Picture Book Illustration e-Course

/Picture Book Illustration e-Course
Picture Book Illustration e-Course 2018-02-11T15:19:16+00:00

The Picture Book Illustration e-Course

Join me in my 8-week Picture Book Illustration e-Course, where I walk you through the entire process of illustrating a picture book from start to finish.Working on the course manuscript – ‘Florence Fox Goes To School’ by Ben Whittacker-Cook – or your own story, weekly video lessons, live-feeds, printable resources, set projects and feedback (on coursework) from me and the online community, offer the support and guidance to keep you on-track while you develop your story. The course can be accessed online from a computer, table or phone.

I’ll be hosting two courses
in 2018 …
February 15 – April 5
and then again on,
October 4 – November 22.

During the 8-weeks, I’ll be sharing the process that I use when working on a story from generate ideas, designing character, developing a storyboard, all the way through to producing a final artwork. With weekly (video) lessons, printable resources, set projects that arrive in your inbox each Thursday (Auckland Time) for the duration of the course.

You’re encouraged to pace yourself with the weekly topic however, if for whatever reason you find yourself  falling behind, you’ll be able to revisit, rewatch and redo lessons as many times as you like, as well as having access to the online community.

“The picture book illustration course helped guide me go through the steps to illustrate a picture book. I believe I wouldn’t of done this so thoroughly on my own for my first time. It really helped me my confidence to know I can generate interesting and individual ideas, and I can work within a time schedule that professionals would work to. I really liked that we could choose to use a provided manuscript if we wanted to. I enjoyed this because I am not a writer and I felt excited getting a script I’ve never laid eyes on before to work through. (Just like a real illustrator would). Even though there were several students working on this manuscript, I felt we all had individual styles and unique idea generations to set ourselves apart from one another…”

Amy Calautti

Will I complete a picture book by the end of the course?

It can take me anywhere for 3-months to 3-years to illustrate a story, so I don’t expect anyone to finish a picture book in the 6-weeks. Instead, look at this course as an opportunity to get a real understanding of your story, to expand ideas, map out characters, develop a storyboard, to build your skillset and confidence as an illustrator and to connect with a like-minded community.

Do I need to draw like you?

The most exciting thing about picture books is that they offer a wide variety of styles and techniques.  Across the 8-weeks, I’ll be encouraging you to gather inspiration from a wide variety of sources to help you discover (or solidify) your own visual ‘voice’ … whatever that may be.

Whether your style is naive, emotive, graphic or cartoon-like, I want you to be able to celebrate you and to be able to bring this to your story. During the course I’ll be drawing and demonstrating with my illustration style – because thats what I am most comfortable with. If you’re still in the process of exploring illustrations styles, you may find your work influenced by me as your work through the lessons and projects. This is perfectly natural, and its all a part of the learning process. Eventually, as you gain more confidence you’ll learn ways to translate what I teach and make it your own.

What does the Picture Book Illustration e-Course offer?

  • Cohesive weekly videos sessions.
  • Weekly feedback from your online community (and me) throughout the duration of the e-course.
  • Ongoing community support from other PBIC members that will continue even after the e-course is complete.
  • Free access to some of my Skillshare classes.
  • A marketing feature in the Picture Book Illustration e-Course Showcase video.

The Online Community

A key part of the PBIC success is the online community, designed only for students who have taken part or are taking part in the Picture Book Illustration e-Course. 

As soon as you’ve enrolled, you’ll receive a ‘Welcome Pack’ along with an invitation to join the online community. This is a ‘secret’ Facebook group, where you’ll be encouraged to share your course-work and engage with fellow students. Once you’ve completed the course, you’ll then be invited to join the Alumni Facebook group offering ongoing support and networking. 

I’ll be popping in at least one day a week (for the duration of the course) offering feedback and the occasional ‘live’ feed.

Through their work, posts, comments and feedback, here’s what previous participants had to say about their 8-week ‘Picture Book Illustration e-Course’ adventure.

