Design a Children’s Book


COURSE DATES: Thursdays, 18th April - 30th May 2024

TUTOR: Rachael Ball


TIMES: 6:00pm – 9:00pm


FEE: £270

LOCATION: Art Academy London, 165A Mermaid Court, SE1 1HR

In this exciting course you’ll be able to combine both writing and illustrating to create your own engaging children’s picture book.

In the first five weeks of the course you will focus on:

  • Writing the first draft of your story
  • Developing a story arc
  • Designing your characters
  • Developing ideas for a page turning script and storyboard planning

In the second half of the course you will:

  • Focus on developing and refining your visuals
  • Experiment with coloured pencil, watercolour and mixed media to find the best way to bring your story to life

By the end of the course, you will have a final set of illustrations, a storyboard, several page layouts and an individual action plan to help you turn your story plans into a finished sample for a publisher.

After completing this course we recommend signing up for our Digital Illustration courses.

Recommend booking by: April 4, 2024

All Levels

All attendees must be aged 18 and over.

This course is suitable for all levels. Students can move at their own pace depending on their experience, with as much support from the Tutor as they wish. This means an student from the following experience levels can join this course:


Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience.

Beginner +

Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium.


Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.


Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.

Students must provide their own drawing materials. You will need to bring to your first lesson

  • 2B pencils
  • Eraser
  • any favourite drawing pens
  • A3 sketch pad, notebook
  • A3 portfolio with plastic sleeves.

Your tutor will advise you directly what to bring in subsequent weeks. Examples of previously attempted work is useful but not essential.       


Rachael Ball has been a cartoonist/ illustrator since 1988, an Art teacher from 2001- 2016. Since 2016 she has been running workshops on writing and illustrating unique stories for children and adults across London. Her first graphic novel, ‘The Inflatable Woman’ (published-Bloomsbury), was a Guardian Best Graphic Novel 2015 and was shortlisted for ‘The British Book Design and Production Award’ 2016. Her second book ‘ WOLF’ will be published by Self Made Hero in October 2018

Mermaid Court

165A Borough High Street London SE1 1HR tel: +44 (0) 207407 6969

Nearest Tube/ Rail: London Bridge or Borough (both a 5 minute walk).

Please note that London Bridge has two exits, the most direct route is to follow signs to “Borough High Street”.

We cannot store your bikes at the Academy, however there is on-street bike parking near our Mermaid Court site.

Students are welcome to use our Common Room/ The Barn during break times, where you can prepare hot drinks and/or food.

You are also welcome to make tea or coffee.

Terms and Conditions

  • By booking onto one of our courses you agree to our Short Courses Terms and Conditions.
  • You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment. Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.

Materials & Equipment

  • If you purchased a pack online this will be given to you on the first session of your course upon your arrival. Packs can be booked on our Materials Page or on this page when you book the course
  • Please don’t wear your best clothes as there is always a chance you will get messy. If possible bring an apron or overalls.
  • All artwork at the Academy MUST be taken home at the end of the course or it will be disposed of.
  • Please ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or is on silent during the class.
  • Health and Safety Guidelines will be provided to you a week before the start of your course.

Concessions and Discounts

We offer a number of concessions and discounts, please find more information on what we offer here.

Gift Vouchers

If you would like to purchase a gift voucher to be used on our courses then you can purchase these here.