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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, Sion Ap Tomos


Are you interested in exploring visual communication through image making? With an emphasis on visual enquiry, innovative ideas and experimentation, this course will give you a flavour of the BA Graphic Design (Illustration Pathway) at Central Saint Martins.

Illustration sits between fine art and graphics and involves artwork needed for magazines, CD covers, books, cards, posters, the internet and other brief-driven uses. This course will focus on how you can develop your ideas and your own visual language.

Topics covered

  • Through a series of projects you will investigate line, colour, texture and montage.
  • We will also explore hand-made texts to create characters, mood, action, settings and story continuity.
  • You will conjure up images from your imagination, through research and by experimenting with materials, inventing ideas and bringing them to life.
  • You will become more comfortable with observational illustration as well as drawing from imagination, while having fun doing both.
  • We will look at successful illustrations and talk about what an illustrator's life is like.

Your learning will be supported by group critiques and one-to-one advice. The work that you produce could form part of a portfolio for application to academic entrance.

Who should take this course?

  • The course is specifically designed for young people with an interest in visual communication through image making.
  • Students thinking of applying for further studies in graphics and illustration will benefit from the course.

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

Hi, this is Sion Ap Tomos, I’m an illustrator and educator and I eat, drink and breathe drawing! I love talking about it, demonstrating it, sharing knowledge about it and helping people to get the most out of doing it. I don’t think it matters why you want to draw it’s just good for you - another way to communicate which is no bad thing to have in my opinion.

I studied illustration at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art and have worked as a freelance illustrator for a number of years in a variety of areas including editorial illustration, poster illustration, factual and reportage illustration and Illustrating for educational reference.
I’ve been talking about and teaching drawing for 16 years including 10 years on the Central Saint Martins Illustration/Graphics BA program. I love teaching on short courses in particular with the emphasis on sharing practical knowledge and helping students to use what we pass on in a way that works for them.


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.

Finally, please bring 2 or 3 magazines you may have or can find in your house that you are happy to cut images and text out of for making collage work. It could be a fashion magazine or music/film/sport magazine or one from a weekend newspaper.

Available dates