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with Ann Thomas
Online Class

Drawing Children for Picture Books

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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.


  • intermediate
  • 6 episodes
  • 1h46m

Included in this Class

1. References & Thumbnail Sketches

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

2. Gesture Sketches

Enlarge your thumbnails as you learn how to simplify your characters by breaking them down into basic shapes. Find out how children's proportions differ from adults' and get tips for recreating them accurately. Ann will help you use what you've learned to warm up with some basic gesture sketches.

3. Contour Drawing

3. Contour Drawing

In this lesson, your rough gesture sketches will evolve into a more refined contour drawing with greater realism. Ann will also help you understand how to see and accurately capture foreshortening in your drawings.