Botanical Coloured Pencils Course – Mollie Melhuish

Todays post is all about Mollie Melhuish who is currently studying on our online art course Botanical Coloured Pencils Course.

Tutor Shevaun Doherty emailed us the wonderful coloured pencil drawing below. Mollie completed this drawing as one of her submission pieces for her set 5 assessment on the course.

Shevaun Said….

I thoroughly enjoy helping Mollie Melhuish and assessing her work. I love Mollie… she’s 83 and one of the sweetest students. She has just sent me assignment 5, and has made such a huge improvement in her work. She’s doing my Botanical Coloured Pencil Course. I thought this piece was so creative and such a lovely composition.

We think Mollie is doing amazingly and it proves you are never too old to take one of our art course – or to learn or improve on your art skills. if you would like to work with Shevaun on her Botanical Coloured Pencils Course, pop over to our website for more details on how you can enroll today. London Art College Website >>

Botanical Coloured Pencils Course

Learning Pen and Ink – Video of the week!

We have had a set of learning pen and ink videos on YouTube recommended by one of our students. The videos have been created by professional US based artist Alphonso Dunn. The video below will interest London Art College students who are learning pen and ink while on their creative journey with us. It can be a tricky medium to master and is covered in a number of our online art courses.

Alphonso Dunn has written and illustrated a book currently selling on Amazon which has 5 full stars and 36 happy customers. You might like to check it out here – Pen and Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide Amazon have written about the book which says…..

Pen & Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide covers the essential aspects of pen and ink drawing and more. It explores basic materials and instruments; fundamental properties of strokes and pen control; key elements of shading; and indispensable techniques for creating vibrant textures. As a bonus, a chapter is devoted to what the author refers to as, the secret Line of Balance. This book is not just written to instruct but also to intrigue and inspire enthusiasts of pen and ink drawing.

Learning Pen and Ink

In the learning pen and ink video below, Alphonso shows students how to create a variety of textures in cubes. These very simple studies are very effective. Why not view and pause the video to have a go yourself.

Students could also find different textures around their home and and garden to use too. Create your own 3D squares and see if you can fill them with your style of drawing and textures. We hope you have fun. Let us know how you get on!

Learning Pen and Ink


DISCLAIMER: Please note that LAC cannot be held responsible for external sites and any of their content. Alphonso Dunn, his book or videos have no affiliation with the London Art College.

Illustrating Children’s Books – Angela Watson

Today’s post has been very kindly written by one of our students Angela Watson. Angela is studying the Illustrating Children’s Books Online Art Diploma Course with Maggy Roberts. Angela has written and illustrated ‘Emily and Ziba: The Shimmering Cave’ and so we asked Angela if she would write about it and her experiences for our college blog. We hope you all find it a fabulous read and very inspiring!


In March this year Emily and Ziba: The Shimmering Cave, a 32 page picture book I have written, illustrated and published was finally sent out into the world. I had always wanted to write for children and in February 2006 I began studying with the Open University. In June 2013 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. As part of my degree I completed Creative Writing and Advanced Creative Writing modules.

At this time I had an idea for a children’s picture book. In September 2013, with a view to illustrating the book myself I signed up for a drawing and illustration course at Surrey Adult Education. Not having any art experience when I started the classes I was amazed when, in June 2014 I submitted a pen and ink drawing into the end of year Surrey Adult Learner Exhibition and received a commendation.

Not long after this, a chain of ideas formed in my mind for a new picture book story. This was helpful as my original idea had not inspired me to even make a start! Within a week I had drafted and sketched out my story. I then created my main character, Emily; my first attempts were laughable but eventually with a lot of practice, I had my little girl.

In September 2014 I started work on my dummy book but due to my lack of experience I became overwhelmed by the challenge I had set myself. So I researched online, looking for courses specifically aimed children’s book illustration. This was when I discovered the London Art College’s Diploma. I signed up and put my own project on hold for a while.

The course was just what I needed. Between December 2014 and February 2015 I raced through the coursework and submitted five assignments. Even though I did not strictly follow the brief (sorry Maggie!) the feedback I received helped me to identify my weak areas, for example inadequate shading so my pictures lacked depth! Also, it helped me to settle on watercolour as the medium for my book illustrations. Armed with my new knowledge and experience I starting working on Emily and Ziba again and finally finished my dummy book in June 2015.

Having all my sketches ready to draw up as final artworks I used a lightbox to trace them onto Langton Watercolour Paper (NOT, 140lb) and then inked them in using a black Uni-ball eye fineliner pen. I decided to use White Night Artist’s Watercolours to finish the illustrations as I love the vibrancy they bring to a picture; how easy they are to use and best of all they are not expensive!

