Storybook Illustration

In the kitchen, from Koolibris Picture Wordbook, by Maiju Altpere
In the kitchen, from Koolibris Picture Wordbook, by Maiju Altpere.

Storybook Illustration

With Maiju Altpere

6-8:30pm Thursdays

10 February – 31 March 2022

$435 per person

Includes all materials. Select a classic children’s story that you want to illustrate (i.e. a fairytale or fable) and bring it along. Wear closed shoes and bring a drink and a snack.

We are committed to your safety. Workshops at Belco Arts are well ventilated and have a maximum capacity of 13 people, including the tutor. Individual workspaces are socially distanced, with masks and hand sanitiser readily available. We encourage workshop participants to be fully vaccinated, including booster vaccinations where possible, and highly recommend the use of masks when in workshops (even if not required by ACT health directives). If you have any concerns, please get in touch with us.

Do you love drawing, stories and storytelling?

Learn step-by-step how to illustrate a children’s story, using watercolour and mixed media techniques. Reinterpret a classic story in a fresh way, from working with text to brainstorming, concept sketching and experimentation.

Your illustrations could be framed as artworks, added to your portfolio, or even serve as a starting point for your own book!

Workshop Content

Week 1
Explore the concept of children’s book illustration and the main forms it can take. Learn to use conceptual and visual tools such as mind-mapping and mood-boarding to plan your illustrations, and basic watercolour techniques that will be the basis for subsequent mixed media explorations.

Week 2
Discuss the role of colour in children’s illustration and learn about the basics of how to use it. Define a colour scheme for your project, exploring different watercolour and mixed media techniques and building your reference collection of samples.

Week 3
Focus on developing characters for your project. Sketch the character(s) that will be part of your final illustrations. Create a character sheet that shows multiple views, poses and facial expressions of the character(s).

Week 4
The basics of page layout and composition. The participants will explore different composition possibilities for their illustrations by creating quick thumbnail sketches. By the end of the class they will have a number of concept sketches to choose from when drafting their master sketch(es).

Week 5
Learn the process and technique involved in drafting a master sketch. Complete a master sketch for each of your illustrations and trace it on tracing paper, ready to be transferred onto watercolour paper.

Week 6
Discuss different possibilities of image transferral. Learn how to use a light box and complete at least one full transfer for each of your illustrations. Trial different technique(s) and colours with your compositions before starting work on the final illustration.

Week 7
Working with your transferred images, chosen techniques and colours, you’ll commence work on your final illustrations. By the end of the lesson, you will have completed the underpainting and base layers for your illustration.

Week 8
Add final layers, fine details and finishing touches to your illustrations. Discuss how to recognise when the work is finished in order not to overwork the image, and how to look after and preserve it. Discuss looking towards professional approaches, such as building up a portfolio, approaching potential publishers, producing digital images, etc.

About Maiju Altpere

Maiju Altpere is an Estonian born visual artist, illustrator and animator who has lived in Australia since 1992. She has worked as an animator, illustrator, editor of a children’s monthly, ceramicist, printmaker, writer and translator. She has exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas.

Her illustrated projects include “Koolibri’s Picture Wordbook”(1993, presented at Frankfurt Book Fair) and most recently “Biniirr Bama Yuwalin” (2020). Most recently, she worked collaboratively with PAMA Languages Centre, creating illustrations and animation for teaching endangered aboriginal languages. She loves stories and storytelling, whether in words or in pictures, and her favourite subjects are children and nature.

More info

Please contact Belco Arts via email, or phone (02) 6173 3300.