Online Course: Introduction to Creating Picture Books (Evening Version)

Learn the essentials of creating successful picture books for 0-6 year olds over 10 weeks with Claire Alexander (evening version).

When, Where

  • Zoom

Learn how to create picture books with contemporary market appeal on this intensive online evening 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 10 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.

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 approaching 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 (please note that all timings are BST).
  • We use Padlet for our courses, where all course materials will be held, including video lectures, recordings from each week and a student gallery for uploading your artwork between sessions for support, peer review and tutor feedback.  Recordings remain available to participants until two weeks after the last session.
  • 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:

  • 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

Experience: No prior experience needed.

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 a 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. Read our Q&A with Claire.

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

“Very well planned and thought out. Felt a good sense of progression as each lesson built on the last. Very inspiring and really enjoyed it!” 2019 participant

Course dates and booking:

This course runs for 10 weeks: Wednesdays 21 April – 30 June 2021, 7-9pm BST. No class during half term on 2 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.

This is the evening version of the course. There is also a separate lunchtime version of the course this term.

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£467.50 £467.50
Full 10 week online evening course for adults£425.00 £425.00

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.