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Write & Illustrate A Picture Book


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This iLLUSTORi Academy course is designed for aspiring, emerging or lapsed illustrators and picture book makers.

SKU: WIPB Category: Tag:


About the Write & Illustrate A Picture Book Course

Course runs on the following dates, please select when purchasing

  • Daytime: Aug 26th to 30th 2019 – 10 am to 6 pm
  • Evenings: Jan 8th to June 8th 2020 – Wednesdays 6.15 pm to 9.15 pm
  • Course limited to 20 students
  • Can be completed in one FULL daytime course in August or in FIVE months from January to June 2020 one night a week.

This intensive one-week iLLUSTORi Academy course is designed for aspiring, emerging or lapsed illustrators and picture book makers. It is also suitable for those in the areas of graphic design or fine art, who wish to expand their skill set. Illustrators looking to tailor their portfolio to target children’s book agents and publishers will also benefit. You will develop new portfolio pieces along with the first draft of a picture book.

At the end of this course

Participants will: have a greater understanding of the current marketplace for children’s picture book illustrators and writers.  In addition, the ability to create picture book layouts, character development sketchbooks, a storyboard, text and, 2 illustrations, Taught by published artist, and writer Adrienne Geoghegan


Everyone works a bit differently so there is no firm material list. You will need to have a sketchbook, things to draw with, and ‘colours’ at the bare minimum. Throughout the course, you may want to experiment with other drawing materials, and you might want to use nice paper for finished pieces, all of which we will discuss the first night of the course.

Course Resources

We will discuss books and websites in class that you may choose to explore during and after the course.


All students are expected to attend classes regularly and promptly and for the duration of the scheduled week.

Please Note: Because this course is only five days long, students should be prepared to do homework outside of class, and be ready to discuss their work during in-class critique.

We cover the following:


  • Examine the Works of Contemporary Illustrators and Discuss Techniques, Materials and Style.
  • Materials: an Overview of What Works Best
  • The Practice of Keeping Sketchbooks
  • Character Development Exercises
  • How to Write in Pictures
  • Brainstorming exercises
  • The Practice of Keeping Notebooks
  • Rhyme vs Prose
  • Picture Book Page Layout
  • Editing Your Work Overview
  • Story Structure
  • Story Diagram
  • Poetic Devices
  • Page Turning Explained
  • What Editors Look For


  • Thumbnails – Visual Continuity and the Sequential Image
  • Drawing from Reference & Stylising Characters
  • Experimenting with Your Mediums
  • Initial Thumbnail Sketches
  • Knowing What to Illustrate in the Text
  • What Shape Book: Square, Landscape or Portrait?
  • Designing Space for Text
  • Working Up from Your Thumbnails
  • Tuning into Dialogue and Voice
  • Choosing the Right Language and Vocabulary
  • Brainstorming Exercises  
  • Observational Exercises
  • Common Traps Writers Fall Into and Advice on How to Avoid Them.
  • Starting Your First Draft
  • Picture Book Manuscript Formatting
  • Critical Checkpoints
  • Storyboarding to Enable You to Pace Your Story


  • Developing `Consistency in Your Characters
  • Choosing Which Pages to Illustrate for Your Picture Book Proposal
  • Interim Critique
  • Create a Colour Palette for Your Book
  • Crop Marks Explained
  • Gutter Area Explained
  • Start Full-Colour Illustrations: Single or Double Page Spread.
  • Refining First Drafts – Start Second Draft
  • Show Don’t Tell – Critical


  • Continue with Full-Colour Illustrations: With Guidance From Adrienne
  • This is an Extensive Day of Illustration.
  • Interim Critique


  • Continue with Full-Colour Illustrations: With Guidance From Adrienne
  • This is Our Second Extensive Day of Illustration.
  • After Lunch: Final Finishing Off and Final Critique.
  • Extensive Day of Final Drafts
  • After Lunch: Adding ‘The End’ and Final Critique.

Please Note: Courses may NOT adhere PRECISELY to what is written in the published list. To be realistic, courses sometimes deviate from this to allow for class needs and dynamics.

Notes regarding January to June 2020 course

  1. Whilst covering the above areas, it will be more comprehensive and detailed with time to make a dummy book and 3 or 4 drafts of your book.
  2. Will include an exhibition to showcase your work
  3. Will include location drawing.

Additional information


Full, Deposit


Daytime, Evening


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