Course Outline

WEEK ONE offers an overview of the course, its online community and how I got started. I then take you through the physical mechanics of a picture book, discussing layout, format and the things you’ll need to consider before starting work on your story. I then show you how to gather inspiration, showing you how to organise your collections into workable resources.

WEEK TWO is all about designing your main character. Walking you through a process that will have you listing traits, exploring different face and body types. Exploring animal, anthropomorphic and human possibilities while designing multiple character options. 

WEEK THREE I’ll show you how to develop a character map. As picture book illustrators, you’ll need to be able to draw your characters over and over and in multiple positions. A character map not only helps you understand what your characters looks like from every angle, but it also helps keep characters consistent throughout the story.

WEEK FOUR we start developing our thumbnail sketches, jotting down ideas quickly and easily, looking at our visual stories as a whole and learning how to use different layouts, text breaks and illustrations to influence the pace, rhythm and flow of your story.

WEEK FIVE & SIX is all about storyboarding, working your thumbnail sketches into a larger storyboard format. Adding in detail all the while learning about composition and the need to consider both the image and the text. As well as picture book formats, I’ll also discuss setting and how this can dramatically change the tone and mood of your story.

WEEK SEVEN is when you set up your final illustration, keeping in mind crop-marks, bleed, the gutter, cleanliness and most importantly readability. Discussing different illustration techniques  then applying them to your final artwork.

WEEK EIGHT is the final week. By now, you have designed a character, developed a storyboard and produced a final artwork for your story, sharing your journey with your online community. So, to wrap things up, we will be discussing “What Next?”

PBIC Showcase

Following the completion of the Picture Book Illustration e-Course, you’ll be invited to submit illustrations to feature in the Picture Book Illustration e-Course Showcase, celebrating illustrations created over the 8-weeks. The showcase will be posted and shared across multiple online platforms.

“I loved the Picture Book Illustration e-course. Picture book illustration has been a dream of mine for a very long time. I have looked into many art and design courses, but found nothing as specifically geared to illustrating and the process of illustrating a picture book as this course. Nina was a wonderful instructor who shared her knowledge and experience and took us through the process of illustrating a picture book from beginning to end, through very clear video tutorials. Nina was extremely supportive and accessible throughout the course and gave very personalized feedback. The community formed through the course became an integral part, we became each other’s cheer squad and support network who helped and encouraged each other throughout the course. This was an invaluable part of the course and provided opportunities for learning from each other beyond many of our original expectations. Overall, I personally am extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate in this course and have learnt so much. It has been a life changing, turning point for me and I would absolutely jump at the chance to participate in another course with Nina Rycroft in the future.”

Belinda Ryan

Who Can Enrol?

The Picture Book Illustration e-Course is open to all levels as it is designed to allow you to take your individual skill set and build on that.

You may have no art experience, just a great story idea or you may like to learn how to translate your fine art, etchings, collage, appliqué etc … into the picture book format. Perhaps you are an animation or design student, wanting to up-skill or break into the publishing market with a comprehensive portfolio piece. Or maybe you’re looking to self-publish or to find a publisher. You might be working on a competition piece or perhaps you’ve just signed your first picture book contract and you’re looking for some guidance.

Either way this course is the perfect accompaniment for your creative project, designed to keep you on track, expand your story ideas and offer support while you to develop your project.

How Do I Enrol?

If you’d like enrol send your email address to nina@ninarycroft.com stating …

  • How you heard about the course
  • what you hope to get out of the course, and
  • whether you’ll be working on your own text or the course manuscript.

Numbers are limited, so to secure your spot, you’ll need to pay US$247.00 in full. Once you’ve emailed me, I’ll send you a ‘Payment Request’. As soon as the payment has gone through, you’ll get an invite to the online community.

“It was the best thing I’ve done for myself all year. Quality and intuitive instruction. Nina not only guides you through everything but has a way of teaching that makes you feel like you can accomplish whatever the task is. She gives you the unique tools and insight from her many years as an illustrator to be able to break down the process into manageable pieces. I loved it. I would do it again.”

Nichole Wade

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