Course Description

AUGUST – Children’s Picture Book Course

Adrienne Geoghegan’s iLLUSTORi Academy

Children’s Picture Book Illustration Course

Monday 26th August to Friday 30th August 10 am to 6 pm each day.

Includes lunch and refreshments.

This one-week iLLUSTORi Academy course is designed for aspiring, emerging or lapsed illustrators and picture book makers. It is also suitable for those in the areas of graphic design or fine art, who wish to expand their skill set.  Illustrators looking to tailor their portfolio to target children’s book agents and publishers will also benefit.
You will develop new portfolio pieces with a focus on narrative.

At the end of this course: Students will: have a greater understanding of the current marketplace for children’s book illustrators, and the ability to create picture book layouts. Students will complete character development in sketchbooks, thumbnail sketches, for a given narrative a storyboard and, 2-4 finished illustrations,

Taught by published artist, and writer Adrienne Geoghegan. Lunch and refreshments included in the price. 

Materials: Everyone works a bit differently so there is no firm material list. You will need to have a sketchbook, things to draw with, and ‘colours’ at the bare minimum. Throughout the course, you may want to experiment with other drawing materials, and you might want to use nice paper for finished pieces, all of which we will discuss the first night of the course.

Course Resources We will discuss books and websites in class that you may choose to explore during and after the course.

Attendance: All students are expected to attend classes regularly and promptly and for the duration of the scheduled week.

Please Note: Because this course is only five days long, students should be prepared to do homework outside of class, and be ready to discuss their work during in-class critique. All of the assignments will relate to the central theme of a narrative chosen by Adrienne but each student will put their own spin on it.

We cover most of the following:


  • Introduction to Picture Books Past and Present.
  • Examine the Works of Contemporary Illustrators
    and Discuss Techniques, Materials and Style.
  • Picture Book Genres.
  • Materials: an Overview of What Works Best
  • The Practice of Keeping Sketchbooks
  • Character Development Exercises working from the narrative supplied by Adrienne.


From the Narrative

  • Thumbnails – Visual Continuity and the Sequential Image.
  • Planning your Illustrations & Artistic Direction
  • Creating Appropriate Characters
  • Drawing from Reference & Stylising Characters
  • Experimenting with Your Mediums
  • Initial Thumbnail Sketches
  • Knowing What to Illustrate in the Text
  • What Shape Book: Square, Landscape or Portrait?
  • Designing Space for Text
  • Working Up from Your Thumbnails


From the Narrative

Start Your Picture Book Storyboard From Your Thumbnails

  • Developing `Consistency in Your Backgrounds
  • Developing `Consistency in Your Characters
  • Choosing Which Pages to Illustrate for Your Picture Book Proposal
  • Interim Critique
  • Create a Colour Palette for Your Book
  • Crop Marks Explained
  • Gutter Area Explained
  • Start Full-Colour Illustrations: Single or Double Page Spread.


From the Narrative

Continue with Full-Colour Illustrations: With Guidance From Adrienne

  • This is an Extensive Day of Illustration.
  • Interim Critique


From the Narrative

Continue with Full-Colour Illustrations: With Guidance From Adrienne

  • This is Our Second Extensive Day of Illustration.
  • After Lunch: Final Finishing Off and Final Critique.

Please Note:

This course may NOT adhere PRECISELY to what is written in the published list. To be realistic, courses sometimes deviate from this to allow for class needs and dynamics.

Course Code Adrienne Geoghegan PB
College Name Adrienne Geoghegan’s iLLUSTORi Academy
Course Category Arts, Crafts & Hobbies, Picture Book Making
Course Type Classroom Based
Course Qualification Certificate of Attendance
Course Location Dublin, Ireland
Location Postcode Dublin 2
Course Start Date 26th August 2019
Course End Date 30th August 2019
Course Fee €580
Course Duration 1 week
Course Times Monday - Friday 10am-6pm
Entry Requirements Please email me with an expression of interest plus 3 low res images of your artwork or sketchbook work. Upon receipt, I will inform you if a place is available based on bookings plus your work and suitability for this course.
Career Path Picture book writer, picture book illustrator, storyboarding, book covers, cartooning.
For information about Adrienne Geoghegan’s iLLUSTORi Academy, please visit our college page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Adrienne Geoghegan’s iLLUSTORi Academy

iLLUSTORi 4 Provost Row Palatine Square Dublin 7, The Garden Art Room Carmelite Centre Aungier Street Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland

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  1. Brilliant course!
    Cormac O'Meara 1st November 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Great course for anyone eager to learn all about creating a Picture Book from beginning a storyboard and manuscript to finish ‘publisher ready’ presentation. A thoroughly enjoyable brilliantly specialised course.

