Nicola Drake – Still Life

Today’s blog post is really interesting as it not only shows Nicola Drakes final painting but we can also show her preliminary study. Nicola is studying our Still Life Course and the object here was to experiment with neutral tones. Nicola has used some lovely neutral greys, purples and silver colours. Even the greens can be classed as neutral. All of these colours are set off by two red colours of the strawberry and cherries. We love the shine on the central object which reflects the colours and objects around it. Nicola created the charcoal preliminary drawing before starting to work our her composition which helped her work out her tonal values along with the light and shade of the piece. Congratulations Nicola on a fabulous still life!


Belinda Cullen – Watercolour!

Student Belinda Cullen has create the most wonderful watercolour painting which you can see below. We love the way that Belinda has created very soft wet in wet washes using a limited pallet.  Belinda has also utilised the light of the paper in the central area of the painting to bring out the shadows and patterning on the deer . She has then very cleverly painted the background darker behind using lighter negative shapes for the deer in the distance. Overall this is technically an excellent piece and we can see a lit of thought and preparation has gone into the process. We hope you like it too!

If you would like to learn to paint using Watercolour, why not head on over to our website and see what courses you might like to take –

Fiona Levings – Children’s Illustration Course

This fantastic illustration was created by student Fiona Levings. Maggy Roberts sent this over to the office along with Fiona’s comments about her Illustration. This has made us all laugh and we are thrilled to be able to share it with our readers. We are quite sure Fiona must have received top marks!

This particular image was inspired by a small, fluffy, large-eyed, baby-faced whirlwind of a garden-eating, roof-invading, pot-plant-smashing, fruit-stealing, window-breaking, sleep-destroying creature, otherwise known as a brushtail possum.

When one of these adorable fiends decides to make a home in your roof you can spend a lot of time (and sleepless nights) trying to help him out again … into just the right home, somewhere else, in a tree, where he belongs and from which he will hopefully NEVER, EVER ROAM AGAIN. You may detect some personal experience involved in the inspiration for this one.

Fiona Levings
Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma

Shuddhodhan Mane

An excellent watercolour study for todays post by Portrait Course student Shuddhodhan Mane. We love the bold strokes and vivid colours, they make for a very three dimensional portrait. The skin tones have a wonderful warm glow.

We also appreciate the way Shuddhodhan has softened the edge line of the hair and side of the face, which blends nicely into the background. Avoiding harsh edges is often key in creating portraits of people and it has been achieved superbly here. Well done Shuddhodhan!

If you would like to learn how to paint portrait sin watercolour, why not head on over to our website to find out more…Painting Portraits in watercolour..

Shuddhodhan Mane 43590 portraits watercolour

Mike Foley 42781 cp

Below is a superb drawing by Coloured Pencil Course student Mike Foley. He has achieved excellent lighting within this scene. The use of bright / light colours and dark shadows and tones on the foreground branch, really exudes a summery feel. Possibly a little bit of an eerie feel in the drawing too. Could the house be empty….? We will leave this to your imagination. Let us know what you think!

Mike Foley 42781

Galina Arthur Portraiture Painting Online Art Course

Galina Arthur produced some amazing artwork while studying on the Portraiture Painting Diploma Online Art Course. These two paintings in acrylics show Galina working and practicing with the medium along with experimenting with colour for skin tones and clothing.

Texture is very important here and Galina experimented with textures for the full body portrait in the background. She worked out how to create a background which was not only a complimentary setting, but tones, colours and textures which didn’t take the focus away from the subject.

We love the paintings and hope that you do to!

Galina Arthur 42031 portraits

Galina Arthur 42031 portraits

Monique Bailey – Distinction!

Monique Bailey who studied with our fantastic tutor Spencer Hill on the Digital Illustration Diploma Course, has received her diploma. She was awarded a distinction for her superb artwork and achievements throughout the course. Monique had a photograph taken of her with her diploma and we are thrilled to be able to add it to our blog and social media. Monique emailed our Course administrator …….

