Illustrating a Children's Picture Book

6 weeks
Start Date
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Illustrating a Children’s Picture Book

Bestselling and prolific children’s book illustrator and author, Sarah McIntyre, guides you through the unwritten rules of children’s picture book illustration.

If you enjoy sketching for the young children in your life or if you’re an artist with an interest in children’s fiction who’s looking to shift your focus – then you may just have the makings of a children’s illustrator.

The course is suitable for complete beginners, but also for people who feel they need some extra know-how to succeed in finding a publisher for their work. It’s also suitable for artists and illustrators who have been working in other areas and media but now want to move into children’s book illustration.

The course content has been excellent. The way it’s built up week by week has been great and now we are at the end of that process, I can really see how it’s been constructed to equip a keen but inexperienced person like me to start to peep into the world of illustration.

Amy Skinner


Sarah McIntyre

Sarah McIntyre works as an illustrator and writer from her studio in south London. Her solo picture books include There’s a Shark in the Bath, Dinosaur Firefighters and The New Neighbours, and she’s worked with writers such as Giles Andreae (Morris the Mankiest Monster), Gillian Rogerson (You Can’t Scare a Princess!) and Alan MacDonald (The Prince of Pants). She also creates longer illustrated chapter books with her co-author Philip Reeve, such as Pugs of the Frozen North and Oliver and the Seawigs. She first got into publishing through comics, where she met her Jampires co-author David O’Connell. She’s delivered a TEDx talk on learning how to grow from our mistakes, spoken internationally at book festivals, and led a campaign called Pictures Mean Business, encouraging the book industry to credit illustrators properly for their work.


  • Video modules: Work through six modules comprising teaching videos and substantial notes from Sarah, including footage that demonstrates drawing techniques and ideas.
  • Illustration tasks: Weekly tasks will help you develop your technique, plan your story, sketch your thumbnail roughs, and create pencil roughs – culminating in illustrating your final artwork.
  • Resources & notes: Comprehensive teaching notes and reference materials include a reading list, a glossary of useful children's publishing terms, and a template showing how a children's picture book should be set out.
  • Professional feedback: An expert CBC editor will give brief written comments on several of the students’ practical assignments each week, with all students receiving 300 words of written feedback on their final task. Students are also given the option to purchase an end of course tutorial with an expert editor.
  • Student forum: Find your writing community on our private student forums. Upload your completed tasks, give and receive peer-to-peer feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your fellow students and the CBC team.


Our online courses are designed for flexible learning. Allocate your own study time and take part from wherever you are in the world. Each week, we recommend spending at least four hours on the course.

  • WEEK 1
  • WEEK 2
    Inspiration & ideas
  • WEEK 3
  • WEEK 4
  • WEEK 5
  • WEEK 6
    Next steps


In addition to the 400 words of written feedback that all students will receive on their final task from an expert editor (included in the course price), students will be given the option to purchase a tutorial to discuss their final task with their CBC editor.

  • CBC tutorial: For an additional fee of £95, you can have a 30-minute video or telephone tutorial with your editor to discuss your work.

Looking for our writing a children's picture book courses?

If your focus is on writing, take a look at our Writing a Children’s Picture Book course with David O’Connell. If you would like to develop as a writer and illustrator, why not enrol now for the combined course – Writing & Illustrating a Children’s Picture Book, which brings together the teaching materials from both courses at a discounted price.