge and material. Developed inspiration and artwork. A desire to be come professional.” SS
“I feel I have achieved a far greater understanding of the scope and skills I need to improve on and that I have to produce a portfolio in the future.” ST
“I have learned about how to illustrate character and facial expressions. I have completed a couple of sample illustrations.” GM


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

The course is for all levels, whether you’re a beginner, have some art and design background or you’re a practicing illustrator. You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

Please look at the rest of the course outline carefully to decide if you may benefit from support in your English and Maths skills to help you to take part fully in this class.

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

The course will combine demonstration, workshop tasks, group discussion and critique, and individual tutorial and tuition. You will be encouraged to contribute ideas and present your work. During the project- break there will be the opportunity for a mid-point tutorial.

You will examine different approaches and styles of illustration, and through experimentation with a variety of media, will learn how to tackle the development of ideas and character. Homework will include research and image development.

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

The course fee covers basic materials and equipment. It would be very useful for you to bring following: an A4 or A3 sketchbook, a notebook, HB, B and 2B pencils, an eraser and a sharpener. A USB memory stick and digital camera would be useful to record your work, though this is not essential. You will be using some computer software on this course. We have Adobe Creative Cloud (which includes Photoshop and Illustrator) on some machines in the Student Centre at Build. If you wish to buy your own copy to work at home, you might be eligible for a discount from Adobe:
If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, Build students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

Please note this course is exempt from our refunds and transfers policy.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Develop your skills further with VK550 Children's book illustration: advanced practice. Build offer a range of courses in Illustration, Graphic Design, Animation, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to enhance your illustration practice.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 1 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

A great course that I would recommend to anyone who wants to get into picture book illustration as a beginner or to brush up on existing skills. The tutors are knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging. The course covers a lot of ground and is quite fast paced (projects lasting one to two weeks) so would suit those best who have time to do a fair bit of homework outside the classroom to really get the most out of it.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 28/03/2019)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: VK560

Please choose a course date 

Thu, day, 06 Feb - 09 Apr '20

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Full fee: £679.00
Senior fee: £679.00
Concession: £414.00

Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

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Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online . You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.