Rachel Duffield – Fears and Tears

Fears and tears – but highly recommended!

I’ve recently submitted my first two pieces for the Children’s Book Illustration course with Maggy Roberts. The last time I submitted artwork for judging was when I did my a-levels over twenty years ago, so I was pretty nervous about it. It took three pages of terrible scribblings, which made me start to think I’d made a dreadful mistake in signing up to the course, before my hand suddenly remembered it could draw! Then I really enjoyed trying out a brand new technique ‘wet on wet’ for my cactus collage. Working to a specific brief for the ‘Row, row, row your boat’ illustration was an exciting challenge too.

So much for the fears – this return to art has been wonderful, like meeting an old and very dear friend after a long absence. As for the tears, they came later. To be honest, I got a bit misty eyed at Maggy’s lovely feedback about my first submission. By coincidence, Maggy was the illustrator for a series of books my son adored when he was little, and her positive words meant a great deal to me.

It’s a big thing, this art malarkey, for me. I’m so grateful to have the time and headspace to draw again. Thank you. To anyone who’s wondering whether or not to sign up, I’d say “just DO IT”!

Rachel Duffield
Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma

Julie Hollinshead

My name is Julie Hollinshead and I am taking the Coloured Pencil Course with the London Art College. I picked up coloured pencils a few years ago to do pet portraits after purely doing them in acrylics. I am doing this course to go back to scratch, improve my drawing skills and learn how to use coloured pencils properly. I am sure as im self taught there are many skills I need to learn.

I use Prismacolour pencils on Bristol smooth paper. I use either a prisma blending pencil or Derwent when a softer effect is needed. My still life below, probably took 7 or 8 hours. I felt the Bristol smooth paper probably didn’t allow me to use as many layers in some places as id have liked. I found I loved the details and small things like the grapes and bottle. I love drawing animals, detailed fur and also formula one cars, so I guess I love small picky details!

Julie Hollinshead
Coloured Pencil Course


Michelle Caitens – Illustration

Tutor Maggy Roberts has sent us another lovely illustration from one of her students. Michelle has created a superb watercolour illustration of an elephant doing a hand stand with a bird. We know that children would absolutely love this image and we are really looking forward to seeing more of Michelle’s work soon. If you would like to learn how to become a children’s illustrator, pop over to our website to find out how we can help you….. LondonArtCollege.co.uk


Mel Mollum – Horse portraits

My name is Mel Mollum and I am taking the Pet Portrait Diploma Course. The final piece for set 3 is now complete and I did struggle with it!  I’ve never used oils for a more realistic picture and I certainly felt like I had taken some steps backwards with the art.  I seem to be creating works with a “cartoony” overtone.  I think my style might be coming through but I am struggling in my head with this as I am desperate to create realism pieces!  This is where I need to stop comparing my work to other people and start enjoying what I do…..

Mel Mollum
Pet Portrait Diploma

Rebecca Davidson – Children’s book Illustration

My name is Rebecca Davidson and I am currently taking the Children’s book illustration course with tutor Maggy Roberts. I started the course a while ago, but due to having my long awaited daughter, I have extended the course a couple of times. I now have time to dedicate to the course each day which is great.

Continually drawing, sketching, doodling and thinking about each submission has really helped me focus and develop my ideas. Maggie has been really helpful in her feedback with pointers on what I should think about for the next submission. I have started to spend more time looking at other artists and illustrators work and find reading articles written by artists about how they manage to work commercially really inspiring. I am really hoping I can move on to the Children’s Book Illustration extension course after completing this course as I would love to work commercially as an illustrator.

I do find each submission a challenge as some of the techniques used are outside my comfort zone. I like to think of ideas for interpreting the brief that meet the criteria, but have an original twist to them. I love looking at other students work both on the Children’s Book Illustration course and other London Art College courses so have included some of my images below.

Rebecca Davidson
Children’s Book Illustration Course

Set One Assignments – Wet on Wet Exercise

Set One Assignments – Row, Row, Row Brief

Set Two Assignments – Sebastian’s Sink City Brief

Set Two Assignments – Drawing Exercise

Elisa Orchard – Pet Portrait Course

Elisa Orchard is currently working through our Pet Portrait Diploma Course tutored by gale Mason. Elisa has sent us her pastel portrait of a horse for us to add on the blog. We are delighted to add it here for our students to view.

Elisa said…

I really want to be able to use pastel as I love the intensity of the colours but I do find it tricky. In the horse picture I used pastel for the overall horse’s head then fixed it with spray. I then added the reins after with white pastel predominantly and really sharp pencil to add detail. I tried to concentrate on the reins. I think I am becoming more disciplined with making the image more precise to reflect the original.

We are really looking forward to seeing Elisa’s next set of work and posting it for every one see!

Rosalind Moll – Landscape Diploma

Rosalind Moll has now completed her final set of work for her Landscape Diploma and we are thrilled to add three of her final paintings here on the blog. Rosalind has said about the caravan piece. ….I found this old abandoned caravan in a field near Broadlands Holiday Camp. Years ago it would have been used for holiday makes, hence the bright colours. Although I could only see the back of the caravan, as i couldn’t get into the field, I still think it names an interesting subject.

Rosalind has very kindly said…

I have enjoyed this course immensely. Alan is a brilliant tutor. This was my fourth course – and the best!

My motivation was improved by having to get out and about more to sketch, paint and take photos for the landscape paintings. Also I can see an improvement in my work.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you immensely for your useful critiques and kind words which have certainly given me to much more confidence in my artwork. I have loved every minute of this course and painted subjects that i could never had though to paint. its been great to thank once again.

We are thrilled that Rosalind has enjoy her course and we wish her the best of luck with her future pieces!

Alan’s Crowd Funding….

The Collective London is a digital marketing agency based on Roseberry Avenue, EC1 – central London. They have kindly agreed to host a view by appointment show of Alan Dedman’s latest artworks.

The exhibition will include traditional, classically formed pieces developed in the style Alan Dedman encountered at the Royal Academy Schools (when Peter Greenham was Keeper) and the more expressionistic, experimental aspect of his ouevre. This consists of spin paintings into which figurative subject matter has been worked/placed. Vibrant, emotional use of colour coupled with expressive use of paint; manipulated using a post-modern, action painting technique – makes for a unique presentation of age-old subject matter – the portrait and the nude.

The show runs throughout May 2017 and there will be opportunity to view two evenings a week. Alan Dedman intends to present a series of talks about his work and related topics during this period. Each presentation will last approximately twenty minutes; there will be time for questions and discussion afterwards. Refreshments will be available.

Funds are required for the project to cover all costs including things such as insurance, publicity, transport etc. Alan Dedman ahs launched a crowd funding page at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/alan-dedman-at-the-collective-london

If you would like to donate, please visit the page where you can make payments via PayPal. Your attention, consideration and support are much appreciated.