I finally completed all the artwork at the end of December 2015. I pushed myself to finish this project as in August 2015 my nephew (Sam), aged sixteen months was diagnosed with a high risk cancer. At this point I decided once the books were printed that for each of the first one hundred books sold, I would donate £2 to Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity. After which I would give 50p for every book sold. This was something I wanted to do as the charity gives vital emotional and practical support to Sam and his family.

My Story by Angela Watson

With Sam in my thoughts I wanted the book printed as soon as possible, so I decided to self- publish. I am glad I did as at the time of writing we have been told Sam only has a few months to live. My aim at this stage was to achieve the best quality product I could but for it to retail at £6.99; other than the cost of having the books printed I would do everything myself. So I researched printers and setting up as a publisher. I finally settled on a small printing press that would print my books on silk lined paper. Also, for only a small additional charge the printers took my ideas for the book’s layout and loaded my text and scanned artwork onto their system for printing. To complete the process I set up a publishing company so that I could be issued with my own ISBNs.

When all this was done I explored different web builder sites that were free as I needed a website to promote and sell my books. Eventually, I settled on WIX as I found it simple to use, it looked good and I could add a store, keep a blog and have a gallery with my portfolio. I also set up Facebook and Instagram accounts and have linked them to my website.

After everything was set in motion for Emily and Ziba: The Shimmering Cave I realised I still had not finished my Children’s Book Illustration Diploma. So I started work on assignment six. I decided to have fun and use my character Ziba as inspiration for my final piece!

The good news is not only have I now completed the course and received my Diploma, I have sold over one hundred Emily and Ziba picture books and written my first cheque to Rainbow Trust for £200; I have been interviewed by Radio Jackie and had a book signing at Barton’s Bookshop in Leatherhead. It has been an amazing journey and if you would like to read more about my story please visit my blog at!blog/g4msq

Angela Watson

Illustrating Children's books

Illustrating Children's books

Illustrating Children's books

Landscape Diploma Course

Larissa Andreassen, who is from Norway, studied at the Moscow School of Architecture and Design. She went on to complete a number of courses with us at the London Art College including the Landscape Diploma Course. All of our art courses are online and students can study from their own home from around the globe.

Whilst on our courses Larissa studied with tutor Alan Dedman on the Landscape Painting Diploma Course and the Oil Painting Diploma Course. She then went on to study our very popular Botanical Painting Online Art Diploma Course, currently being taught by superb botanical artist Shevaun Doherty.

Larissa Said

“Though I spend most of my time painting watercolors, I enjoy the freedom of oil and acrylic from time to time. I love bold colors. Painting is the way I need to be grounded into some sort of peace and harmony”.

Landscape Diploma Course  Artwork

Larissa painted these two wonderful studies whilst on the Landscape Diploma Course and we absolutely love them. They are superb. Larissa has used the scenery which surrounds her in Norway and has captured the feel of the landscapes beautifully. We particularly love the first painting below where you can see Larissa has used aerial perspective to her advantage. She has used colours, tones and a soft brush effect to allow the mountains to recede into the distance. She has also used clean crisp lines in the mid ground area so that our eye is drawn to the buildings. The foreground is again muted in colour using soft focus so that we sweep gently into the painting.


Larissa who lives in Bergen, is currently setting up regular botanical art classes in her surrounding area. If you are interested in working with Larissa, drop her a line via her facebook page. You will be able to see more of Larissa’s oil paintings and her superb Botanical studies too.

Landscape Diploma Course

Landscape Diploma Course


Book Illustration – Dawn Treacher

Dawn Treacher studied with tutor Maggy Roberts on our Illustrating Children’s Book Online Art Diploma Course.. She has recently been working on a book illustration with publisher, Cranachan Publishing. Read below how Dawn was commissioned and the process behind completing the book illustration. We hope our students find Dawn’s story inspiring.

Book Illustration by Dawn Treacher

“I had not considered trying to find commercial illustration commissions as I had not long ago finished my Diploma in Children’s Book illustration and was still doing my follow on course with Maggie. I was submitting my children’s fantasy adventure novel to a small independent book publisher, Cranachan Publishing.

Though they did not accept my submission they said they googled me and discovered my website and that I was an illustrator. They asked me if I would consider illustrating a book for them that is due to be published in September this year, “The Beast On The Brock”, by John K Fulton. Of course, I was thrilled to be asked.

The following moth was very challenging but I learnt so much. The mythical beast of the Broch was the Pictish Beast and is based on the legend of a Scottish beast that was around in 700 AD. The only reference I was given was the simplistic stone craves that exist on medieval buildings. From this stone carving and the words of the text I had to create an image of the beast, being ridden by a pictish girl.

