Languages for All
Short Courses
Your basket
Your account

Developing an Illustration Project (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

(Code VC007-304) • (0 classes) Course location to be confirmed •
Sorry, this course is cancelled

Course Summary

This course is designed for students who wish to create an ambitious personal illustration project.  Students can adapt a written story or series of poems to develop these into an involved illustration project or focus upon developing a non-narrative series of images and ideas, which can be visualized further into a series or a book. This course will provide the support for students to discuss and test out ideas using a range of traditional and non-traditional techniques, methods and concepts.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

It is recommended that students have passed Introduction to Illustration.

Special Information

This course will include a limited supply of basic papers and cards. However please do acquire the materials recommended for this course.

Materials you will need to bring to the first class:

  • An A4-sized sketchbook

  • A selection of drawing materials such as pencils, dipping pen, fine-liners or colour pencils according to student preference

In addition to the course fee, students are expected to provide the following list of indicative tools, materials and equipment:

  • An A4-sized sketchbook

  • 2B, 4B and 6B pencils

  • A dipping pen and a drawing nib (mapping nib is ideal)

  • A few sheets of A2 or A1 heavy or light-weight cartridge paper according to student preference

  • A selection of drawing materials such as fine-liners, watercolours, inks or colour pencils depending on depending on individual projects

Content of Course

Over the class sessions the course will cover:

1. An overview of the course and a short illustration brief.

2. Drawing and sketchbooks.

3. Ideas - If you had to create your project in one evening.

4. Research methodologies and developing ideas.

5. Research for your project and character development.

6. Sequential imagery with a short book brief.

7. Development and planning - materials and process.

8. Development and planning -  further exploration.

9. Individual work on final artworks - individual tutorials.

Teaching method(s)

The teaching will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration. Over the course, students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor.  Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

For work required to be undertaken after the class hours are complete, the course tutor will set students a ‘directed study plan’ which can be undertaken without the need for specialist workshops or access to models.

Directed study will include research into a range of suggested artists and their associated movements to engender a contextual awareness. Students are expected to demonstrate how their research has informed their work through annotated sketchbooks, a visual digital journal and practical outcomes. 

The Directed Study Plan will include preparing evidence of research and practical work to form an appropriate presentation for assessment.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to develop ideas from a personal or existing texts to create and extended a series of illustrations, supported by contextual research and references.

  • Show a confidence in using a range of established and experimental techniques to explore and inform visual ideas, developing a personal and visual language for a project.

  • Evidence appropriate judgement to document, select, edit and present a body of coherent works, expressing a concept or idea through a visual, illustrative form.


Core Readings


  • BAINES, P., 2005. Penguin by design: a cover story, 1935-2005. London: Allen Lane.

  • HYLAND, A. and Bell, R., 2004. Hand to Eye. London: Laurence King Publishing.

  • BLAKE, Q., The British Library and Laing Art Gallery, 2002. Magic pencil: children's book illustration today. London: The British Council.

  • NEW, J., 2005. Drawing from life: the journal as art. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

  • BLAKE, Q., 2005. In all directions: Travel and Illustration,  London: National Touring Exhibitions/Hayward Gallery

  • ZEEGEN, L., 2012. Fundamentals of Illustration. 2nd ed., Worthing: AVA Publishing.

Web Sources


Details of the Art and Design assessment requirements can be found on the short course website. Please click on the following link for more information: Submission and Assessment Information

Studying for Credit

If you choose to study for credit you will need to allocate significant time outwith classes for coursework and assessment preparation. Credit points gained from this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.