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Children's Book Illustration - Advanced

Children's Book Illustration - Advanced

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
April Wilson


The illustrator has a crucial role to play in determining the visual appearance of any picture book. This course will challenge you to push this responsibility even further by considering how to manipulate text to achieve greater impact and drama for the illustrations you will be creating.

Using three or seven lined texts as a starting point, you will interpret these through drawing before expanding them to create short sequences and then possibly further into full storyboards. When presented with less common book forms, such as spherical shaped books and those with doors, you will need to exercise your imagination to find solutions for these challenges.

Topics covered

  • As illustrators you must be able to define a character following a given brief, and draw it in a variety of different situations.
  • You will be taught how to construct 3D characters such as hand puppets, wire-worm, and a clay animals which you can animate, to help you follow your briefs to complete a short narrative.
  • A variety of colour media and papers will be available to use for the non-narrative books focusing on shapes, counting and colour.
  • A range of picture books will be there for you to examine each session, and you will always be encouraged to ask questions at any time throughout the course.
  • The course will end with a story-generating exercise working in pairs.

Through student-led work, paired projects and class workshops, the aim will be to increase both experimentation and professionalism, and encourage you to develop your own individuality by stretching your imagination.

Who should take this course?

This advanced course is an obvious follow-up for those who have taken Children's Book Illustration.  However, it will appeal to anyone who enjoys the challenge of thinking and applying their imagination to the task of storytelling through drawing with a small amount of text.

Entry requirements: It is important to feel comfortable with drawing, as this is our chief means of communicating when working through the class exercises and briefs.

Level: Beginners and intermediate

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

April Wilson is an artist and illustrator who has written and illustrated many children's books. To find out more about April's work, and this course, please visit her website


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • cartridge paper pad (optional)
  • graphite pencils 2B, 3B, or 4B if you have them
  • rubber
  • black pen
  • scissors
  • glue stick

Most of the materials below will be provided by the college, but if you have any of your own you may wish to bring them in:

  • plasticine clay
  • coloured pencils
  • pastel pencils
  • pastel sticks
  • crayons
  • coloured papers and card
  • hand puppet making materials

Available dates