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Introduction to Children's Book Illustration (short course)

Why study this course?

This short course will introduce you to different approaches and styles of children's book illustration. Through experimentation with a variety of media, you'll learn how to tackle the illustration development of ideas and characters in an industry that's one of the most rounded visual art traditions. The course will encompass a vast array of skills that are highly transferable across the creative industries.

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The current children’s book illustration market is highly vibrant and dynamic, and the art of visual storytelling is an ever-evolving tradition that is constantly being added to and redefined. During this short course at London Met, you'll explore the relationship between illustration and text, delve into research strategies and begin to develop a personal visual language. We'll also discuss and explore current publishing demands and global markets.

The course will be structured as follows:

  • Week one: drawing, materials and mark making exercises
  • Week two: creating characters – an introduction to methods of creating a character (you'll research and create several animal characters in different shapes)
  • Week three: creating characters – explore facial expressions, simple methods of drawing children and character consistency
  • Week four: materials one – create characters using watercolour and coloured pencil and pen and ink
  • Week five: materials two – create characters using oil pastel and collage
  • Week six: narrative – break down a simple story into eight images then, using a story you want to work with for the rest of the course, you break the story down into a 32-page story board
  • Week seven: layout and composition – select a page or double page spread from the story board and sketch out and plan a final illustration
  • Week eight: you'll work individually on your final illustrations
  • Week nine: overview and discussion of contemporary children's book illustration market, with you continuing your illustrations
  • Week ten: group critique of final illustrations and final questions of the course

Please note course structure is subject to slight change.

By the end of the course, you'll be able to:

  • understand the relationship between illustration and text
  • explore and develop character, narrative and research strategies
  • generate ideas in response to a given brief
  • use a range of relevant media
  • understand some of the varying demands of publishers in relation to age range, gender and markets

This course is taught by Alice Stevenson.

The course is suitable if you're a beginner to children’s book illustration, but you'll gain the most from this course if you have basic drawing skills.

Course dates Not currently available
Length One evening a week for nine sessions
Day and time


Week 1 to 3: 5.30pm to 8.30pm

Week 4 to 9: 5.30pm to 9pm

Maximum class size 14
Contact hours 30

A 20% discount is available for:

  • those who are registered as unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit.
  • those whose sole or main income is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state retirement pension
  • those who are registered as disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • full-time and part-time UK students on credit-bearing courses
  • London Metropolitan University students on year-long day courses
  • London Metropolitan University alumni members
  • London Metropolitan University staff

If you're eligible for the 20% discount, please contact us before booking.

The course fee includes the cost of materials.

Please read our terms and conditions before booking.

How to apply

Booking for this course isn't open at this time as the dates of the next intake are not yet confirmed. Please get in touch for further information or register your interest to receive notification as soon as booking opens.

When to apply

Please note, the deadline to book a place on one of our short courses is one week before the start date. If you have missed the deadline, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Fees and key information

Short Course
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