Character, Colour and Composition with Claire Alexander

Improve your drawing and painting skills on this brand-new course.

When, Where

Hone your practical drawing and painting skills on this exciting new course for beginners and improvers.

Covering tone, contrast and character, you'll get a thorough grounding in drawing and painting: those two essential ingredients for successful children's illustration from experienced illustrator and tutor Claire Alexander.

Please note that this course focuses on creating images and does not cover narrative, layout or book creation.

During the course you will:

  • Improve your observational drawing by learning about light source, tone and contrast.
  • Learn how to bring drawings from referential source material to life.
  • Develop convincing human characters from figure drawings.
  • Find your own style of depicting facial features, bodily proportions and expressions.
  • Create striking compositions that make your characters 'pop'.
  • Learn how to enhance the storytelling, atmosphere and drama in your imagery.
  • Gain a greater understanding of how to choose colour and use texture to convey meaning.
  • Experiment with a range of artistic media.

Please bring:

  • An A3 sketch pad
  • An A2 portfolio to carry work in (e.g. a transparent plastic one)

All other materials provided by House of Illustration.

About the tutor:

Claire Alexander is an author/illustrator based in London. She recently completed two book collaborations with writer Sean Taylor, illustrating Humperdink Our Elephant Friend and The Snowbear. Other recent books include The Best Bit of Daddy’s Day, Millie Shares and Monkey and the Little One. The latter was shortlisted for the 2015 Junior Design Awards and listed as one of the top ten best new picture books of the year by the Independent Book Sellers Association.

A previous book Back to Front and Upside Down, dealing with the subject of dyslexia, won an American Library Association award in 2013. Other titles include Small FlorenceLost in the SnowThat’s When I knew and Lucy & the Bully, which also won an award in the US. Claire studied Fine Art at the Kent Institute of Art and Design and has a BA honors degree in Painting. She studied Illustration at Putney School of Art and has been teaching her own picture book courses for over ten years.


"Very well planned and thought out. Felt a good sense of progression as each lesson built on the last. Very inspiring and really enjoyed it!" Student on one of Claire's previous courses

Course dates:

Running on Thursdays for 6 weeks from 7 November to 19 December, from 7-9.30pm (no class during half term on 21 November).


The price refers to the whole course, not individual sessions.


Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Adult ticket with gift aid£275.00 £275.00
Adult ticket£250.00 £250.00

The price refers to the whole course, not to individual sessions.

- Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable. All tickets sales subject to our general terms and conditions.
- This ticket entitles you to gallery entry for the duration of your House of Illustration course.
Please note that your confirmation email may go to the email address associated with your Paypal account. If you do not receive a ticket confirmation, please contact

Gift Aid

The Gift Aid prices include a 10% voluntary Gift Aid donation. This enables us to claim an extra 25p in every pound, which makes a huge difference. Thank you!

You must be paying enough income tax and/or capital gains tax to cover the amount of tax that all charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs you donate to will reclaim for each tax year (6 April to 5 April). Council tax and VAT do not count. If you are not a UK taxpayer, please select non Gift Aid tickets.