The Picture Book Illustration e-Course
The Picture Book Illustration e-Course
Oct 3 – Nov 21, 2019
Join me in the Picture Book Illustration e-Course, where I walk you through the entire process of illustrating a picture book from start to finish. With weekly video lessons, live-feeds, printable resources, set projects and feedback (on coursework) from me and the online community, PBIC offers the support and guidance to keep you on-track while you develop your story. You can either choose to work on own story or the course manuscript, ‘Florence Fox Goes To School’ by Ben Whittacker-Cook.
As a self-publisher, I’ve found the course has meant that the quality of my work has jumped significantly. It’s made the investment of time and money extremely worthwhile.
How does it work?
During the 8-weeks, I’ll be sharing the process that I use when working on a story, from generating ideas, designing character/s, developing a storyboard, making a dummy book all the way through to producing a final artwork. Video lessons, printable resources and projects arrive in your inbox every Thursday 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.
Nina seems genuinely invested in each student’s growth and challenged us adjusting to the pace and ability of each student. I loved the breadth of the class and found the weekly emails to be filled with valuable content … This class was a treasure and has relit my passion and confidence for drawing and storytelling. I am truly grateful for the care, time, and expertise that went into this course. Sarah Davies
Will I complete a picture book by the end of the course?
It can take anywhere between 3-months and 3-years to illustrate a story, so I don’t expect anyone to finish a picture book in the 8-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 skill-set 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 that’s what I’m most comfortable with. If you’re still in the process of exploring illustrations styles, you may find your work influenced by mine 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 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…
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.
Before this course, I didn’t know how to consistently sustain a character image from one scene or action to the next — that was one of the things that frightened me most about venturing into children’s illustration — but Nina taught us how to … quickly and consistently develop our characters in different scenes and actions without losing their original character design, proportions, or personality. This has been a career-changing class for me, not only in the area of children’s illustration, but in all areas of my art.
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?”
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
How Do I Enrol?
If you’d like to enrol send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org stating …
- how you heard about the course
- what you hope to get out of the 8-weeks, 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$297.00 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.
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.
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