Create a Picture Book Character

Create a picture book character with contemporary publishing appeal.

When, Where

Join author and illustrator Claire Alexander online for an afternoon delving in to the joyful world of picture books. By the end of the day you’ll have created your very own character with contemporary publishing appeal.

You’ll explore some successful characters from classic picture books and consider what exactly makes them interesting to everyone they need to appeal to: children, parents, carers, teachers and publishers.

You’ll learn how to write a character study based on an animal of your choice, then bring it to life in collage, creating a colour vignette with personality and charm.

This workshop is also a fantastic opportunity to gain insight into a successful picture book-maker’s own practice, finding out about Claire’s published projects and learning insightful tips on how to present your ideas to publishers.

What you'll need

  • A printer to print coloured pages, or a selection of coloured A4 paper
  • White A4 paper
  • Pen
  • 2B pencil
  • Coloured pencils
  • Rubber
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Blu-tac
  • Some images of an animal you would like to draw (you will receive more information on this a week before the workshop)

Experience needed

No experience needed. All levels welcome.

Need to know

This live online class will take place during one afternoon and include real-time exercises, demonstrations, group discussion and feedback.

Participants will receive Zoom and Padlet login details the day before the class – these will be sent to the email address linked to your Paypal account so please email as soon as possible from your contact email address if this is different to the one linked to your Paypal account.

About the tutor

Claire Alexander is an award-winning London-based author and illustrator with over 15 years’ experience of creating picture books and teaching her bespoke Picture Book courses. Her recent books include The Think-Up’s! and her third book in the ‘Ploofer’ series A Little Bit of Respect, which sits alongside A Little Bit of Courage and A Little Bit Different. Recent collaborations include illustrations for Emma Perry’s Puddling, and Sean Taylor’s Humperdink Our Elephant Friend and The Snowbear.

Read our Q&A with Claire.

Previous students

"Excellent teaching pace and content with a blend of learning for all types of students."

"Communicated process, examples and instruction clearly. Plenty of work time with good feedback and sharing."


Concessions are for students, those on income-supporting benefits (e.g. Universal Credit), and early career illustrators (under three years’ practice).

House of Illustration is a charity, and we want to everyone to be able to join our activities. If cost is a barrier please email us at to discuss payment options.

Gift this workshop

If you would like to gift a place on this workshop to someone, we can send you an e-ticket for them by email.

How it works

  • Buy a ticket below.
  • Forward your email booking confirmation to, along with the name and email address of the person you will be gifting it to.
  • We will send you a personalised e-ticket by email within 4 working days.
  • You can choose to print the voucher or email it to your recipient.