It took a lot of characterisation sketches and conferring with the author and the publishers until they were finally happy. Once this was approved I could move onto the final painting. The characters needed to be placed in an atmospheric Sottish landscape with ruins on the horizon. It also had to allow for text. the design needed to wrap around the whole book and the spine.

Throughout the process Cranachan Publishing were impressed with my ability to work from a brief. As a very new publishing company, who had never instructed an illustrator before, they found me very knowledgeable. In fact they were impressed I could guide them in what information I needed to know from them and what constraints we had in the brief. I found it a very valuable experience and have learnt a great deal.

Visit Dawns Website –


Dawn Treacher

Book Illustration

Illustrating Children’s Books Online Art Diploma Course – Celia Carlile

Today’s college news post is a very exciting one. Celia is an award winning Artist and Illustrator who studied our Illustrating Children’s Books Online Art Diploma Course. The course tutor is Maggy Robert and Celia had access to Maggy’s help online throughout the entire course.  We have recently been given some beautiful photos of Celia along with her Diploma, her college course folder and her published books. Celia has had the photos taken especially for us to use on our website and our college news blog. We would officially like to thank Celia for taking the time in doing this for us!

Whilst Celia was studying online with us at the London Art College on the Illustrating Children’s Books Online Art Diploma Course, she entered ‘The Agnes Sloane Illustrator’s Competition’.  As a result Celia’s artwork was highly praised and she was the runner up for the competition. This led Celia to the exciting opportunity in being asked to illustrate for writer Wendy Hesketh’s book – ‘The Slimy Slug’. Wendy and Celia’s book can be purchased from Amazon and it has wonderful 5* reviews, one of which you can read below….

“A wonderfully illustrated book about a little boy and a very slimy slug! The slug is found in the school play yard and after a ride around the grounds makes it inside. He starts to explore, but is found in time to take a trip in the car. I won’t spoil the rest of the fun. A cute book that kids will enjoy.”

Consequently Celia went on to write and illustrate ‘The Christmas Song’, ‘The Best Holiday Ever’ and ‘The Best Christmas Ever’ collaborating with her writer husband Orsion Carlile.

Most noteworthy is Celia’s new book ‘Granny and the Monster’, which has just been released and is out now to purchase on Celia’s website. You can also listen to a wonderful song about the book written and sung by Orsion Carlisle. It is absolutely fabulous and it will definitely make you smile. Why not take a stroll around  Celia’s Website.

We would like to congratulate Celia on her incredible successes and superb website. We are looking forward to seeing more of Celia’s books in the coming months and years.

Would you like to be featured?

If any of our students would like to have photos of themselves featured here on our blog, just let us know! Students can send us photos of themselves with their artwork. Most of all they can have photos take with their diploma or any books and products they have had made or published. We would love to see them. Please email them to Melanie at and we will be in touch to write a post about you and your work. It is a great way for us to help our students with their promotion surrounding their artwork. We are always happy to add links to your website too, along with links to your social media and blog pages.

Illustrating Children's Books Online Art Diploma Course

Illustrating Children's Books Online Art Diploma Course

Illustrating Children's Books Online Art Diploma Course

Graphic Design Online Art Diploma Course

Emily Stafford is currently studying our Graphic Design Online Art Diploma Course. One of Emily’s recent assignments was to design new packaging for Darjeeling tea. Emily not only designed the packaging in sketches on paper, but she also made a sample box and decorated it. Take a look at some of Emily’s photos below.

Vanessa Weaver is the tutor for the Graphic Design Online Art Diploma Course. She has been Emily’s personal tutor throughout the course. Vanessa said….

“Emily’s work has been presented in a thorough manner, providing a clear visual for all faces of the packaging. The font face is simple and well resolved in terms of content, creating a clear message. The final design of the teabag packaging shows thorough consideration of her intended audience and the result is an eye-catching packaging design that would appeal to your target market.”

We are thrilled Emily is doing superbly on her course. We are looking forward to seeing more artwork from emily in the coming weeks.

Graphic Design Resources

Students who are studying on our graphic design art diploma course may like to bookmark the packaging design mag website. It is a wonderful resource filled with images of well designed produce. We feel it might help and inspire students who are completing similar assignments to Emily. It is a huge website with an abundance of info which could keep you occupied for hours. Definitely worth a visit!

Another resource that our students may like to peruse is the Book Cover Archive website. The website is filled with photos of thousands of front covers of books. This could also could help and inspire our Graphic Designers in their artwork and assignments.

Learn how to design packaging, book cover design, posters, magazine articles and more about Art in Graphic design with the London Art College. Pop over to our website and take a look around. Enrol on your art course today – and start today! Study at home or on the move with a wifi connection.

