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Available from 7th April 2021

How do children’s book illustrators use research?


A workshop with Wombat illustrator, Liz Duthie

In this fun, informative and interactive workshop, I'd like to share with children my experience as illustrator of Wombat, written by Christopher Cheng, published by Walker Books Australia for their wonderful Nature Storybook Series


In particular, I'd like to talk to children about how I used research to inform my artwork, as this is an important, but I believe little discussed aspect of children's book illustration.  Of course, I will also talk about my process and bring along some of my rough drawings and original artwork to show them, before giving them a try at using research to inform their drawings as out lined below. 


About Me:

I am an illustrator and visual artist based in Central Victoria. I trained in Fine Art and Special Education and have many years’ experience working with communities on festivals and other projects, and more recently, as Education Officer at La Trobe Art Institute in Bendigo.  I have a current WWCC. 

Workshop Outline (1hr duration, aimed at Grades 2-6):

  • After reading the story of Wombat to the children, will share ‘behind-the-scenes’ information about my illustration process and how I researched the characters of Wombat and Dingo and their environment. (20mins)

  • The children will then be asked to draw a wombat from their imagination. (10mins)

  • We will then conduct some research by looking at photos of different types of wombat in detail and discussing how to carefully observe and draw key features such as eyes, nose, mouth, feet, the texture and colour of the fur and so on. (10mins)

  • The children will then do a second drawing based on their research and compare the two pictures.  The group will then discuss the benefits of drawing straight from the imagination, (i.e. beautiful spontaneous drawings!), and how using research can inform their drawings.  (15-20mins)


Please provide:

  • A selection of drawing materials and at least two pieces of paper for each child.

  • If presenting in person, I will require equipment to give a PowerPoint presentation if possible. 

Please note:

  • The workshop can be modified for presentation in person or online.

  • Best suited to single class or up to 30 children but you are welcome to call me to discuss your requirements.

  • Aimed at Grades 2-6 however the workshop can be adapted for older students with more focus on technical and career aspects of children’s book illustration.


  • Suitable for English and Visual Art Learning Areas and Critical & Creative Thinking and Personal and Social Capabilities.


For bookings and more information, please email Liz. 


ABN 91 322 655 266