Online Course: Introduction to Creating Picture Books

Learn the essentials of creating successful picture books for 0-6 year olds over 10 weeks – part of our online courses pilot programme.

When, Where

  • Zoom

Learn how to create picture books with contemporary market appeal on this intensive online course for adult beginners with Claire Alexander. As both a professional author and illustrator, Claire is uniquely placed to teach both writing and illustration in this highly specialised area.

 This course will inspire you with new ideas, introduce you to relevant literary and artistic techniques and equip you with the commercial knowledge to take your ideas further.

By the end of ten weeks you will have a created your own compelling colour characters in settings and a storyboard in pencil which can be made into a dummy book to be presented to publishers.

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 how to write stories with convincing characters.
  • Experiment with watercolour techniques and bring a character to life in colour.
  • Explore narrative themes, structures and writing styles.
  • Rough out a storyboard with compelling layouts.
  • Learn how to make a book dummy to send to publishers.
  • Gain an overview of the market and get advice on getting published.
  • Receive personal feedback and group forum support.
  • Receive resources on all aspects of picture book creation, from book length to portfolios and publishers, available exclusively to course participants.

How the course works:

  • Live online classes will take place on Wednesday evenings and include real-time exercises, tutorials, demonstrations, group discussion and feedback.
  • Video lectures and handouts will be sent ahead of each class.
  • 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.
  • Pre-course tasks and resources will be sent one week before the first live online class.
  • Participants will receive handouts a week before the course start date and login details the day before.

You will need:

  • A4 rough and smooth watercolour paper
  • A3 sketchpad
  • Pen
  • 2B pencil
  • Colouring pencils
  • Rubber
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Watercolour set of 12 colours
  • Watercolour brushes in 3 sizes
  • Cup for water
  • Glue stick
  • Blu-tack
  • 4 small envelopes
  • Small Post-it notes
  • Large Tupperware box lid
  • Household sponge
  • Kitchen roll or rag
  • Table salt
  • Wooden board

About the tutor:

Claire Alexander is an award-winning London-based author and illustrator with over 15 years’ experience creating picture books and over a decade’s experience teaching her bespoke Picture Book courses. She is currently working with Walker Books on two projects, as well as follow up to her latest title A Little Bit Different. Recent collaborations include illustrations for Sean Taylor’s Humperdink Our Elephant Friend and The Snowbear. Other titles include The Best Bit of Daddy’s Day and Monkey and the Little OneSmall Florence and Lucy and the Bully.

Feedback from Claire's previous courses:

“Claire’s an inspirational teacher… Her courses are fantastic for focusing on specific skills and are always tailored to include the things most relevant to the students’ own projects and aspirations.”
Loretta Schauer, signed by literary agents Darley Anderson, subsequently published by Little Tiger Press, Paragon and HaperCollins

“I was so impressed with your students – their work put some college courses to shame. I have so many illustrators who apply to join my agency who would benefit from your tuition.” Lorraine Owen, The Organisation Illustration Agency

Course dates and booking:

This course runs for 10 weeks: Wednesdays 16 September – 25 November 2020 from 7-9pm. No class during half term on Wednesday 28 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.