Drawing and Painting for Book Illustration

Ref: C3743716

Apply your artistic skills to a personal design project such as book illustration, card design or personalised invitations. Drawing and watercolour paints will be used mainly also pens pencil, crayons or inks. Painted images can be scanned and manipulated on a PC. but that is not part of the weekly sessions. This is a practical course with a large degree of discussion of ideas and contributing suggestions to each other to facilitate communication and self expression. We will examine a range of artists illustrations and explore techniques within the work. Some studies can be made of these images- before deciding on a personal project. Students will be expected to build up a small collection of work from each session and share ideas with the others in the class in a brief presentation. It is hoped that this will be a supportive experience and will equip the student with ideas for the future.

Course aim

Explore the work of a range of 20th Century Book illustrators with a view to designing some personal responses to the work. Other starting points will include illustrating a poem and understanding the design process.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • The enjoyment of printed books is desirable. Whatever your drawing skills it should be all about self expression and getting your ideas down on paper.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explore a range of Illustration by 20th century artists. Make studies in a range of watercolour or drawing media.
  • Study the effects of some Illustrators in a range of techniques. Try out certain effects through a small 'copy' of style.
  • Apply tracing techniques to ensure continuity between images.
  • Create a personal project. Illustrate a poem, design an invitation, or create a greetings card.
  • Discuss ways of printing, and some thoughts on the price of commercial printing.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • You will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time
  • You will be encouraged to explore your ideas and to share them with others. There will be some demonstrations of painting and drawing techniques. We will discuss and analyse the effectiveness of other illustrators and apply some to our own work.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • You should bring a good sketch book- watercolour paper quality if you like painting. Smoother paper- good quality cartridge if you prefer drawing pen work. Some paints and drawing pen or pencil.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Try to think about what kind of illustrator you are. Do you like a particular syle? Use the library to help you explore these ideas.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Self- publishing or other commercial projects. Making personalised greetings cards.

Download full course information sheet

Drawing and Painting for Book Illustration

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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