Online Class

Drawing Children for Picture Books

Get own-forever classes for less than $8 a month!
As an annual Bluprint member, you'll choose one own-forever class to add to your library each month
Gift Bluprint

Illustrate stories that captivate kids at reading time. Draw children with lifelike proportions, youthful features, convincing skin tones and more.

Skill Level


What You Get

  • 6 Streaming HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Class materials
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers to student questions from instructor Ann Thomas
  • Closed captioning available (web only)

How it works

  • Once you purchase, find your class in your class library.
  • Watch on any device anytime.
  • Find downloadable class resources in the class viewer.


Learn how to draw children with lifelike features in online video lessons from award-winning illustrator and instructor Ann Thomas. Start with how to choose reference resources, draw thumbnail sketches and scale them up while simplifying your characters into basic shapes with accurate proportions. Next, create a refined contour drawing with tips for using foreshortening to achieve convincing results from different angles. Ready to bring your characters to life? Find out how with techniques for drawing youthful features and lifelike facial expressions. Then, get tips for resizing characters to fit your scene, planning color choices and mixing skin tones in watercolors. In Ann's final lesson, she'll help you preserve white details and apply your watercolors before refining edges and adding shadows with colored pencil.

Lesson Breakdown

1. References & Thumbnail Sketches
Meet Ann Thomas and begin by learning how to find visual inspiration in text. Then assemble reference resources that will help guide you in creating realistic illustrations of children. Finally, put those ideas to paper by drawing some initial thumbnail sketches.
2. Gesture Sketches
3. Contour Drawing
4. Characteristics of Children
5. Prepare for Color
6. Adding Color

Taught by

Ann  Thomas
Ann Thomas
Years after Ann Thomas graduated with a degree in graphic design, a friend gave her a fine black sketching pen that got her hooked on illustration. Today, Ann is an illustrator and instructor who has taught students in both college classrooms and workshops. Her illustration projects include the children's book The Cheshire Cat Moon written by BJ Ermenc and Snow by George Harris.

If you're not delighted with your Bluprint experience, we'll make it right or give you a full refund.