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Masterclasses

Masterclasses are day-long sessions that give mentees the chance to learn about and develop skills in key elements of children’s illustration, and to explore new techniques and ways of working. Masterclasses are delivered by university tutors, children’s illustrators and publishing professionals, often working in pairs or trios to bring multiple perspectives to the subject. Many of the masterclasses involve illustrators and publishers who have worked together on books and will include a focus on those books, offering unique insights into the collaborative processes involved in publishing successful illustration.

Illustration (c) David Roberts
Illustration (c) David Roberts

Character Design & Development

Developing well-rounded, believable and relatable characters – whether human, animal or other – is a fundamental skill of the children’s book illustrator. Mentees will learn about what makes successful characters, look at how they evolve, and experiment with characters of their own.

Where
Camberwell University of the Arts, London

When
15.01.2020

With
David Roberts (Illustrator); Libby Hamilton (Anderson Press); Nicolas Burrows (Camberwell University of the Arts)

Animal Illustration

Animals feature heavily in children’s illustration, ranging from anthropomorphic and biological to the cute and sentimental. Mentees will explore a diversity of animal illustration and learn techniques to bring animals to life for young readers.

Where
Nottingham Trent University

When
29.01.2020

With
Rob Biddulph (Illustrator); Kate Burns (HarperCollins); Jenna Alldread (Nottingham Trent University)

People Illustration

Illustrating people, whether realistic or caricature, is essential to all forms of children’s illustration from picture books to non-fiction. Mentees will explore a range of approaches to creating believable people including drawing from models, reference material, and the imagination.

Where
Nottingham Trent University

When
30.01.2020

With
Sara Ogilvie (Illustrator); Jane Buckley (Simon & Schuster); Sarah McConnell (Nottingham Trent University)

Place, Atmosphere and Environments Illustration

Evoking a sense of place and setting the mood to create the right backdrop for your characters is crucial to illustrating fictional and factual stories. Mentees will look at different types of contexts and gain new insights into cultivating atmosphere for young readers.

Where
Camberwell University of the Arts, London

When
26.02.2020

With
Hannah Peck (Illustrator); Andrew Biscomb (Scholastic); Matthew Hawkins (Camberwell University of the Arts London)

Image Construction

This essential masterclass sets out the fundamental techniques involved in creating pictures that work. Mentees will explore perspective and proportion, and create their own reference images to draw from.

Where
Birmingham City University

When
07.03.2020

With
Helen Wheeler (Birmingham City University)

Sequential Narratives

You don’t have to be a writer to be a children’s illustrator, but you do need to know how to tell a story well. Mentees will learn the key ingredients in constructing compelling sequential narratives, including the interplay between image and text and working across double-page spreads.

Where
University of Hertfordshire

When
13.03.2020

With
Nadia Shireen (Illustrator); Steph Jones (Penguin Random House); Thomas Cushieri (University of Hertfordshire)

Developing Writing & Working with Writers

Acquiring a good grasp of writing processes and knowing how to work effectively with children’s writers enhances an illustrator’s potential. Mentees will learn about levelling language, producing storylines and plotting narrative structures, and the skills and challenges involved in interpreting and complimenting a writer’s words through illustration.

Where
Oxford University Press

When
30.04.2020

With
Maxine Howells (Oxford University Press)

Technique: Gouache & Acrylic

Children’s illustrators work in a huge variety of media, often developing their own signature techniques and styles. Mentees will focus on the technique of gouache & acrylic and those children’s illustrators who use it well.

Where
University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury

When
01.07.2020

With
John Dargan (University for the Creative Arts)

Illustration (c) Nadia Shireen
Illustration (c) Nadia Shireen

Technique: Papercut & Collage

Children’s illustrators work in a huge variety of media, often developing their own signature techniques and styles. Mentees will focus on the technique of papercut & collage and those children’s illustrators who use it well.

Where
University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury

When
02.07.2020

With
John Dargan (University for the Creative Arts)

Technique: Watercolours

Children’s illustrators work in a huge variety of media, often developing their own signature techniques and styles. Mentees will focus on the technique of watercolours and those children’s illustrators who use it well.

Where
Birmingham City University

When
23.07.2020

With
Joel Mercer (Birmingham City University)

Technique Surgeries

A range of additional ‘surgeries’ will be offered in year two so that mentees can further hone their skills to enrich their practice as they work on their final literature brief. Surgeries will be available to choose from by autumn 2020.

Where
Various

When
Autumn 2020

With
Various

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