Course Description

Image by Willow Dawson

This studio course explores the creative process of illustrating picture books for children. Students should learn key conceptual and technical skills to create effective and original illustrations. Topics include storyboarding, character design, composition, and colour theory. Classwork may be executed in an array of media including gouache, acrylic paint, pen and ink, watercolor, and collage. Students will also learn to digitize their illustrations using Adobe Photoshop. Studio work will be supported by technical demonstrations, presentations, and critique.


  • Understand the different types of children’s books and learn how to categorize their own ideas,
  • Familiarize the structure and terminology of a book,
  • Apply new knowledge and technical skills in their illustrations,
  • Implement different image/text relationships in their work.


"Willow Dawson exemplifies the true spirit of Continuing Studies. She is sensitive to the range of experiences and talents of each student. She is adaptable, well organized, and her selection of materials is enriching. There is a wonderful flow in her presentation style. Her enthusiasm and positive approach brings out the best in her students. She uses a collegial approach and makes good use of the online teaching platforms, engaging students in realtime and the discussion board chats. Willow goes the extra mile; her feedback is both nurturing and helpful. She is perceptive in assessing what each person's individual needs are and responding accordingly. Willow is approachable, open, and willing to adapt her ideas to the appropriate situations. She generously shares her knowledge and professional experience with both traditional and new design tools. I am grateful for this opportunity to grow professionally and as a person as the result of her thoughtful and engaging teaching style." – Student from Children's Book Illustration Studio, Spring 2021


Applies Towards the Following Certificates

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Section Title
Children’s Book Illustration Studio
Oct 02, 2024 to Nov 12, 2024
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Course Fee non-credit $500.00
Additional Fee(s)
Adobe CC $216.00 Optional
Required Software/Supplies
Students are responsible for purchasing their own supplies. Regular access to a computer with a webcam and microphone, high speed broadband internet connection, and a digital camera or smartphone is required. For online Adobe classes, students are responsible for purchasing their own software for class. Trial versions of the software are sometimes available on the company website, but at this time there are no discounts available for Continuing Studies students.
Section Notes

Course Supply List

Online courses are delivered in an asynchronous format through a series of tutorials and related assignments which students may complete at their own pace on our Learning Management System, Canvas. The instructor is available throughout the course time period for questions and discussions. Learn more about what to expect in a Continuing Studies online course at OCAD U.

Important: Online courses have firm start and end dates. Each assignment has its own deadline. Extensions are not granted.

As a Continuing Studies student, you will receive an OCAD U user account, which will grant you access to Canvas, and our on-campus WiFi network. Your Canvas account will be enabled one week prior to the start date of your course. Please log in at https://canvascloud.ocadu.ca. If you do not know your OCAD U User ID, please check your registration confirmation email. You can reset your password here: https://login.ocadu.ca/forgot. If you need further help, please contact us at continuingstudies@ocadu.ca

After enrolling in a course, please allow up to 5 hours for your student data to migrate to Canvas.

Please note that courses may fill up early or be cancelled due to low enrollment. Students are encouraged to register early, at least ten (10) days prior to the start date of the course.