Emma Allen’s new illustrations…

Emma Allen studied on both our Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma and our follow on course in which Emma received distinctions for. Emma has continued to do well in her illustrating career and we are thrilled to share her exciting news below…..


In the run up to Christmas the London Art College was approached by the children’s charity ‘My Mother’s Love’ who were looking for an illustrator to create some artwork for a children’s e-book which would be sold in support of the charity and to help children to learn about ways in which they could look after the environment – a key part of what the charity is all about. They very kindly agreed to take me on as the illustrator for the project.

The story is called ‘Hector Helps Clean Up the Park’ and was written by one of the charity’s co-founders, Claire Culliford. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this illustration project and felt very well prepared by the children’s illustration courses that I’d done with the London Art College. The e-book is now out to buy, and you can find out all about it and ‘My Mother’s Love’ at http://www.mymotherslove.co.uk/#!books/cgaa

My own website is now live and you can find it and a link to my facebook illustration page at www.emmaallenillustrator.co.uk

Emma Allen

London Art College Photography Competition – £50 voucher to be won!

2014 Photography Competition Closing Date Extended

The annual photography competition has had it’s own competition with the weather this year! With only a week to go before the closing date, it has been decided to extend it by another week to give all students a chance to look through last years’ work or get out there and shoot something new.
The new closing date will now be Friday 7th March. Any enrolled student may enter up to two images and the theme is ‘open’. If you are considering entering you should do so by posting your image(s) on the ‘Photography’  forum at –
If you haven’t visited it before it’s a great place to discuss your art and photography, but you will need to register and then post an introduction post to verify your identity. There are lots of help pages there too, if necessary, and don’t be afraid to ask if you need further assistance.
As for the prize, there is a wonderful £50 voucher for first place and the winning image will appear on the LAC web site. The standard last year was so good we had to have a second place too! So don’t leave it until the last minute to enter: it might just start raining again!
Here is last years winner under the theme of Resolutions.
Good Luck
Rona Cox – D10 Tutor
Melanie Phillips – Technical Support

Ruth Bains Live Project for Graphic Design Diploma

Ruth Bain’s designs for the logo brief in the Graphic Design Diploma course was a live brief and she has given the approval for us to use it on our blog.

The final client choice can be seen in the business card in the first image below. The other ideas you can see here are ‘Inspiration and ideas’ which Ruth worked through to get to the final design.

Congratulations Ruth on a superb set of artwork and no doubt very happy clients!






Natalia’s Illustration work….

Natalia got in touch with us to ask if we would be able to add some of her artwork to our student gallery. We were delighted to be able to add them and we took the opportunity to ask if Natalia would write a little about her favourite pieces for our blog. We hope you enjoy Natalia’s post below. If any of our students would like to see their work here, or on our gallery just drop us a line at any time on –


Sebastian´s Sink City:

This is the image I had in mind for a pirate world for Sebastian. I always imagined Sebastian sat on the sink pipe, enjoying the view of a pirate ship trying to get to shore in order to find treasure. Their parrot heading off to inspect the island before the pirates, but on the way, came across a hungry shark that tried to eat him! There is however, someone already on the island who has possession of the treasure and will not let it get away from him.

The technique I used was watercolour. I wanted to display vivid colours on the sea, animals and people along with the contrast using soft colours for the sky. I also tried to make the characters and animals look funny in order to appeal more to children. I hadn´t used watercolour technique in over a decade but I have found that the more I use it the more I learn from it. I am still experimenting with watercolours which can be tricky to use.


Row, Row, Row:

This little girl on a very tranquil swan, being pulled on by a bunch or colourful butterflies, suspended on calm and still waters, enjoying the best out of the suns rays. All of this is actually a day dream! She is just looking out from her bedroom window, imaging a thousand things in which she could be part of. Life is but a dream!

I had never had white backgrounds on paintings before. However, I wanted to give it a try and really liked the way it looks with the rest of the picture I think it adds to the peacefulness of the girl’s day dream. I believe the white background makes you focus more carefully on the character and the events of the story. I had initially intended to have a bubble/cloud thought coming from the girl’s head like in a comic book, but I decided to erase it and then edit it on my computer because, in my opinion, it had lost its charm.

I had to look up on the internet on how to make a nice effect on the terracotta tiled roof. What you see is lots of layers of paint with different tones and contrast in order to make that nice concave impression. I am vey happy with the effect.

