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Basic principles of book illustration with Evgeniy Antonenkov

Online - book illustration
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The 1th enrollment of online course on the rules of book illustration with an extensive practical part and feedback from the lector. Your perfect chance to experience the work with the publisher and to create your own full-fledged book. With English subtitles


The work of an illustrator is not as simple as it may seem at first glance! According to Evgeniy Antonenkov, a lector of this course “a book illustration is rather a manufacturing process than creativity”. In this course, Evgeniy will play the role of a book publisher — giving assignments, setting deadlines, assessing works, and pointing out mistakes, in order to achieve the best result. Your job is to study, carry out tasks and try your hand in illustration!

The main perk of the course is communication with the teacher. Evgeniy will comment on each work in detail and give individual valuable feedback in the personal video response. After you accomplish the tasks and proceed to create the book's layout, Evgeniy will guide your creative process, explaining step by step what to do and how to achieve a good creative result.


Evgeniy Antonenkov – is a Russian artist and illustrator. He has been working in illustration for almost forty years, 15 of which as a Chief artist in leading Russian publishing houses: Rosman, Machaon, and others. Evgeniy illustrated more than 40 books - among his projects are the books of Korney Chukovsky and Yunna Morits, J.R. Tolkien, Alan Milne, Spike Milligan. Evgeniy is a regular competitor of international exhibitions.

His illustrations for W. Thackeray's fairy tale “The Ring and the Rose” were selected to participate in the world exhibition of children's book illustrators in Bologna (2002). Evgeniy twice won the award “Book of the Year” in 2008, and 2016. In 2009 and 2010 he was nominated for an Astrid Lindgren’s international prize.


This course is for purposeful illustrators - if you already have some experience in drawing, but no orders in book illustration yet, or if you want to hone your skills and work with an experienced artist.

Please, note that this course will be difficult for beginners with no drawing skills! Therefore, to complete the course, it is desirable to have an elementary art education, knowledge in the field of composition, perspective, drawing, and color.

All the hard work pays off - at the end of this course, you will get your ready-made layout of a small fairy tale. Feel free to include this project in your portfolio!

Students of the course participate in national and international exhibitions, win illustration competitions and get jobs at leading publishing houses! For example, one of our students, Maria Volkova, became one of the winners of the competition “Image of the Book”. You can read the interview with Maria on our blog..


  • about forms - geometric, abstract, organic; textures and finishes, static and dynamic space;
  • about flat and dimensional space, rhythm, accents, and intervals;
  • about equilibrium points and compositional center;
  • about tonal and linear space; time and space, about color and tonal contrasts and nuances;
  • how to create a character, what is an image; about the abstract and the specific;
  • about silhouette, proportions, the rule of simple forms;
  • what the book consists of;
  • about the main points of the storyboard and the design of the book layout.



4 months of fruitful work, 6 theoretical video-lectures and 5 homework assignments to consolidate the knowledge through the practical application.

Only after all the exercises are accomplished, you will proceed to create a book layout for a fairy tale of your choice. The work on the book will consist of the following stages: storyboard, character design, black and white sketch, and color illustration.

The entire process of work will be individually supervised by Evgeniy Antonenkov. Together with the lector, you will determine your own path, and the best way to carry out your creative tasks.



  • The course consists of two parts: theoretical one with the check of the assignments and practical one - creating a book layout
  • This course includes the support of a lector; for each task, Evgeniy records a video response
  • Corrections! If the teacher decides that the task requires correction, then you will have the opportunity to upload some new works in the same task. Here you can read how it works. 
  • After the course is over you will still have unlimited access to video lectures.
  • All video lectures have Russian and English subtitles.




Move the slider left and right to see how the sketch has changed


Necessary materials

  • paper (Whatman) format A3 (15-20 sheets);
  • gouache / acrylic;
  • brushes;
  • colored paper;
  • adhesive pencil;
  • scissors;
    a simple soft pencil, an eraser;

Installed programs Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign (desirable, optional)

Course content

Open set
6 lecture 9 tasks
  • Lecture 1
    Forms. Texture and texture. The space is static and dynamic. Applique technique. [12:53], [8:02]
  • Task 1
    FIGHT FORM. [1:43]
  • Lecture 2
    The space is flat and deep. Composition Center. Rhythm: accents and intervals. [16:16], [7:33]
  • Task 2
  • Lecture 3
    Fundamentals of color science. Color circle. Types of color. Types of color composition. [14:50], [02:31]
  • Task 3
  • Lecture 4
    The space is linear and tonal. Space and time. Contrast. Nuance. [11:11], [04:46]
  • Task 4
    CASE IN THE CITY. [0:51]
  • Lecture 5
    Character Creation: Abstract and Concrete. Form. Transformation of form. Silhouette. The law of simple forms. Proportions. Emotions and character. [16:38], [04:54]
  • Task 5
  • Lecture 6
    The structure of the book. [16:28] [7.08]
  • Task 6
    Storyboard. Description of the future book creation project. Layout.
  • Task 7
  • Task 8
    Sketch in black and white
  • Task 9
    Color illustration
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