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Illustration 1: Key Steps in Illustration

Course Level: 1 (HE4) | HE Credits: 40 | Approx. Duration: 12 months at 8hrs/week


This course introducing Illustration explains the processes involved in working to a brief. This includes generating ideas, visual research and finding visual solutions. You will investigate different materials and techniques, explore audiences and learn to communicate visually within a range of formats in publishing, editorial and design. In addition to sketchbooks where you will continue to develop drawing skills, you will keep a learning log where your visual research and creative enquiry will be documented.

You will be encouraged to study and learn from historical and contemporary practice within art, design and illustration to gain an informed, critical understanding of the context in which your own imagery is made.

Christian Lloyd on ‘Key Steps in Illustration’

Christian Lloyd on ‘Key Steps in Illustration’ from Open College of the Arts on Vimeo.


  • Demonstrate the process of ideas generation, development and communication
  • Understand the properties of a range of media and appropriately select and employ materials and techniques to create artwork.
  • Work within pre determined parameters in response to given illustration briefs
  • Provide evidence of critical reflection and understanding of the work of other artists and illustrators.
  • Participate in the direction and design of their own learning experience through the selection of projects and themes, reflecting on these choices and individual development through the learning log.


On satisfactory completion of the unit you will be able to:

  • present creative ideas and visual outcomes, demonstrating an awareness of own voice as an illustrator
  • generate ideas and visual research in response to a range of illustration projects
  • apply a range of drawing and image-making skills creatively
  • demonstrate a broad contextual understanding of contemporary and historical illustration practices.

Course content

  • Ideas: Interpreting words, visual research, creative thinking and problem solving
  • Image Development: Composition, viewpoint and visualisation
  • Working processes: Media usage, from roughs to artwork
  • Context: Audience, contexts and formats, historical and contextual research

Unit Leader

Judy Brown

Unit Leader for Illustration 1: Key Steps in Illustration

Judy Brown profile image

“Over the years, I have worked with a wide range of publishers both in the UK and Europe, illustrating over 100 children’s books. Since graduating from Kingston University in 1985 with a BA Hons in Illustration, I have been working full time as a freelance illustrator using both traditional methods and digital media…”

Read the rest of Judy’s profile here