Illustrating People with Sara Ogilvie & Jane Buckley: 19 June & 2 July

Illustrating People with Sara Ogilvie & Jane Buckley: 19 June & 2 July

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Masterclass: Illustrating People – the Nosy Parker’s Guide with award-winning illustrator Sara Ogilvie and art director Jane Buckley

About this event

Over two half-days you’ll learn how to capture detail from body language to develop your characters and evolve your illustration style.

No matter how simple or complex your illustration style, observation and capturing detail from body language is vital in making authentic, convincing characters and narratives that readers can emotionally connect with. Over two half-days of playful exercises and real-life assignments you’ll explore facial expressions and body language, draw from life and memory, and evolve characters, interactions and scenes with humour and empathy. Involves homework between sessions. All you’ll need to bring is a sketchbook!

The first session on Sunday 19th June will be delivered in-person at Discover Children's Story Centre in London. The second session on Saturday 2nd July will be delivered online only.

If you are unable to join the first session in-person, we are happy to accommodate online attendance. Please email if you wish to join online once you have purchased your ticket.

During the first session of this Masterclass, you will learn:

  • About the picture book process and industry with two experienced professional collaborators from both the illustrator and art director perspective
  • The value of keeping a sketchbook and gathering unique first hand reference
  • The benefits of observational drawing to improve capturing facial expressions and body language through in-class drawing practice.

During the second session of this Masterclass, you will learn:

  • How to understand techniques to further develop expression and relatable personality qualities for characters in a picture book context
  • How to effectively use observational study (from your homework task from the first session) to create believable characters - e.g protagonists, adversaries, sidekicks
  • How to bring your character to life, grow their world and develop interactions within a scene or action sequence.
Illustrating People with Sara Ogilvie & Jane Buckley: 19 June & 2 July image


  • Sara Ogilvie is an award-winning illustrator and printmaker. In 2010, her first picture book Dogs Don’t do Ballet with writer Anna Kemp was published for Simon & Schuster. It led to a BookTrust’s Best New Illustrators award in 2011 which paved the way for ten years of successful picture book collaborations, picking up recognition on shortlists including the Roald Dahl Funny prize, Sainsbury's Picture Book awards, and the Waterstones Children's Prize. This year The Hospital Dog, in collaboration with Julia Donaldson, won the Indie Book Prize in the picture book category. Izzy Gizmo, written by Pip Jones, is currently being animated and orchestrated for Music in the Round based in Sheffield.
  • Jane Buckley - With over twenty years’ experience in children’s publishing, Jane has worked for a wealth of publishers including Penguin Random House, Little Tiger Press, Kingfisher and Dorling Kindersley. Throughout her career she’s worked with a variety of award-winning illustrators such as Benji Davies, Sara Ogilvie, Liz Pichon and Kate Hindley. Jane started her journey studying Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University, as a painter and film maker with a keen eye for a good story and, as a result, the picture book world soon beckoned. Through her determination and hard work, she now finds herself as the 2021 British Book Awards Designer of the Year winner and Art Director of Picture Books and Novelty at Simon & Schuster UK.

Who: All aspiring illustrators, 18 and over, with an interest in children's book illustration and for more experienced artists looking to try something new


  • Sunday 19th June and Saturday 2nd July 2022, 13.00 - 17.00 BST


  • Discover Children's Story Centre, 383-387 High St, London E15 4QZ or online if you are unable to attend in person (Sunday 19th June 2022)
  • Online (Saturday 2nd July 2022)
  • £90 - Early Bird [if booked by Sunday 10th April 2022]
  • £110 - General Admission [if booked from Monday 11th April 2022]

Ticket price includes Eventbrite booking fee. Tickets to this event are non-refundable.

To find out more about our other Pathways Plus courses, visit our Pathways website.

Pathways Plus is a series of Masterclasses and Short Courses for all aspiring illustrators, delivered by award-winning illustrators and highly-experienced children's book publishers. The courses provide an amazing opportunity to learn how to illustrate children's books from the best in the industry as well as giving participants a real insight into the world of children's publishing.

Pathways Plus courses can be taken as one-offs or as a package and have been developed by the same team who created Pathways Into Children's Publishing, a unique, highly-acclaimed two-year professional training programme for aspiring and emerging illustrators.

Acclaim for Pathways Plus courses:

'A great experience'

'Fun, interactive and insightful'

'The author and illustrator made the effort to attend to everyone and answer our specific queries... they were incredibly friendly and great tutors who are open and honest about what they knew'

'Having that author/illustrator and art director insight was the best thing'

'A great opportunity for networking and exchange of ideas'

All Pathways Plus courses involve:

  • professional advice
  • shared insights and experiences
  • practical tasks
  • creative guidance
  • resource-sharing
  • interaction with tutors and participants
  • critical feedback
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