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Illustration for Beginners — Overview

This course is suitable for those who have little or no illustration experience as well as those looking to improve their Illustration skills. You will have the chance to explore and express your creativity through a range of techniques. At each level, learners are encouraged to develop their own creative practice through tutor-led tasks and self-directed learning. Throughout the course you will learn some of the key skills involved in being an illustrator and visual communicator. Each session, participants will have the opportunity to discuss ideas behind illustration and creativity, and work with unique mark-making tools, design, drawing, and printing techniques to create an array of illustrated outcomes.

Course Content

Week 1 – Welcome to the World of Illustration
Introductions; what is Illustration; introducing ourselves through image; drawing exercises.

Week 2 – Making Marks
The importance of daily practice; drawing from memory; drawing from observation; different drawing techniques to stylise and simplify interesting objects. Moving from drawing to illustration and what that means.

Week 3 – Printing and Illustration
Introduction to printing techniques; opportunities to learn lino relief printing; simplifying information to an essence of visual communication.

Week 4 – Mono Print Techniques and Character Creation
Creating characters and developing print and mark-making techniques; characters in Illustration; creating a picture book character; creating yourself as a character.

Week 5 – Exploring Mixed-media
Using a range of mark-making tools and media, including ink, oil pastel, wax relief and graphite, to create textures and images to develop next week.

Week 6 – Make a Zine
Using images that are meaningful to you, and collage and mixed-media techniques, to create a mini book and art object.

Week 7
Final project planning:
The first half of the session features workshops based around words. You will get the chance to work as a team and create narratives inspired by one-word prompts. This leads nicely into the final project, which we will discuss in the second half of the session,
brainstorming and sharing ideas. The final outcome will be a multi-page concertina fold book, which you will base around a word or phrase. You are encouraged to use some of the techniques you have experimented with throughout the course.

Week 8 – Getting on with things
Open studio access and one-to-one tutorials are available during this stage as you progress your artwork from sketches to final outcome.

Week 9 – Finishing things off
Supported independent study followed by final touches to artwork. Additional tutorials are available on a one-to-one or group basis.

Week 10 – We made it!
Evaluation of course, learner achievement and progression, and most importantly…celebration!

Entry Requirements
None. This course is suitable for both beginners and improvers.

Materials and Equipment
You will need to bring a sketchbook, black fineliner, pencil, rubber, pencil sharpener and any art materials you have an interest in experimenting with such as ink, watercolours, acrylic paints, gouache, pencil crayons, etc. You may also benefit from having a google account so that handouts can be sent through the google drive. We can also email them if required. If you have neither an email address or a google account then hard copy handouts can be provided (think of the trees though!)


Please note that all courses are subject to student numbers and will only run if sufficient numbers are achieved. Plymouth College of Art reserves the right to cancel a course if insufficient student numbers are recruited.

In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Plymouth College of Art has temporarily closed its buildings until further notice to protect the health and safety of staff, students and visitors. For more information please click here.

Illustration for Beginners — Modules

Illustration for Beginners — Staff

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

Illustration for Beginners — Student Work

Illustration for Beginners — Students Say

Illustration for Beginners — Careers & Alumni

Illustration for Beginners — Entry Requirements

Illustration for Beginners — Resources

Illustration for Beginners — Interview

Course Code: SC0731617
No availability
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