Children's books – from sketchbook to bookshelf with Simon Bartram

Ref: S2D33609

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Places available

About this course

Explore the process of making a children's book, from developing initial ideas and thumbnail sketches to the creation of final artworks. You will concentrate on the relationship of text and image and your tutor will explain each step of his working journey.

Course Description

This course will explore the process of creating a children’s picture book. Each stage, from conceptual sketchbook drawings to finished print quality artwork will be discussed in detail. The sessions will focus on the relationship between words and pictures and how they complement each other to produce a strong story in which the reader is invested. Character development, story boards and artwork techniques will also be focused upon.

Your tutor will show samples of his own work, including sketchbook drawings, roughs, thumbnail layouts and finished painted artworks. He will give a demonstration of his techniques and use of materials and he will answer any questions you may have.

You will have a chance to develop your own children’s book character. Your tutor will give one-to-one tuition and set a small project incorporating the stages of development that have been covered.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply some paper to get you started.

What students need to bring

  • Drawing materials, waterbased paints, brushes, palette
  • Sketchbook for ideas

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials including drawing materials, paints, brushes and paper are available in the shop.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Simon Bartram

Simon Bartram studied illustration at Birmingham Polytechnic. He has written and illustrated several children’s books and worked as a portrait painter and fine artist. He has delivered many illustration workshops for children in schools and performed at many book festivals. He works from his home studio in the north-east of England.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

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