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Illustrating for Books (Online Short Course)

Illustrating for Books (Online Short Course)

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Leni Kauffman


Illustrating for books will help you develop your drawing skills for illustrating a range of different types of books, from non-fiction books, to travel and children’s books. For non-fiction books and travel books, you will improve your reportage illustration, drawing from observation, and learning how to develop sketches into interesting illustrations. For children’s books, you will learn character design, storyboarding, and how to build up a scene and add depth to an illustration. Each class will involve a drawing exercise to explore some of the ideas in the lesson.

Topics covered

  • Character design
  • Facial expression & Emotion
  • Building a scene
  • Drawing from observation
  • Reportage illustration
  • Drawing maps
  • Narrative illustrations
  • Storyboarding

By the end of the course you will have a better understanding of:

  • Applying your drawing skills and creativity to narrative illustration and telling a story through your images
  • How to create varied and interesting character designs
  • How to apply observational sketching to more finished reportage drawings
  • How to build up a complex scene for a picture book
  • Drawing from suggested prompts
  • Storyboarding and planning out a picture book

Who is Illustrating for Books (Online Short Course) for
This course is for anyone interested in illustrating for books,or who has an interest in narrative illustration, or children’s books. All levels are welcome, but being comfortable with drawing is important, as drawing will be featured heavily in the projects.

Level: All levels welcome

Why choose a Central Saint Martins Online Short Course
Our online learning short courses allow you to experience Central Saint Martins wherever you are in the world. Additionally all CSM Online Short Courses include

  • Live sessions with expert
  • Lesson recordings
  • Practical assignments
  • Personal feedback
  • VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • CSM Certificate upon completion

Visit Frequently Asked Questions for further details about preparing for your online course, including any equipment you need.

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To compare times, please check World Time Buddy.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older
Please note that Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Tutor Description

Leni Kauffman has a Degree in Graphic Design, Illustration from Central Saint Martins; graduating in 2007. She is a freelance illustrator and has worked in animation, publishing, fashion illustration, and storyboarding.

You can find her work at and


Online Short Course Materials

To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date version of the Google Chrome web browser
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection via WiFi or ethernet; 2G, 3G or 4G will not be sufficient

Course Specific Materials
  • Paper and pen to take notes during live sessions
  • Graphite pencils 2B, 3B, or 4B
  • coloured pencils
  • pastel pencils
  • Pastels
  • Crayons
  • Eraser
  • Black pen
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

Available dates