Short Course: Illustrating the Animal Kingdom

Explore a fascinating subject matter through a variety of techniques with Sion Ap Tomos.

When, Where

Discover how to capture animal form, movement and detail through a variety of methods and techniques with illustrator and educator Sion Ap Tomos.

On Wednesday evenings we will explore creatures of land, water and air, working mainly from photographic reference and some taxidermy specimens in the studio at House of Illustration.

On two additional Saturday field trips, we will also depict the subject live at one of London’s city farms and at London Zoo (admission fee included in course price).

During the course you will:

  • Explore creatures of land, water, and air, working from photographic reference.
  • Learn how to capture the form and structure of animals.
  • Develop skills in depicting animal movement and life.
  • Depict animals from life at class visits to a city farm and London Zoo.
  • Develop an understanding of a variety of species through image-making.
  • Be inspired by illustrators past and present.
  • Explore materials and techniques including watercolour, ink and collage.
  • Explore simple and effective narrative techniques to bring a storytelling element to your images.

Please bring:

  • 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B graphite pencils
  • Putty eraser
  • Pencil sharpener
  • A4 cartridge paper sketchpad (130 gsm) preferably with detachable pages
  • A3 drawing pad (200+ gsm) with detachable pages

All other materials provided by House of Illustration.

About the tutor:

Sion Ap Tomos is a Welsh illustrator, designer and educator based in London. Over many years he has illustrated for a wide variety of clients, covering an eclectic array of subject matters: reportage for news outlets, storyboards for advertising and television and historical illustration for museums. He has tackled subject matter ranging from the sciences and sport to urban development, historical weaving techniques and comedic penguins. Additionally, he regularly collaborates on illustration-based projects with schools, museums and hospitals.

This has given him a wealth of experience which he has been able to draw upon in his education work which began in 2000. Sion has taught at Foundation, BA and MA levels predominantly for Central Saint Martins, UAL and has also been devising and running practical short courses for 16 years. He gained a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design/Illustration at Central Saint Martins college of Art and Design and an MA in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art, London.

Course dates and booking:

Wednesdays 22 April – 17 June, 6.30-9pm (no class during half term on 27 May) at House of Illustration.

 There are two additional Saturday field visits:

  • City Farm, Saturday 16 May, 11am-2pm (meet there, free admission)
  • London Zoo, Saturday 6 June, 10am-2pm (meet there, admission fee included in course price)

To book, please select the start date from the drop-down menu below. The price refers to the whole course, not individual sessions. This course is for those aged 18+ only.

Any questions? Please check our FAQs.


Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Full course with Gift Aid£401.50 £401.50
Full course£365.00 £365.00

Tickets are non-refundable. Aged 18+ only.

The price refers to the whole course, not to individual sessions, and entitles you to House of Illustration entry for the duration of the course.

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.

Gift Aid

The Gift Aid price includes a voluntary 10% donation which allows us to claim back 25% of the total price paid. This small donation makes a huge difference to a charity like ours which receives no public funding – thank you! UK taxpayers only. Find out more at our Gift Aid page.