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Online Course: Illustrating the Animal Kingdom

Capture animal form, movement and detail over 10 weeks with Sion Ap Tomos.

When, Where

  • Zoom


Discover how to capture animal form, movement and detail through a variety of methods and techniques over 10 weeks on Zoom with illustrator and educator Sion Ap Tomos.

On this informative and accessible course, you’ll draw, paint and collage everything from wild animals to domestic pets.

You’ll have the opportunity to depict your favourites while also developing an understanding of less familiar species through image-making.

Expect a balance of technical and conceptual advice with inspiration, experimentation and encouragement.

Whether you have trouble depicting animals and want technical guidance or simply love animals and want to focus on them creatively, this is the course for you.

During the course you will:

  • Explore the core anatomy of a variety of animals, including mammals, birds and insects and learn how to capture their basic body structures.
  • Explore key physical characteristics of different wildlife such as eyes, ears, heads, feet and wings.
  • Develop techniques to capture texture, pattern and detail.
  • Use collage to explore animal form and structure in fun ways.
  • Capture a sense of life and movement in animals.
  • Discover ways of working from photographic reference and your imagination.
  • Explore a variety of illustrative approaches from naturalism to simple and fun stylisations.
  • Experiment with composition to create heightened drama, intimacy and emotion.
  • 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 sharing of work online 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 (please note that all timings are BST).
  • We use Padlet for our courses, where all course materials will be held, including recordings from each week and a student gallery for uploading your artwork between sessions. Recordings remain available to participants until two weeks after the last session.
  • Participants will receive handouts 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:

  • Printer or second screen (for printing or viewing photographic reference material during class)
  • Colour paper or access to colour printer
  • 30+ sheets A3 or A4 cartridge/drawing paper (130gsm)
  • 10+ sheets A4 watercolour/heavyweight cartridge paper (200gsm+)
  • A4 layout/tracing paper
  • 3-5 waterproof ink black fine-line pens (various nibs)
  • 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B graphite pencils
  • Set of 10+ coloured pencils
  • Eraser
  • Pencil sharpener
  • 10+ colours watercolour set
  • Gouache/opaque paints (white, black and primary colours)
  • Waterproof black ink
  • 3+ round brushes (different sizes)
  • Knife/scissors
  • Glue

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.”

“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 22 April – 1 July 2021, 6.30-8.30pm BST. No class during half term on 3 June.

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.

Please download and read the Guidance for Participants document below before booking your place.

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£385.00 £385.00
Full 10 week online evening course for adults£350.00 £350.00

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.