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Character Design for Children's Books

Character Design for Illustration

Chelsea College of Arts
Taught by
Christyan Fox


Join our Character Design for illustration short course and learn the stages of character design and development in relation to Children’s books, from an award winning writer and illustrator.

By looking at styles of children’s picture books for different age groups, you will learn about model sheets and examine how to give life, expression and movement to your characters. Beginning by conveying emotions using the simplest of illustrations you will quickly progress to explore how your character will move in a variety of situations, explore the best body proportions for your drawing style and character consistency.

Topics Covered

  • Overview of character designs for children’s books
  • How best to suit your illustration style to character
  • Designing for different age groups
  • Exploration of expression, emotion, body-language movement and consistency
Course Outcomes
You will have developed your character design skills for illustration, to help you hone your talents on the road to success. You will have the opportunity to produce a series of character facial expressions to explore emotions, and character drawings showing how the whole figure can convey emotion and movement in a variety of situations.

Who Should Attend
This course is aimed at illustrators wanting to know how to apply their skills most effectively to the task of creating a children's book. Equally beneficial for anyone interested in character design for packaging, graphics, animation, film, TV, gaming and theatre design.

All Levels Welcome

Tutor Description

Christyan Fox, since graduating from Middlesex University in 1986, has worked as a freelance illustrator and writer creating over 50 children's books – both with and without his wife Diane – as well as packaging design, greeting cards, graphics, magazines and advertising. Winning awards including the Southampton Books to Share award 2006 and 2004 Times Educational Supplement award 2002 and Stockport Schools Book Award 2001. For the past 4 years Christyan has taught very successful short courses on creating children’s books as well as small group, one to one sessions and schools covering areas in more depth. Christyan and his wife are currently developing an online version of their course. Clients include Faber and Faber, Quarto, Words and Pictures, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Books, Orchard Books, Gullane Children's Books, Macmillan, Egmont, Campbell Books, Scholastic, Piccadilly Press, Bloomsbury Books, Frances Lincoln, Little Tiger Press, Handprint Books, Ted Smart, Koala Books, Walker books, Usbourne books. Conran Octopus, Oxford University Press and the BBC.


Please bring the following:

  • A3 Layout pad

  • Pencils, pens or drawing materials of choice

  • Note pad and pen

  • Any children’s books you particularly enjoy, to be shown and discussed with the group.

  • Examples of any previous work

Please note that most materials needed for the short courses are available at the Chelsea College of Arts' Art Shop. Please contact the Art Shop directly for opening hours and availability.

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please Enquire about this course and we will contact you when new dates are published.