MA Children's Illustration

at Cambridge School of Art


I began my first year of returning back to education as a (very) mature student in September 2019 with early commutes to Cambridge once a week. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to organize food and materials for my weekly Wednesday adventure and didn't miss a train. The term finished in a very different virtual place where tutors had to urgently respond to the Covid crisis by moving the course online and conduct tutorials via email, Skype and Zoom.


During the first term we explored regular and rigorous sketchbook practice which felt like a workout exercise; I noticed from day to day effects on focus and output if I hadn't practiced enough drawing. Through the prism of a 'theme', mine being 'Museums and Cultural Venues' we developed the vital foundation structures of drawing which were: perspective, figure drawing, tone, composition and colour. My drawing 'comfort zone' is drawing sedentary figures. This was stretched by drawing in different contexts with figures moving aswell as drawing the wider background context of the spaces the figures inhabited.


For the second term we explored and developed the 'Sequential Image'. Learning how to develop a series of images that connect and tell a story felt particularly akin to a gear change of unchartered territory visually. Illustrating readable drawings, moving from different visual spaces while following a character have been the first tentative steps towards storytelling that will need continual development.



Observation and Experiment followed by the Sequential Image, Sequential observations, Colour and Life drawing document the first year of learning. I will continue to add further work as the second year progresses.

all images © Hannah Sawtell 2017

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