Hi Alison,
Look what I received in the post…. My certificate!
Thank you so much,
Heaps of love all the way from sunny South Africa x

We wish Monique the best of luck with her future artwork and her art career too!


Burcu Alisan – Illustrating Children’s Books

Tutor Maggy Roberts has sent through another of her students pieces of artwork for inclusion on our blog. It is a wonderful illustration from student Burcu Alisan, who is studying our Illustrating Children’s books Course. Burcu said…

With this course I am hoping to learn more about and improve perspective, creating backgrounds, drawing and placing characters, objects in proportion creating detailed and interesting characters and compositions with more movements and emotion. Also to improve shading and colouring techniques as well as applying colour theory. I would like to gain a style that I feel comfortable working with resulting in gaining enough confidence to apply for jobs in the illustrating field, especially book illustration. I ahve been drawing since childhood…..and I would like to work as a processional illustrator.

We are sure that Burcu is on the right path with her illustration and Maggy our tutor will help and guide all the way.

Shani Ibgui – Digital Illustration Diploma

My name is Shani Ibgui and for the past year I have been taking the Digital Illustration Diploma Course with Spencer Hill.

For as long as I could remember creating art was my passion and ambition, I have also always had a deep appreciation to Animation and Cartoon (preferably Anime from Japan). Through taking this course I was able to combine my love for both subject and resulted with the direction I want to take with it.

The clear notes I was given were divided into sections that ended off with assignments, the way it was written made it easy to follow and taught me the fundamentals skills I required. I especially enjoyed creating the assignments after each subject applying all the new and interesting features I have learnt, even more so I enjoyed when I received my feedback.

The feedback was exactly what I needed to hear about my work as it was always filled with the right amount of constructive criticism, advice and humour.

The portrait above shows my first time ever creating a digital drawing that I gave in as an assignment. At the beginning I only worked with monochrome and had barely any knowledge of further tools other than the brush and rubber.

At the beginning I had only worked with applying colours and mild tones within the line art of the piece, when my tutor Spencer saw this kind of work he gave a positive feedback, but highly encouraged me not to work within the lines creating sections of colours but rather working over it. in this piece I tried to apply it and found it more successful. This was probably one of the best advice I was given by Spencer 🙂

The piece above was another one of my entry mid way through this course. Through this piece I had a major turning point in my Digital Illustration skills. I took in Spencer’s advice again on painting over the lines and playing with different colour palettes. as result I was able to achieve a more realistic result which I was proud of.

Though this was my first time ever interacting with computer art, over this past year I have really seen a huge jump in improvement with this subject of art and it is all thanks to Spencer Hill and his excellent course!

Through this knowledge I have been taught I was able to discover my ambition with art which is to become a Concept Artist as well as a Web Comic Creator. Within the coming years I will keep working on this skill and hope to produce work I can share with others to view.

I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is getting started with Digital Illustration and would like to work in that field as there is no better course than this one to kick it all off!

Charlotte Kaill – Illustrating Children’s Books

My name is CharlotteKaill and I am currently taking a course with the London Art College. I am half way through my Children’s Book Illustration course with Maggy Roberts and i’m loving it. It has helped me imagine characters and stories that I never thought I was capable of.
I signed up for the Children’s book illustration course because I love drawing and creating characters. I have always loved art ever since I was little as it runs in my family. My mum thinks my ability to create amusing characters is my strong point.
The piece below is one I recently submitted for the brief titled ‘Fiery Fred’ about a young dragon who can’t yet control his fiery breath. I find it really useful to document my process, as it helps me to learn from what I have done previously. When I start an assignment I take my learnings from the previous one so that I can turn my weaknesses into my strengths. I have created a blog post for ‘Fiery Fred’ which details the journey I went on and how I completed the final piece of work. You can see it here – Charlottes Blog >>  and I also have a giant Pinterest board full of inspiration for this assignment for anyone that finds it useful Charlottes Pinterest >>
I can’t wait for the next assignment and to see how much I have learnt by the end of the course. I also post my art on Instagram when I feel it’s worthy Charlottes Instagram >>
Charlotte Kaill