Developing Children’s Picture Books

This workshop will guide students through a creative and explorative process via the mediums of collage, drawing, storytelling and creative writing, to make a picture book.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • display experience and confidence in both the narrative and visual creative journey of developing a children’s picture book;
  • research and explore concepts and visual ideas to successfully inform a narrative and sequential imagery project;
  • explore the process of creating an effective visual narrative;
  • through a series of briefs and creative writing exercises develop skills and practical knowledge of writing and illustrating a picture book.

Developing Children’s Picture Books

Room G.09/G.10, Thomson's Land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh
Start date
3 days
Day(s) and Times(s)
Wed 2 - Fri4 Aug, 9.30am - 4.30pm
Subject Area
Katarzyna Matyjaszek
Room G.09/G.10, Thomson's Land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh
Time of Day
  • Research and sketchbooks - Developing concepts and visual vocabulary for picture book projects;
  • Character development exercises and storytelling interview techniques;
  • Learning basic plot and exploring the knot in the narrative through creative writing exercises;
  • Sequential imagery and storyboarding;
  • Writing the story and exploring the language – rhythm, sound, assonance, alliteration, repetition;
  • Exploring process and techniques in order to develop a visual language for the book.


This course 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. Students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor who will suggest follow up reading, research and practice to support their studies. Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one-to-one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

Core Readings

Salisbury, M., 2006. Illustrating Children’s Books: Creating Pictures for Publication. London: A&C Black.
Hellige, H., Klanten, R., 2011. Little big books. Illustrations for children’s picture books. Berlin: Gestalten.

Blake, Q., 2013. Words and Pictures. London: Tate Publishing
Bologna Illustrators of Children’s Books, Annuals. Bologna: Bologna FiereWeb S.r.l.
Athens and London: University of Georgia Press.
Salisbury, M., Styles, M., 2012. Children’s Picturebooks. The Art of Visual Storytelling. London: Laurence King Publishing.

Web Sources

Childrens Illustrators
Illustration Friday
Seven Impossible Things - Blaine

Materials and equipment provided for students as part of the course and included in course fee:

  • cutting mats
  • access to light box
  • cartridge paper
  • black Indian ink
  • a small selection of drawing and painting tools;

Essentials Materials and equipment students will need to provide themselves:

  • an A4-sized sketchbook
  • 2B, 4B and 6B pencils
  • a dipping pen and a drawing nib
  • a selection of cheap watercolour brushes
  • a few sheets of A2 or A1 heavy or light-weight cartridge paper and coloured paper according to student preference.
  • a selection of recycled newspapers and other materials according to student preference.
  • a selection of drawing materials such as fine-liners, watercolours, acrylics or colour pencils depending on individual projects.
  • craft knife, scissors, masking tape, putty rubber and a ruler.

If you feel you have specific requirements to enable you to study with us, please contact our Student Support Team by email or by phone 0131 650 4400 to arrange a confidential discussion. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010.