  2. Pivotal Moment in my Career
    illustori 1st November 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Enrolling in Adrienne’s Picture Book Boot Camp was a pivotal moment in my career. She offers endless industry advice and experience, every week was a pleasant experience with Adrienne’s positivity so engaging and encouraging. You still have to put the work in, but once you do it will be the most wonderful learning experience.
    Linda Byrne, Creative Director

  3. The courses were game-changers for me
    illustori 1st November 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I have attended both the Visual Art Boot Camp and the Picture Book courses from Adrienne and both were incredibly useful to spark my creativity, though keeping it within the restrictions of the briefs given. The courses were game-changers for me in a lot of ways. I’ve met the other founding members of the Blind Elephant Collective in our group at the Visual Art Bootcamp and now, almost a decade later, we’re still creating things together as an expanded group. It was at the Picture Book Course that I realized a career in Children’s Books was my true calling and there I’ve learned the foundation of creating a book, which helped me develop the skills I needed to enter, grow and thrive in the industry.
    Tarsila Krüse

  4. Amazing experience
    illustori 1st November 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I have been working in the illustration and animation industry for years but have always dreamt of doing my own book. This course has been a really enjoyable and amazing experience. I have learnt so much from the course. I would highly recommend Adrienne’s illustration courses for people with experience or without,
    Una Woods, Illustrator

  5. Adrienne offers guidance, insight and encouragement
    illustori 1st November 2018 at 3:08 pm

    I participated in Adrienne’s “Picture Book Writing and Illustration” course. Adrienne has developed a solid framework for the course, with goals, exercises etc. set each week – sufficiently challenging and fun to ‘stretch’ without being ‘overwhelming’! That said, participants can – and do – come to the course with often different backgrounds/experience levels… perhaps in writing, illustration or graphics design, or having tinkered with art-as-a-hobby, or indeed with no-formal-experience-in-either-writing-or-illustrating (that was me!). Adrienne has a wealth of very practical experience and skill, and offers guidance, insight and encouragement (the odd nudge when it’s needed) in just the right measures. Each student is free to choose (or indeed, invent) the medium for their main project, and Adrienne somehow manages to keep in the loop in terms where each individual is at, and where they need to ‘get to next’. And it’s done with a deceptively light touch that inspires confidence every time. In my book (sorry!), it’s a really worthwhile course for anyone looking to see how they might bring the germ of an idea beyond some early doodles/scratchings and produce something they could, if they wish, submit to a publisher for consideration… And all that with the practical and moral support to help you get there!
    John Lee,

  6. My favourite day of the week now
    illustori 1st November 2018 at 3:11 pm

    It was a big decision to enrol in Adrienne’s picture book course as I have to make a lengthy bus journey from Galway to Dublin My favourite day of the week now, and I can’t wait for the two and half hours of drawing, writing, discussion and networking. In the first half of the course we were given a comprehensive set of notes, designed week by week, to develop and improve our drawing, writing and confidence. Currently, at around half way through, we all have our own stories written and the process of designing and drawing our book begins. We all have our characters created and story lines developed – all that is left is getting down to bringing our books to life. I am enjoying every week with Adrienne and have a much deeper understanding of the book illustration process and the industry. If you have, like me, day- dreamed for years about writing your own picture book then this course with Adrienne could turn your plans into reality.
    Alison Maccormaic,

  7. Lots of handouts on practical information
    illustori 1st November 2018 at 3:14 pm

    I really enjoyed the picture book boot camp, it was a brilliant way to start honing my drawing style for an illustration audience rather than a fine art one, the briefs were exciting, fun and interesting and we got lots of handouts on practical information like pointers for picture books and editorial illustration as well as lists of illustrators to research. It was also good to get the feedback of the group. Since doing the boot camp I decided to go on and do a MA in illustration which I’m really enjoying’ Sheena Dempsey, Illustrator and Picture Book Maker.

  8. Learn and enjoy a lot both from Adrianne and from your classmates.
    illustori 1st November 2018 at 3:18 pm

    If you are interested in illustration, or you want to renovate your
    way of approaching the visual arts, this is your course! You are
    going to learn and enjoy a lot both from Adrianne and from your
    classmates. You will realize that you can create many more things
    and faster than you thought before.
    -Elizabeth Casua – Artist / Illustrator Self-Employed

  9. Indispensable Course
    Sarah Quick 19th June 2019 at 8:43 pm

    I loved this course! I was able to develop my story and illustrations to a level I couldn’t have foreseen. I enjoyed the process and feel more confident in my skills going forward!

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