Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Book Illustration 2
Academic Year
Semester 2
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Semester assessment  Portfolio: 5 equally weighted projects  100%
Supplementary Assessment Supplementary assessment  Portfolio: 5 equally weighted project, different from above  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

To find creative solutions to specific briefs, working in styles and media appropriate to the requirements of the set texts, and mindful of the intended target audience;

To establish a disciplined and systematic approach to tackling the brief: e.g. mind’s eye sketches, picture research, reference photographs, thumbnail compositions, colour studies and full-size preparatory drawing leading to the finished illustration;

To consider the importance of typographic design, the relationship between image and text, and the page layout;

To demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary illustration practice as well as an awareness of how your practice stands in relation to that of contemporary practitioners;

To design and produce an illustrated book, or an e-book, or a suite of illustrations for a book, through a tutor-negotiated self-directed project.

Brief description

As well as seizing and maintaining the readers’ imagination, the illustrator’s role is that of communicating ideas through images that both complement and enhance the text. In so doing, the illustrator endeavours to illuminate, inform, entertain or incite polemic by interpreting visually the written word. Through a varied and exciting series of set ‘commissions’, students engage with the materials and techniques of illustration: drawing and painting for reproduction, digital imaging, typography, and page layout design. Students conceive, design and execute an illustrated book, e-book or suite of illustrations, objectifying and articulating the criterion that determine their choice of subject, the relationship between the illustration and text, and the appropriateness of the interpretation and techniques employed to the intended audience. Drawing is central to illustration as it enables the student to express their ideas. It is vitally important in the student’s development of a personal visual language. Keeping a sketchbook helps students to develop and refine their visual awareness and literacy. In sketchbooks, students examine the world through drawing—it is fundamental to the activities of seeing, thinking and reasoning. Illustration students will be encouraged to develop technical fluency, a personal vision, distinctive style and a broad overview of contemporary illustration. [For students who wish to specialize in illustration, it is recommended that they sign up for the complementary art history module AH30510 Drawn to Order: British Illustration since 1800.]


This module aims to provide a technical grounding in the materials used and techniques employed in book illustration. It is taught simultaneously to AR21820 Illustration 1. It comprises the four assignments for Illustration 1 plus a tutor-negotiated self-directed project to design and produce an illustrated book, or an e-book, or a suite of illustrations for a text of the student’s own choice. Through prescribed ‘commissions’ students learn to make illustrations with a consideration for the method of reproduction. The role of illustration as well as the functions of the illustrator, typographer and book designer will be examined through the study of both private and commercial press publications from the School of Art collections. As an exercise in observational drawing from life, students will be encouraged to maintain and make daily contributions to a sketchbook. In consultation with staff during individual tutorials, students devise and sustain a program of self-directed study within a realistic timetable for the completion of projects. The module promotes and encourages creative thinking as well as professional standards, laying the groundwork for a career in a highly competitive market.


  1. Picture This: module overview, assessment explained.
  2. From Observation to Imagination: concepts, setting the scene and character development.
  3. Making Your Mark: black and white illustration.
  4. Book Illustration Now: trends in contemporary practice.
  5. Seeing - Thinking - Reasoning: keeping a sketchbook.
  6. Career Opportunities: former SoA illustration students and their practice.
  7. The Bottom Line: artistic anatomy for the illustrator.
  8. Type Matters!: a point of design.
  9. Front Cover: the art of the jacket.
  10. Understanding Illustration: presentation by a practicing illustrator.


This module is at CQFW Level 5