It took me a couple of weeks to finish this piece. I think the original painting looks much better than the scanned copy because you can see and feel the texture of the paper and watercolour paint and that is unique.


Illustrating Children´s Book Diploma

Birds Eye View Film Festival Poster Competition

We have received information Birds Eye View film Festival Poster Competition which some of our students might be interested in looking into. Please note we are not affiliated with the company below and students take part at their own risk.


I’m writing from Birds Eye View Film Festival which has a remit to showcase women in film. The festival has been active for over a decade and in April 2014 will screen films, host events and parties across London at venues including BFI Southbank, Curzon Soho, Institute of Contemporary Arts and Electric Cinema, Notting Hill. This is an eclectic, creative, exciting and industry recognised festival of film.  This year’s festival will run from the 8-13th April, and is an opportunity to connect with professional and university educated women aged 25-34 who have an interest in film, media and the arts.

For this year’s festival, we’re working with IdeasTap to run a Film Poster competition. We’re inviting designers and illustrators to re-design a film poster for a classic/iconic film directed by a woman. The ten winning designs will go on display at the BFI Southbank during the festival in a special exhibition. Winners will also be invited to partake in a Filmonomics training session on April 13th that explores how to market films and how to select the right visual assets.

We’d love to reach out to designers and illustrators as broadly as possible with the opportunity to kick start a career in the film industry. Full details of the brief are here, on the IdeasTap website:


Julie-Ann and Drafting Film…

We would like to thank Julie-Ann for sending us this wonderful piece of artwork for inclusion on our blog. Julie-Ann has written a small piece below to let us know how she got on with using the drafting film along with coloured pencils as a surface to work on for the first time. I have added the full portrait and a close up detail for our students to view below. Thank you Julie-Ann!
This drawing is A4 in size using prismacolor coloured pencils on A4 polydraw drafting film. For me, polydraw drafting film is very much an experimental surface to work on with a semi-transparent acetate appearance. It has a matt coating on either side which means it can take coloured pencil on both sides or keep graphite and CP separate to ensure a pure finish. Working on the reverse side the image becomes negative, however, this creates deeper hues and enhances the tones. The result is a richer depth of colour with plenty of detail. This is my first attempt with prismacolor on what some artists describe as “grease proof” paper, but I’m pleased with it as it gives me the inspiration to do more images on polydraw in the future.
Julie-Ann Maguire – Coloured Pencil Course


Open Art event listings….

We have received information about ‘Open Art’, which is part of Art14 – London’s Art & City programme starting soon. If any of our students attend the venues listed below, take a photo and send it to us for our blog! Even better if any of our students meet up for the first time at any of the events – keep us updated! Have fun! Please note we are not affiliated with any of the events below.


Open Art is part of Art14 London’s Art & The City programme. (Friday 28th February – Saturday 1stMarch 2014) Open Art presents a rare opportunity to visit art collections around London, which are usually restricted from public view. These experiences are completely FREE OF CHARGE and are available only by booking via us.

There are some fabulous collections to be seen ranging from the Government Art Collection, to The Dover Street Arts Club, and the House of St Barnabas, to name a few. Bookings can be made by emailing olivia.vaughan@single-market.co.uk and should include details of which events you would like to attend.

Details of all the Open Art collections are listed below:


Wellcome Trust
The foyer of the Wellcome Trust on Euston Road contains an awe-inspiring sculpture by Thomas Heatherwick, designer of the Olympic Cauldron, which occupies a vertical site spanning all 9 storeys of the building. A representative of the Heatherwick studio will be on hand to discuss the work. (Please note: These sessions will take place on Friday 28 February).

Wellcome Trust, Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE

Tours are approx. 30 minutes at 9.30am, 10.30am and 11.30am
Group size: 20

Government Art Collection
The Government Art Collection contains over 13,500 artworks, of which the majority are on display in British embassies and institutions around the world. In its West End HQ, however, an ever-changing but always fascinating selection of works, can be seen in its viewing space, workshop and stores. Art14 London is organising an afternoon of tours with GAC curator Adrian George.

Government Art Collection, Queen’s Yard, 179A Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7PA

Tours are 60 minutes and at 3pm, 4.30pm and 6pm.
Group size: 20
Royal College of Art
The Senior Common Room at the Royal College of Art in Kensington contains a unique display of 45 artworks taken from the hundreds donated to the College by alumni and other artists. Currently on show are works by William Scott, Elizabeth Frink, Joe Tilson, Paula Rego and Chantal Joffe. The archives and collections manager of the RCA will offer an illuminating insight into the current curation by artist Jo Stockham.

Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU

Tours are 45 minutes at 11am, 12noon, 2pm and 3pm
Group size: 12
Maggies London
The Maggie’s Centre in Fulham is an exceptional building by major British architect Richard Rogers, winner of the 2009 Stirling Prize for Building of the Year; a place for practical and emotional support after a cancer diagnosis. A bequest of work to the Centre by Eduardo Paolozzi has recently been installed here in a special display by Ab Rogers. The landscape is by acclaimed practioner Dan Pearson.

Maggies London, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF

Tours at 11am, 11.30am, 12 midday, 12.30pm, 1pm and 1.30pm
Group size: 10
Dover Street Arts Club
This prestigious members’ only club in Mayfair is opening its doors on 1 March for limited curator-led tours of its exemplary collection of contemporary artworks hung in the club’s beautifully renovated rooms. These include work by Tomas Saraceno, John Baldessari, George Condo, Oscar Tuazon and John Stezaker, plus recently installed Michiel Ceulers and Maaike Schoorel exhibitions.

DSAC, 40 Dover Street, London W1S 4NP

Tours are 45 minutes at 10.30am and 11.15am
Caprice Holdings
In the Mayfair restaurants belonging to Caprice Holdings – Scotts, 34 and the Caprice – hangs a carefully curated collection of contemporary work, including standout paintings by Fiona Rae and Gary Hume and sculpture by Polly Morgan and Tim Noble and Sue Webster. At 34, the private dining room contains an extensive installation of new work by Tracey Emin. The tour is led by art historian James Cahill.

Please note that there is a £20 charge for this event.

Assemble Mount Street Deli, 100 Mount Street, London W1K 2TG

Tours are 1 hour 15 minutes, at 9.30am
Group size: 15
The Gallery restaurant at Sketch underwent a total transformation in the hands of artist Martin Creed in 2012. Nearly 100 different types of marble zig zag across the floor, and no two items of furniture are the same. Discussing this exuberant and temporary artwork-cum-restaurant – it will be dismantled in April – will be a representative from Creed’s gallery Hauser + Wirth [TBC].

Sketch, 9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG

Talk is 60 minutes at 10am
Group size: 50
The House of St Barnabas
Apart from occupying one of the finest complete Georgian houses in Soho with its own chapel, St Barnabas is a not-for-profit private members club which supports its own charity for the homeless. Its art collection currently includes work from Jeff Koons, Jeremy Deller and Whitney McVeigh and is for sale, with a percentage going to the charity. Curator Katie Heller will lead the tours.

HOSB, 1 Greek Street, London W1D 4NQ

Tours are 45 minutes at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm
Group size: 20
Insurance company ASPEN, which specialises in art insurance, also has an exceptional collection of contemporary art, much of which is on show in its offices around the world. In London, visitors can see excellent examples of work including Fiona Rae, Anri Sala and Alex Katz. Tours will be guided by experts from the Contemporary Art Society.

Aspen, Plantation Place, Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 3BD

Tours are 45 minutes at 11am, 11.30am, 12 midday, 12.30pm
Group size: 10

Illustration Students Distinction

Ursula has just passed the illustrating Children’s Books with Distinctions and tutor Maggy Roberts emailed me one of Ursula’s final pieces of artwork from the course. Its absolutely superb! I have added the full version below, along with a close up detail from the painting so that you can see the octopus, turtle and seahorse in more detail. The overall colour scheme is excellent, the feeling of being under the water with the bubbles and shaft of light has been illustrated beautifully. We are sure that Ursula will go a long way in her illustrating career! Congratulations!


Portraiture Distinction Student

We would like to officially congratulate Linda for passing her Portraiture painting course with Distinctions. Linda has worked extremely hard throughout the course and has learnt a lot on her journey. The self portrait below was created for the final exercise in the course.

Linda works full time however still manages to make time early in the mornings to paint. The best time of the day, great light and perfect for painting in the peace and quiet! We wish Linda all the best in her art endeavours for the future.


Painting and Drawing Student….

This stunning piece of artwork was emailed to me for inclusion on the blog by our tutor Julie Douglas. One of her students who is studying the Drawing and Painting Diplma Course, Alla Nikolenko, created this wonderful watercolour as one of her exercise pieces. The textures used within the watercolour are superb, the colours themselves and the way the student has captured the light within the scene is excellent. Well done Alla and congratulations on receiving a distinction for your diploma course!