Studying with London Art College

Posted: May 14, 2015 in artwork for children
Tags: , , , , , ,

And no, I’m not on their pay roll or anything. But I promised I’d write about the art courses I’ve been doing over the last year or so and they’re all at London Art College. Or rather ‘with’ them – they run distance learning courses.

I had already learnt so much at that I was only really looking to fill a gap which they don’t cover. All art uses the basics, of course, and the skills are transferable, but I wanted some tuition, some project, specific to illustration. I guess that’s because I write children’s books. The lure is always there to go further! Maybe do my own picture book. You know, the next Julia Donaldson!

Anyway, I enrolled for the Children’s Book Illustration diploma, tutored by Maggy Roberts, an experienced illustrator. I ended up with a merit, and since I’m clearly not as talented as many others on the course (there is a student forum where people post their progress), that was fine. I knew I’d improved. It’s a learning curve more than a competition.

Each of the six assignments had various parts – the first a series of sketches or an exercise connected to the skill being practised or point being taught. The second, a finished picture done to a brief, as if given by a publisher.

To give you the idea in case you’re interested, here are a some pieces I did in amongst the many that were required.

First up, the first finished piece to illustrate the line ‘Row row row your boat gently down the river’. It was totally nerve-wracking sending in my first full artwork for someone to see. I guess I’m more blasé now.

Row row your boat

This next was a pen piece to practise inking skills: it had to be a kitchen container used in a fantasy fashion and including a small person or animal interacting with it. (The full piece that followed this was an undersink world!)

container pen work

And finally for now, animals doing silly things was an essential step to being able to illustrate children’s books. I was pretty pleased with this crew!

silly animals

Of course, every now and then after this point in the course, I went digital, probably because I was scared I would ruin a piece done by hand and have to start again. And again. And again. But I’ll write about my digital adventures later because they led me to do the digital illustration diploma when I’d finished the CBI one.

  1. you must be really busy. I thought about doing an illustration course years ago but decided I had not enough imagination. These are great pictures- so interesting and full of life. I can find these courses online? maybe I could develop imagination?


  2. Sharon Mann says:

    Your drawings are so delightful, good luck with your course!


  3. Keziah says:

    Glad I found your blog hun.
    I was very happy with the CBI course, and still loving the follow on even though in some ways is it much harder. I loved your black and white ink work when I saw it on the forums! Made me so jealous


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