London Art College Website >> 

Graphic Design Online Art Diploma Course Graphic Design Online Art Diploma Course

Graphic Design Online Art Diploma Course

Graphic Design Online Art Diploma Course


Beginners Leaning to Draw Video by Brendon Shaefer

This weeks video of the week is a Beginners Leaning to Draw Video by artist Brandon Shaefer. Students who follow our college news blog are inspired by some of the beautiful pieces of artwork that we post here on the blog. Some students who are starting out on their creative path however, may be a little overawed at the skill and quality of some of our students work. Don’t worry – you will get there, it’s all a matter of time and practice!

If you are just starting out, you have joined one of our beginners courses, the drawing and painting online art course diploma, or perhaps you need to brush up on a few basic skills, Brendon’s Beginners Leaning to Draw Video is perfect for you. The video below is Episode 1 and once you have watched this one, you can follow onto his other videos in the series too.

Beginners Leaning to Draw Video by Brandon Shaefer

Brendon is an excellent artist, his paintings are fabulous. He has shared a number of his videos online for students and budding artists to view. Students can visit Brandon’s website and see more of his oil paintings. He paints many Plein Air paintings – which means he goes out into the landscape and paints from life which our landscape diploma students should definitely check out.  Brandon also has some amazing still life paintings and studies which I know will interest students who are on our Still Life Online Art Course. Brandon has created many videos which you can access on his YouTube Channel.

If you would like to join one of our online art courses, why not pop over to our website and choose your course today – You can start at any time, study online from home or with wifi when travelling. Perfect for learning on the move!

Beginners Leaning to Draw Video

DISCLAIMER: Please note that LAC cannot be held responsible for the content of any external sites or their content. Brandon Shaefer has no affiliation with the London Art College

Watercolour Online Art Diploma Course

Anthony Tilt is currently working through our Watercolour Online Art Diploma Course. He has recently created these three wonderful watercolour paintings for his assignments. We thought we would showcase them here on our college news blog as inspiration for our students.

Anthony’s first painting below is of the high street in Malvern, UK. We absolutely love the colours that Anthony has used, they depict a beautifully sunny day and make for a very inviting painting. Anthony has used lighter colours as the buildings recede to help with the perspective of the scene – this is perfect! A very successful painting and one that when framed would liven up any room in the home.

Watercolour online art diploma course

Anthony’s next painting is of Queen Square in the centre of Wolverhampton, UK. Anthony drew a very quick sketch to start with, using very little detail, as a preliminary study. This is always a good idea as prelim drawings can really help you familiarise yourself with the scene. In this instance it has allowed Anthony to understand the perspective and the windows on the buildings.

Anthony then followed the sketch with a monochrome painting of the scene. He said…

“The painting is a monochrome study using Vandyke Brown in various shades. For the contrasting colour I used a mix of Cadmium Red watercolour and a lot more of Zinc White Gouache which I applied to the windows of the building on the far left hand side of the picture.”

The painting has a lot of vibrancy within this tones and is a wonderful study. Monochrome paintings and drawings are a great idea for our students to experiment with. Why not experiment this technique using any colour – for instance all blues, reds or yellows etc.

If you would like to study with us on our Watercolour Online Art Diploma Course, why not pop over to our website and take a look at our courses.

Watercolour online art diploma course

Watercolour online art diploma course



Colour Awareness Online Art Course – Arlya Tuckey

Arlya Tuckey is currently studying our Colour Awareness Online Art Course with tutor Alan Dedman. Arlya is studying with us from her home in Australia and is also completing our Diploma in Drawing and Painting too.

Choosing, mixing and identifying colours is an extremely important skill to learn. Anything you decide to draw and paint, whether it be a landscape, person, dog or still life – you will need to interpret the colour that you see on your paper or canvas.  You will need to identify the correct colour and tone to be able to mix the it on your pallet or layer it using pastel or coloured pencil. Even if you are drawing in black and white – you still need to understand the tones of the scene. Colour mixing is one of the most difficult areas to master and something students struggle with most…but we are here to help students master this skill!

Colour Awareness Online Art Course

Our Colour Awareness course, can work along side your other courses and help you look at the colours in the world around you. It will help you identify why certain colours work together and why others don’t, which colours recede into the distance and which colour mixes come forward.  For instance look at Arlya’s study below. It uses three basic colours. Which colours do you see within the scene come forward and which recede?

colour awareness online art course

The Colour Awareness course also gives students the confidence to use colour. Students can be very tentative in laying colour down on a white piece of paper or canvas. If you are just starting out on your art journey and are worried about colour and mark making, our course can help you overcome this in a fun and interesting way.

We hope you enjoy viewing Arlya’s artwork here and we look forward to seeing you on the colour awareness course soon. Why not pop over to our website and check out courses and Alan Dedman who tutors this course. He is very skilled in colour mixing and understanding colour. London Art College >>