Book Illustration

Book Illustration

This course is aimed at people with an interest in telling stories through pictures. During the course you will learn how to draw and develop a character from descriptions in the text of various stories.  These descriptions will typically be paragraphs of graphic and visual language that we will translate into an illustration.  To do this the students will learn how to draw facial expressions and movements of the body or dress.  They will do this using traditional techniques on paper.


Typical steps will be:

  • Visual analysis, ways of seeing using visual language
  • Planning and image making
  • A selection process of appropriate scenes and ideas (how to work doing sketches), selection and emphasis
  • Narrative and sequence


By working through a small project, you will plan and develop a set of hand-made illustrations of some characters.  Students will work from a selection of texts that will be provided in class.  By the end of the course you will be able to choose appropriate criteria to show a character.


Learning Outcomes

The course aims to give students a working understanding of:


  • The role of illustration of a character and how it can enhance and complement a piece of text
  • The way that text and image work together to greatest effect in a picture book.
  • The way that stories and ideas can be communicated using only imagery.
  • Various strategies for creating an element of surprise within a picture book, for children and adults.
  • A number of basic visual vocabulary, materials and techniques, for creating illustrations.
  • The process of thinking through the layout, composition and design of spreads in a book.

Your Tutor

Irene Fra-Gálvez Irene Fra-Gálvez has been working in Spain as a freelance illustrator for the past 25 years, during which time her work has been shown in various international exhibitions such as The International Fair of Books for Children in Bologna (italy), and has won prestigious prizes for illustration.  In her work as a professional illustrator, Irene uses a wide range of media including etching, watercolour, gouache, acrylic, charcoal and graphite.  Her interests include art history and the history of printing, including etched plate and early 20th century posters of Soviet Art.


An A4 or A5 pad of drawing and sketching paper pad (medium surface cartridge pad, 130 gsm). Sheets of sketching paper are valid too. Smooth-heavyweight paper A4 or A5 (220 gsm) for ink, watercolor, graphite, colored pencil. I use Daler Rowney 220g/m2. A few good drawing pencils, grades: HB, H, 2B, 4B, B… Coloured pencils (I recommend any good quality brand: Caran d´Ache, Faber-Castell, etc). Inks (optional), markers (optional). Sketching crayons or charcoal. Conté pencil (HB, B…) These are optional. - Vinyl Eraser (Faber-Castell, etc). - Sharpener or knife (cutter).


Tuition fees: £115.00
Materials Costs: £0.00
Total Cost: £115.00


No. of sessions: 8

Day Date Times
Tue 24/09/2019 18:30-21:00
Tue 01/10/2019 18:30-21:00
Tue 08/10/2019 18:30-21:00
Tue 15/10/2019 18:30-21:00
Tue 29/10/2019 18:30-21:00
Tue 05/11/2019 18:30-21:00
Tue 12/11/2019 18:30-21:00
Tue 19/11/2019 18:30-21:00

Your next step

Click here to Enrol Online

Pay by credit or debit card over the telephone. Please call the Adult Education Office on 01223 278002 Monday to Thursday 9am to 7pm and Friday 9am to 4pm during term time and Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm out of term time.

Pay by cheque, made payable to Hills Road Sixth Form College. Please send you cheque together with a completed enrolment form, which you can find by clicking on ‘How to Enrol’ on the left hand side, to the Adult Education Office, Hills Road Sixth Form College, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8PE. Please enclose a SAE if you require a receipt.

Please note full refunds can only be made if a class is cancelled or closed at the discretion of the College, or if you cancel your enrolment no less than two weeks before the course starts.

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