Planning a Non-Fiction Picture Book

Design a page for a non-fiction picture book.

When, Where

  • Zoom

SOLD OUT: if you missed out on a spot but would like to book on to a future edition of this course, please email

Learn how to display non-fiction information in an engaging way at this online workshop with illustrator Owen Davey.

You’ll design a page in a non-fiction book that works on a technical and practical level, but looks great at the same time.

Owen will guide you through the research, preparation, composition and drafting that goes into a successful non-fiction book.

While this workshop is focused on non-fiction, it will be full of transferable skills and tools that can be applied to a wide range of illustration projects.

What you’ll do

  • Learn which technical things to consider when laying out a page with text and images.
  • Explore different ways to convey the same information, and understand how these will be taken in by the reader.
  • Use compositional thumbnail illustrations to quickly map out how pace and flow will work in your book.
  • Use these skills to create one or more draft illustrations during the workshop.

What you’ll need

Whatever you use for sketching, e.g. pencil, pen, ink, paper, sketchbook, canvas or iPad.

This course is about preparation, so you shouldn’t need final artwork materials, but you may want them to hand.

Experience needed

Some experience of drawing would be helpful.

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

Owen Davey is an award-winning illustrator who has worked with clients including Google, Facebook, Sony, Lego, WWF and National Geographic. He is the lead illustrator on the award-winning app Two Dots. His picture books have been published in over 17 languages. His Fanatical About Books was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards and longlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal in 2020, while Bonkers About Beetles won Best in Show in the 3x3 Professional Show 2019.

Read our Q&A with Owen.

Previous students

100% of previous students rated Owen Davey's class as excellent.

"The content was exactly what I needed to know."

"Gave me a boost of inspiration!"

“The class was full of thoughtfully prepared content, including a huge number of inspiring examples, and gave clear direction without being dogmatic.”

“Owen was generous with the details about his process. I loved seeing his work and the work of others he admires. I also appreciated hearing about how he connected with his clients and agents –extremely useful for those setting out in a career in illustration, but also useful as a designer to see things from the illustrator's angle.”


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.

SOLD OUT: if you missed out on a spot but would like to book on to a future edition of this course, please email