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Illustration for 16 to 18 Year Olds

Illustration for 16 to 18 Year Olds

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Laura McKendry


Illustration is visual communication through image making and is all around us every day in many different forms communicating ideas, messages and stories, grabbing our attention, decorating our world and helping to explain when words are not enough.

It’s made and used in so many differing ways that it’s sometimes hard for people to know exactly what illustration is and how it is created. This course offers a hands-on introduction to the subject, giving you the opportunity to explore the different aspects of illustration and offering you a flavour of what it’s like to study it and work as an illustrator.

Topics Covered

  • Throughout the week there will be a series of practical activities, sometimes one a day, other times two or three a day, each designed to help you explore a different aspect of illustration.
  • You will investigate the relationship between words and images in visual communication, illustrate actions, emotions and concepts whilst learning different ways of developing pictures.
  • We will explore storytelling through images, creating action sequences and more personal narratives.
  • You will have the opportunity to create images through drawing, painting, collage and stencilling.
  • Activities will also include important elements that are part of an illustrator’s working experience such as creating images for a particular audience (children for example) or having very specific instructions such as only using two colours or it being a certain size and shape.
  • We will also look at successful illustrations and discuss what an illustrator’s life is like.

Your learning will be supported by group critiques and one to one advice.

Who should take this course?

  • The course is specifically designed for young people with an interest in visual communication through image making.
  • Students interested in but unsure exactly what illustration is and what it entails.
  • Students thinking of applying for further studies in the area of graphics and illustration and want to understand more about illustration specifically
  • It is an ideal follow-on from our Graphic Design for 16 to 18 Year Olds short course, but can equally be taken alone.

Entry requirements: You must be between 16 and 18 years old

Level: Beginners

Please note: This course is for students aged 16 to 18 years old only

Tutor Description

Hi, this is Laura McKendry. I’m a freelance illustrator and specialise in portraying the natural world - animals, plants, food, wildlife… I love to draw! Whether I’m working in charcoal, graphite, watercolour or ink. I thrive on the excitement and trepidation that comes from creating new work and love engendering this process in students. I’ve taught on the Enhanced Illustration and Illustrating Animals short courses at Central Saint Martin’s with Bill and Sion over the past few years and always find it exciting and enriching to see the diversity of work that emerges from students of all ages and backgrounds. Having done several short courses myself over the years, I understand their beauty in offering a relatively brief, but intense, opportunity to learn new techniques and develop existing skills. They’ve always reinvigorated my own professional practice, and I’m very excited to see what emerges this term. I hope to see you there!  

You can view my work here: and


Please bring some drawing materials that you currently have such as pencils/coloured pencils/pens/crayons/pastels, it doesn’t matter what you have exactly just bring the things that you like working with and that you have in your pencil case (if you have one). There will be materials available for you to use in the studio as well so don’t worry if you don’t have many things and don’t feel you have to bring a large amount, just your favourites.

Please also bring: a sketchbook/pad A4 size or bigger (preferably with pages you can tear out), feel free to bring one you have already started working in, it doesn’t have to be brand new. Also bring if you can, a glue stick (Pritt Stick for example) an eraser (rubber), pencil sharpener and a ruler.

Available dates

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