Online Course: Illustrating People

Learn how to depict the human face and figure over 10 weeks on Zoom.

When, Where

  • Zoom


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

Taking inspiration from illustrators 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, further activities to explore between sessions and group discussions of work created with tutor feedback included.

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 real-time exercises, tutorials, demonstrations, group discussion and feedback.
  • We use Padlet for our courses, where all course materials will be held, including illustrated presentations and videos of demonstrations, recordings from each week and a student gallery for uploading your artwork between sessions for support, peer review and tutor feedback.
  • A minimum of 1-3 hours homework is required each week.
  • Participants will receive pre-course materials a week before the course start date and login details the day before – these will be sent to the email address linked to your Paypal account so please email as soon as possible from your contact email address if this is different to the one linked to your Paypal account.

You will need:

  • A 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
  • Black fine-line pens

Experience: No prior experience needed.

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. Read our Q&A with Sion.

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.”

“Sion is an excellent teacher! His comments are on point and his breaking down of the subject made it easier to comprehend and understand the key points.”

“The entire course has been well worth the money and I feel I've gained a tremendous amount from it. Every week I could really see myself improving. Sion is an excellent, calm teacher who everyone felt immediately at ease with. Thank you!”

Course dates and booking:

This course runs for 10 weeks: Thursdays 14 January – 25 March 2021, 6.30-8.30pm GMT. No class during half term on 18 February.

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

IMPORTANT: 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.

Any questions? Please check our FAQs.


Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Full 10 week online evening course for adults with Gift Aid£434.50 £434.50
Full 10 week online evening course for adults£395.00 £395.00

Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and subject to our general terms and conditions. Age 18+ only.

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

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.