Online Course: Illustrating People

Learn ho to depict the human face and figure over 10 weeks – part of our online courses pilot programme.

When, Where

  • Zoom

Discover how to illustrate the human face and figure on this on this online course for with professional illustrator and educator Sion Ap Tomos.

Taking inspiration from illustrator’s past and present, and using a variety of materials and techniques, Sion will break down the subject into manageable chunks, guiding your depiction of facial features, form, gesture, motion, expression, age and character.

You’ll move from simpler activities to gradually more complex challenges, encouraging experimentation and broadening your experience.

The online sessions will include a mixture of technical explanations and demonstrations, analysis of illustration methods and examples, occasional live practical activities, activities to explore between sessions and group discussions of work created with tutor feedback included.

While our building remains closed, we're delighted to be able to offer this course online as a pilot for our highly-anticipated remote learning programme, with one-off discounted prices.

During the course you will:

  • Learn different ways of depicting facial features and expressions.
  • Depict the head and body from different angles.
  • Explore body proportions and types.
  • Capture body movement.
  • Explore ways of defining different ages and character types.
  • Do observational portraiture using a live model online.
  • Draw the clothed figure using a live model online.
  • Discover ways of working from photographic reference and your imagination.
  • Explore different drawing and painting materials and techniques, including pencils, pens, ink and watercolour.
  • Analyse a wealth of illustration examples, both older and contemporary, from which to take inspiration.
  • Benefit from group discussions of work created and tutor feedback.

How the course works:

  • Live online classes will take place on Thursday evenings and include illustrated lectures and practical demonstrations with follow-up activities. Some (but not all) activities will be take place live during the session. There will also be group discussions and feedback.
  • Summaries of teaching content, including illustrated presentations and videos of demonstrations will be given after each session.
  • Students will post their work on a closed group hub each week for support, peer review and tutor feedback.
  • A minimum of 1-3 hours homework each week is required.
  • Participants will receive handouts a week before the course start date and login details the day before.

You will need:

  • Access to Zoom and printer or second screen
  • A3 or A4 cartridge paper (200gsm+)
  • A4 watercolour paper (220gsm+)
  • 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B graphite pencils
  • Coloured pencils
  • Rubber
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Watercolour set of 10+ paints
  • Gouache paints (white, black and primary colours)
  • Waterproof black ink
  • Round brushes
  • Waterproof ink black fine-line pens

About the tutor:

Sion Ap Tomos is a Welsh illustrator, designer and educator based in London with over 20 years’ experience. He has worked for a wide variety of clients, from museums to television, on a range of subject matter, including editorial, reportage and historical illustrations. He also regularly collaborates on illustration-based educational projects with schools, galleries and hospitals. He teaches at Central Saint Martins and House of Illustration.

Feedback for Sion’s previous courses:

“Really well-planned lesson and structure with just the right amount of talk and practical exercises so you don’t feel daunted.”

Course dates and booking:

This course runs for 10 weeks: Thursdays 17 September – 26 November 2020 from 6.30-8.30pm. No class during half term on Thursday 29 October.

The price refers to the whole course, not individual sessions. This course is for those aged 18+.

Please note: Your ticket confirmation will go to the email address linked to your Paypal account. Please email from your contact email address if this is different to the one linked to your Paypal account.

Online course and masterclasses have been developed with Art Fund support.


Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Full Course: Pilot Programme Reduced-Price Ticket£245.00 £245.00

Tickets are non-refundable. Aged 18+ only.

Your ticket confirmation email may go to the email address linked to your Paypal account. Please contact if you do not receive it.

Tickets are subject to our general terms and conditions.