Introduction to Illustration (short course)

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Why study this course?

If you are an aspiring illustrator, learning to visualise text and ideas in both single images and in narrative form, then this course will provide you with a highly transferable set of skills for our visual contemporary culture. In the creative industries and beyond, being able to communicate ideas through visually arresting images is essential.

More about this course

The course is about learning the processes and techniques to communicate ideas through image-making. You'll be guided through the process of answering a brief and learn to research a subject, and generate and communicate ideas.

We'll introduce you to a variety of traditional and contemporary tools and techniques including collage, cut-outs, drawing, paint, 3D objects and digital, and will also help you evaluate the context in order to select the most appropriate.

There will be an exploration of the relationship between text and image and an introduction to different approaches in visual storytelling.

During the course you will create a portfolio of work using a range of media and be given an insight into what's involved in setting up an illustration practice.

Your teacher on this short course is an acknowledged illustrator, Alice Stevenson

By the end of the course, you'll be able to:

  • research, generate and communicate ideas to answer a brief
  • explore working with a wide range of media and select medium appropriate to your subject matter
  • explore the relationship between text and image and evaluate the context
  • communicate a narrative through a single image and sequential narratives
  • develop a print/web portfolio

Fees and key information

Course type
Short Course
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Who's this course for?

The course is suitable if you're a beginner and wanting to improve your drawing and visual communication skills.

Course structure

The course includes:

  • drawing exercises and a self-portrait exercise
  • materials and mark making: experimenting with pen and ink, collage watercolour, pastel and mixed media in order to create imagery
  • editorial illustration: analysis of existing editorial illustration, survey of contemporary editorial illustration, exploration of relationship between text and image, working on an editorial brief
  • editorial continued: completing mixed media editorial brief including analysis and discussion of selecting appropriate materials and colours
  • narrative illustration: exercise involving converting a written story into a panel or eight images (a narrative illustration brief where you'll use randomly selected words to create a simple narrative which will be developed into a six-page book)
  • narrative illustration: continuing work on the book project
  • narrative illustration: completion and group critique of book project (followed by demonstrations on book cover illustration, hand-drawn type and model making)
  • book cover/3D illustration: working individually to create either a book cover image or a model based on your book
  • overview and discussion of the contemporary illustration market, self-editing and creating a portfolio
  • Photoshop basics: scanning and cleaning up work to create a series of jpegs for a web/print portfolio

What our students say

"Alice was a fantastic teacher, always giving positive feedback and guiding us along the way."
"I loved this course. Alice covered a wide range of topics and it was a very inspiring experience. The environment was always friendly and encouraging and I learned a great deal."

Course dates

Course dates Course will be rescheduled to Autumn 2020
Length One evening a week for ten sessions
Day and time Thursday, 5.30pm to 8.30pm
Maximum class size 14
Contact hours 30


A 20% discount is available for:

  • those who are registered as unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit
  • those whose sole or main income is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state retirement pension
  • those who are registered as disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • full-time and part-time UK students on credit-bearing courses
  • London Metropolitan University students on year-long day courses
  • London Metropolitan University alumni members
  • London Metropolitan University staff

If you're eligible for the 20% discount, please contact us before booking.

What's included in the price?

The course fee includes the cost of materials.

Terms and conditions

Please read our?terms and conditions?before booking.

How to apply

To book on to this short course, click the apply button or visit our eShop.

When to apply

Please note, the deadline to book a place on one of our short courses is one week before the start date. If you have missed the deadline, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate you.